Below is a list of the better or more interesting books and articles I read for my classwork during the second semester of my third (and last!) year of my Master of Divinity program at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

It was my lightest semester, reading-wise.  I graduated in May.

I posted a similar list for each of my first five semesters, herehere, here, here, and here.

I attempted to group the books and articles by topic.  My classes my second semester, third year:  Ministries of Pastoral Care with Dr. Mark Jensen (items 4-9 in the list below), Ancient Hebrew II with Dr. Clint Moyer (10-12), Culinary Culture in Black Religious Experience with Dr. Derek Hicks (items 13-17), Spirituality of the Enneagram with Dr. Christopher Copeland (items 18-20), an independent study on issues associated with women in ministry with Dr. Neal Walls (item 21), Religion in American Public Life with Dr. Melissa Rogers (items 22-24), and a Public Theology Internship with Dr. John Senior (items 25-32).

This list includes less than half of our assigned reading.  We read a large number of interesting articles for Culinary Culture in Black Religious Experience and many articles for other classes that are not listed here.

For most of the items listed below, we read the entire work.  For some of them—the Bibles, etc.—we read only part.

Below my classwork list is a list of some of the other books recommended during the semester by people I trust.

The cite formatting varies and is often non-standard.  It became too time-consuming to standardize all the cites for the purpose of a blog article and my natural cite format after 25 years of law practice (mostly the Blue Book) is different from standard academic formatting.  Maybe you will forgive me?

The ones marked with a ** are the ones I recommend for a broader audience.

The list—

  1. ** The HarperCollins Study Bible, Revised Edition, edited by Harold W. Attridge, San Francisco: HarperOne, 2006.
  2. ** The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Third Edition, New Revised Standard Version, New York:  Oxford University Press, 2001.
  3. ** The New Interpreter’s Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version With the Apocrypha, Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 2003.
  4. Carrie Doehring, The Practice of Pastoral Care (Revised and Expanded Edition)
  5. Ewan Kelly, Personhood and Presence: Self as a resource for spiritual and pastoral care. 
  6. Robert Dykstra, Images of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings.
  7. Elaine Ramshaw, Ritual and Pastoral Care, Philadelphia: Fortress Press (1987).
  8. L. Annie Foerster, For Praying Out Loud:  Interfaith Prayers for Public Occasions, Boston: Skinner House Books (2003).
  9. ** Teresa Blythe, 50 Ways to Pray:  Practices From Many Traditions and Times.  Nashville:  Abingdon Press, 2006.
  10. Duane A. Garrett and Jason S. DeRouchie,  A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, Nashville: B&H Academic, 2009.
  11. Francis Brown et al., The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Hendrickson Publishing, 1996.
  12. JPS Torah Commentary.
  13. Anne L. Bower, editor, African American Foodways: Explorations of History &
    Culture. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2007.
  14. Jessica B. Harris, High On the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America,
    New York: Bloomsbury, 2011
  15. Derek S. Hicks, “An Unusual Feast: Gumbo and the Complex Brew of Black
    Religion.” In Religion, Food, and Eating in North America. Ben Zeller, Marie
    Dallam, et al., Editors, New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.
  16. Derek S. Hicks, Reclaiming Spirit in the Black Faith Tradition. New York: Palgrave
    Macmillan, 2012.
  17. Leonard Norman Primiano, “And As We Dine, We Sing And Praise God: Father and Mother Divine’s Theologies of Food,” in Religion, Food, and Eating in North America, Ben Zeller, Marie Dallam, et al., Editors, New York: Columbia University Press, 2014, pages 42-67.
  18. David N. Daniels and Virginia Ann Price, The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide, San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000.
  19. Sandra Maitri, The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram. New York, NY: Tarcher/Penguin, 2000.
  20. Helen Palmer, The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life, San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.
  21. Presented the resulting paper at the 2019 Stone-Campbell Journal Conference.  The paper can be found here.
  22. ** J. Philip Wogaman, Christian Perspectives on Politics (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000)
  23. Religious Expression in American Public Life: A Joint Statement of Current Law, Wake Forest University Center for Religion and Public Affairs (January 2010)
  24. Introduction and Executive Summary of Serving People in Need; Safeguarding Religious Freedom, The Brookings Institution, Wake Forest University Divinity School Center for Religion and Public Affairs (December 2008),
  25. Benjamin R. Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin, She Preached the Word, New York: Oxford University Press (2018).
  26. Tim and Anne Evans, “Female Elders:  Selective Literalism,” (November 30, 2015).
  27. ** Two Views on Women in Ministry (Revised Edition), ed. by Stanley N. Gundry (series editor) Grand Rapids:  Zondervan (2005).
  28. Gospel Advocate (older issues).
  29. Sermons from “Death Row”: God’s Glory Shines in the Darkness (Volumes 1 and 2).
  30. Robert C. Douglas, The Exercise of Informal Power Within the Church of Christ: Black Civil Rights, Muted Justice, and Denominational Politics
  31. ** Wes Crawford, Shattering the Illusion: How African American Churches of Christ Moved from Segregation to Independence.
  32. Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Also, here is a list of some of the books suggested to me during the first semester of my third year of divinity school by people I respect, in no particular order (I have not read ,most of these):.

  1. Ian Christopher LevyIntroducing Medieval Biblical Interpretation: The Senses of Scripture in Premodern Exegesis.
  2. Peter J. WilliamsCan We Trust the Gospels?
  3. Bill J. Leonard, The Challenge of Being Baptist: Owning a Scandalous Past and an Uncertain Future.
  4. Bill J. Leonard, Baptists in America (Columbia Contemporary American Religion Series). 
  5. Timothy Keller Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.
  6. Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert. The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. New York: Crossroad, 2001.
  7. T. Scott Womble, Beyond Reasonable Doubt
  8. Leonard C. Allen, Distant Voices: Uncovering a Forgotten Past for a Changing Church
  9. ** Billy T. Ogletree, Mean Christianity: Finding Our Way Back to Christ’s Likeness.
  10. Carol Howard Merritt, Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting With a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church
  11. John Swinton, From Bedlam to Shalom: Toward a Practical Theology of Human Nature, Interpersonal Relationships, and Mental Health Care (2000)
  12. Kevin Pendergrass, A Different Kind of Poison: How Legalism Destroys Grace
  13. Jemar Tisby, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism
  14. Frank A. Thomas, How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon
  15. Jonathan G. Kline, Keep Up Your Biblical Greek in Two Minutes a Day: Vol 1 (The 2 Minutes a Day Biblical Language Series) (English and Greek Edition)
  16. Jonathan G. Kline, Keep Up Your Biblical Hebrew in Two Minutes a Day, Vol. 1 (The 2 Minutes a Day Biblical Language Series
  17. ** Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  18. Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
  19. James R. Edwards, Between the Swastika and the Sickle: The Life, Disappearance, and Execution of Ernst Lohmeyer
  20. ** Kara Powell, Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church
  21. Lenny Duncan, Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US
  22. Elizabeth MacKinlay, Spiritual Growth and Care in the Fourth Age of Life

What books would you add to this list of theological books to read?  I would love to hear from you.

Happy reading!



Sources and Notes

The picture is one I took during graduation at Wake Forest University, May 2019.