"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9
|Faculty Introduction: Jennifer Davidson|
"Worship is a unique opportunity for people to come together and intentionally open themselves to the presence of God, and that is an astonishing thing," she said. "My goal is to help people realize the privilege that we, as worship leaders have, to draw people into that experience."
She sees teaching and worship as closely related experiences with the Holy Spirit playing an essential role. "I believe we need to invite the Holy Spirit into the classroom and into our teaching as well as into worship. Ultimately it's the Holy Spirit that shapes both worship and the classroom."
Professor Davidson, with her husband Doug and son Elliot, have lived in the Bay area for six years. They moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so that she could pursue a Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies with Systematic and Philosophical Theology as an allied field. Professor Davidson selected the GTU for doctoral study to stay close to her theological roots. "I wanted to study worship as an American Baptist," she explained, "there are not many places to do that." She received the Presidential Scholarship from the Graduate Theological Union for her first two years of course work and was awarded a Henry Mayo Newhall Teaching Fellowship in 2006.
Professor Davidson earned a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and her undergraduate degree, in Secondary Education and English Literature, from Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania.
Professor Davidson's professional experience includes pastoral ministry, teaching, and writing. She is pleased to be able to combine her interests and prior experience into her current work.
"The things I love the most, worship, writing, teaching, and justice, all of these strands, what I thought were separate strands, actually wove together into the position that I have today."
As a teacher she believes that students know what they most need to learn and she wants to help "facilitate the learning process....Part of my role is to be in service to what students know they need to learn."
Off-campus interests range from reading, hiking, and cooking to activities involved with her church, Shell Ridge Community Church in Walnut Creek, where she has served on the pastoral staff as Minister of Worship and Spiritual Growth.
Many off-campus activities revolve around her 11 year old son, Elliot and her husband of nearly 17 years, Doug Davidson. Describing herself jokingly as a " hockey mom without the lipstick," she explains that "it's always clear to me where my priorities are, because I have the privilege of being a mom." She met her husband Doug, a professional freelance editor, while in college.
Whether it's working in the church, planning a chapel worship service or teaching a class, Professor Davidson feels blessed in her work.
"I am blessed to do what I love -- worship, teaching, and writing -- and I feel fortunate all these pieces shape my every day life."