Jim Higginbotham Named Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Earlham School of Religion’s Associate Professor of Pastoral Care Jim Higginbotham will begin a one-year appointment as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs beginning in January. The position is primarily intended to finalize and implement ESR’s newly-revised 75-credit hour Master of Divinity, which will launch in the fall of 2019.

“Jim’s willingness to take on this important role is critical as ESR seeks to bring the long hours of strategic planning the school has undertaken into reality,” says Acting Dean Matt Hisrich. “I am grateful for Jim’s service toward this goal thus far, and look forward to working alongside him in this new capacity. His administrative gifts, attention to detail, and keen understanding of our students, faculty, and curriculum make him a perfect fit for the position.”

The new M.Div. curriculum is part of a 5-Year Strategic Plan and Curriculum Revision recently approved by the Earlham College Board of Trustees. During his January-December appointment, Jim will also assist with new Certificates and degree programs still in the early stages of development. He will continue teaching the bulk of his courseload, with one course release per semester. These courses will continue to be offered through adjunct support. More details on both the new M.Div. curriculum and other upcoming offerings will be coming soon.

Jim states, “I am pleased to help finalize our exciting, new M.Div. curriculum. Its greater focus on contextual learning warms the heart of this practical theologian. I look forward to working with the faculty as we implement the Strategic Plan.”

Jim is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He joined the ESR faculty in 2005, and currently serves as Clerk of the Faculty. He earned a B.A. from Hiram College in 1980; an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University in 1983; an M.S. from Loyola College of Maryland in 1990; and, a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2005.