Biblical and theological studies professor receives Northwestern teaching Excellence Award

Dr. James Mead, professor of biblical and theological studies at Northwestern College, has been named the 2023 recipient of the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award. He was honored during the college’s commencement ceremony on May 13.

The award is administered by a selection committee made up of Student Government Association members and Honors Program students. The major factor used in selecting the award winner is evidence of strong teaching ability. The committee looks at faculty vitae, service reports and course evaluations, in addition to the comments of nominators.

A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 2000, Mead previously received the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award in 2004. The author of a college textbook titled “Biblical Theology: Issues, Methods and Themes,” he is known for engaging students in his classes through the use of stories, movie clips and humor.

“Dr. Mead is an amazing professor!” wrote one student nominator. “He teaches in a way that makes the material exciting.” Another student wrote, “Dr. Mead is the best professor I’ve ever had. He makes class fun and meaningful.”

Students also express their appreciation for Mead’s caring demeanor.

“He is willing to put extra time in to help you understand the material,” wrote one. Another added, “There’s never a day in class where he doesn’t make me smile. He genuinely cares about me and the rest of his students.”

Mead held Northwestern’s Marvin and Jerene DeWitt Endowed Biblical and Theological Studies Professorship from 2015 to 2020. His research interests include Old Testament prophets as well as the theology of the Old Testament’s historical books.

Now ordained in the Reformed Church in America, Dr. Mead served as a Presbyterian pastor for 11 years prior to entering Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a doctorate in biblical studies. He also earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees from Reformed Theological Seminary. His undergraduate work was completed at Georgetown University.