The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s Board of Directors has named Dr. Jennifer T. Kaalund associate professor of New Testament. She will begin June 1, 2021. Since 2016, Kaalund has served as assistant professor of religious studies at Iona College.

Pittsburgh Seminary president the Rev. Dr. David Esterline said, “Through her research as a New Testament scholar, Dr. Kaalund brings to the fore the various ways Christians, in the past and present, make meaning, while examining how race, ethnicity, gender, and class facilitate complex identity negotiations. We look forward to welcoming her to the Pittsburgh Seminary community.”

Her book Reading Hebrews and 1 Peter with the Great Migration: Diaspora, Identity, and Place (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2018) is part of the New Testament Studies series. The text explores the constructed and contested Christian-Jewish identities in Hebrews and 1 Peter through the lens of the “New Negro,” a diasporic identity formed during the Great Migration in the United States in the early 20th century. Additionally, Kaalund wrote the book chapter “In Christ, but Not of Christ: Reading Identity Differences Differently” in Minoritized Women Reading Race and Ethnicity (Fortress/Lexington Press, 2020) and co-wrote the chapter “Flowing from Breast to Breast: An Examination of Dis/placed Motherhood in Black and Indian Wet Nurses,” in Womanist Biblical Interpretation: Expanding the Discourse (Semeia, 2016).

Kaalund’s interdisciplinary research interests include contextual biblical hermeneutics, contemporary uses of the New Testament, and material culture. She’s taught courses such as Christian Scriptures; Violence, Peace, and Social Justice; the American Religious Experience; The Story of the Universe; and Women, Gender, and Religion.

“My teaching philosophy reflects my interests in collaborative and contextual learning,” says Kaalund. “I believe that students should understand that the New Testament is inextricably linked with issues of politics, history, economics, and culture. Welcoming the various contexts of the students into the classroom allows them to learn from each other. Hence, my goal is to leverage the diverse and specific cultural experiences of my students to enrich the pedagogical encounter.”

Throughout her teaching career, Kaalund has received a number of honors, awards, and recognition. In 2020, she earned the Faculty Senate’s Junior Faculty Award from Iona College. Other acknowledgments include: Fellowship and Workshop for Early Career Religion Faculty at Colleges and Universities at the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion; Dissertation Fellowship, The Fund for Theological Education; and John Paul II Award for Academic Excellence, Seton Hall University. Additionally, she’s an editorial Board Member of Bible Odyssey and for the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. She is currently serving as co-chair of the Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity unit and is a member of the steering committee for the Womanist Interpretation unit for the Society of Biblical Literature.  

Kaalund received her bachelor’s in chemistry from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; master’s in healthcare administration from Virginia Commonwealth University; master’s in theology (with distinction) with a biblical studies concentration from Seton Hall University, Immaculate Conception Seminary; STM in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary (New York); and Ph.D. in New Testament and early Christianity from The Theological School, Drew University.

Jennifer Kaalund New Testament professor in Pittsburgh