R. Scott Nash
Teaching at Mercer, for me, can be summed up in two words: curiosity and commitment. I’ve always been curious, especially about why life is the way it is and how it came to be this way.
This curiosity compels me to ask questions and seek answers about the crucial issues that give life meaning. Mercer provides an arena for doing this and zealously protects the freedom we all need to pursue our quest for understanding. Commitment, for me, primarily means being faithful to my sense of calling as a Christian minister. As a teaching minister, this means being committed to my students, to my colleagues in the department, to the goals of the College of Liberal Arts, and to the mission of the university. At Mercer I have found encouragement and respect for living out this commitment in a context of faith and learning.
At Mercer I teach a variety of courses, including introductory courses in both the Old and New Testaments. My major field of expertise is actually the New Testament, specifically the historical contexts of early Christianity, especially as it relates to the Apostle Paul. I’m curious about how and why the church developed as it did. I also teach Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written. Recently, I began teaching World Religions, a study that I think contributes to a better understanding of my own faith. I also teach a senior capstone on Death and Dying, a course that deals as much with living as with dying.
One special group of courses I teach takes place in Greece. Since 1990 I have traveled to Greece almost every summer to participate in archaeological excavation work in association with the Ohio State Excavations at Isthmia, a project sponsored by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Since 1998 I have taken groups of Mercer students with me to learn about archaeology and how it can inform our study of early Christianity. We spend much of our time in Ancient Korinth and at nearby Isthmia. We also travel extensively throughout Greece.
Above all, as a professor, I hope to engender in students a healthy curiosity that leads them to ask questions and seek answers. I also hope that they will find their own callings and commit their lives to fulfilling it.