Religion prof earns doctorate

John Vonder Bruegge, assistant professor of religion at Northwestern College, has earned a doctoral degree from Yale University after successfully defending his dissertation this spring. He will be awarded a Ph.D. in religious studies from Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences during commencement ceremonies May 23.

Vonder Bruegge’s dissertation is entitled “Mapping Galilee: Josephus, Luke and John in Light of Critical Geography.” Vonder Bruegge studied Galilee during the time of Jesus Christ, drawing upon critical spatial theory to analyze key ancient texts such as the Gospels, the writings of Josephus, and Greco-Roman historiography.

A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 2004, Vonder Bruegge received Northwestern’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2009. His teaching interests include early Christian history and literature, the New Testament and archaeology, Johannine literature, and Josephus and ancient Judaism.

Vonder Bruegge previously earned a Master of Theology degree from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri.