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Brown Bag

Faculty Brown Bag 2023/24 Schedule

Thursdays, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Location:  Dougherty Dining Room

The Asbury University Brown Bag program is a periodic forum (3 times a semester) specifically designed to feature academic presentations to the faculty by current AU faculty who are preparing material for academic conference presentation and/or scholarly publication. These gatherings are intended to meet two different objectives. First, they serve our institution’s liberal arts identity by exposing other faculty not only to the questions, methods, and findings of other disciplines, but also to the nature and manner of the interpretations of the material as given by the presenting colleague. Second, they provide a supportive ‘in-house’ setting for AU faculty to share their work with their fellow colleagues and hopefully gain helpful feedback from the exchange.


Sept 7                  Brian Shelton

Theology of a Diary and the 1949 St. Louis Exorcism

Last century, a Jesuit priest undertook the reading of the Rite of Exorcism over a demonized boy for four agonizing weeks. His uncovered diary offers a Catholic perspective on the preternatural and a historiographical case study in conflict theology. If deemed credible, this modern case of exorcism may reinforce New Testament connotations of spirit beings against philosophical naturalism. When published, this research will be the first theological treatment of the story behind the film The Exorcist.


Oct 5                    Michael Ross

The Role of IT Manager Personality Traits in Customer Decision-Making

A summary presentation of how disruptive technologies, like AI, can become more mainstream in the business and personal marketplaces, through improving technology developers’ ability to ascertain and meet customers’ explicit and implicit needs. Implications for evangelism in both business- and non- business contexts will be presented.


Nov 9                   Sean Gaffney

Writing Deeper Characters Using Biblical Techniques

This seminar uses discussion, examples, and lecture to explore how writers can create deeper and more complex characters using techniques found in the Judeo-Christian bible. We will see how such techniques were used in Jesus’ short stories as well as more complex character creations in the histories and Old Testament story books – and explore how these techniques are used by playwrights today.


Jan 25                  Alex Mayfield

Do Bible Schools Count?: Re-framing Theological Education in China Before 1949

Histories of theological education in China tend to focus on large seminaries and their influential graduates. Yet, most Chinese Christian leaders were trained at Bible schools. These smaller, grassroots institutions were often short-lived and run on shoestrings, but they had a tremendous impact on the development of Chinese Christianity.  Using newly available data, this paper will provide a statistical overview of theological education in China, one that re-centers the influential role of the Bible school.


Feb 29                 Elise Kearns

Implementation Science: From the Lab to the World

Rehabilitation sciences include a sphere called implementation science, a field of research that involves studying “how” best to implement medical, social, and other discipline innovations. Implementation science offers a bridge between science and practice to all areas of research, including pedagogical research, to apply the science to a range of clients and conditions. The challenge in organizations is the gap between knowing that an innovation works, while not showing wisdom in putting that goal into practice. Implementation science offers strategies and methods across disciplines to improve services and organizational cultures.


April 4                Elizabeth Jones

Growing Old: Communicating Acceptance and Resistance

This presentation shares insights from my sabbatical project, which interrogates the tension between acceptance and resistance in the aging process. Namely, how do we accept the creaturely limits of our mortality as we resist society’s ageist stereotypes and assumptions? How do we acknowledge the losses that often accompany aging while rejecting scripts that consign older adults to invisibility? This project proceeds from a communicative perspective that examines how symbols create shared understandings of growing old.