David Otto

Professor of Religious Studies and
Crawford Chair of Liberal Arts
Centenary College of Louisiana
P.O. Box 41188
Shreveport, LA 71134-1188
318. 869.5051 (O)
318. 869.5168 (F)
email

Education

Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport, Louisiana

May, 1983
B.A., Christian Education Graduated with honors.
Member of Alpha Chi, Omicron Delta Kappa

Scarritt Graduate School, Nashville, Tennessee

May, 1985
M.A., Christian Education

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

May, 1990
Ed.D., Religious Education and Contemporary Theology
Dissertation: Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World: A Dialogue Between French Structuralism and Practical Theology in Search of a Model of Emergence for Religious Education in Human Cultures

Professional Experience

August 2012-Present

Crawford Chair of Liberal Arts and
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport, LA

August 2006-2012

Arthur and Emily Webb Professor of International Studies and
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport, LA.

August 2001-Present

Professor of Religious Studies
Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport, LA.

May 1995-August, 2001

Associate Professor of Religion and Department Chair
Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport, LA.

July, 1998- May 2004

Adjunct Professor in Christian Education
Methodist Theological School of Ohio, Delaware, Ohio
Taught COS 203 (Christian Formation), COS 502 (Word of God: John and James) and ED 110 (Adolescent World) on weekend format. Focused on teaching methodology, theory, and practice. Received excellent evaluation from both participants and COS Director.

August 1997

Visiting Associate Professor of Christian Education
Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University,Forth Worth, Texas
Taught graduate course entitled "Teaching the Bible in the Community of Faith". Focused on recent developments in biblical scholarship and the methods by which pastors can educate congregations in the viability and use of these methods; assessment of printed Bible study material, homiletics as instructional narrative, liberation models of Bible study, and the role of biblical narrative in shaping the educational ministries of the parish. Received well by students.

June 1994-2004

Visiting Assistant Professor/ Adjunct Professor of Christian Education
Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
Taught graduate-level courses on adolescent ministries, focusing on adolescent development, learning strategies, building comprehensive programs of youth ministry within a local parish and forms of youth ministry not located on-site (such as collaboratives and community centers). Also shared current research on gang community and religious life.

May 1990- May 1995

Assistant Professor of Religious Education
Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport, Louisiana

Professional Papers and Lectures

2013 World Religion Day
Keynote Speaker on "Beyond Religious Dialogue"
Highland Center, Shreveport, LA
January 27, 2013

2010 Greater Houston Leadership Education Conference
Keynote Speaker on I Timothy 6:18-19
Chapelwood United Methodist Church, Houston, TX
September 18, 2010

Texas Conference Cooperative School of Mission
Lectures on the Epistles of John that promote spiritual growth
Lakeview Conference Center, Palestine, TX
July 29-31, 2010

Keynote Address
"The Church, Economy and Environment: Facing Hard Times"
March 1, 2010
Louisiana Interchurch Conference
Monroe, LA

"Parables of Jesus" Five Lectures
Christian Educators’ Fellowship and the Board of Christian Education
California-Pacific Annual Conference
Costa Mesa, CA
February 20-22, 2009

Four Lectures
"Recent Research on Matthew and Its Implications for National Youth Workers"
November 30-December 3, 2008
Ecumenical Youth Ministry Staff Conference
St. Simons Island, GA

Keynote Address
"Church’s Role in Advocacy and Social Justice"
September 8, 2008
Louisiana Interchurch Conference
Alexandria, LA

Keynote Address and Dialogue Sermon
"The Role of Faith in Christian Education"
Kansas Annual Conference Christian Educators Conference
Wichita, KA
April 4-6, 2008

Fashioning Faith-Forming Relationships"
January 5-8, 2008
Texas Annual Conference Christian Educators Convention.
Delivered a series of five lectures.

Bible Study Leader
October 5-9, 2006
2006 Christian Educators Fellowship National Convention
Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and Retreat Center

"How to Evaluate Web Pages"
September 13, 2005
School of Theological Studies; Centenary College of Louisiana
Lecture for students enrolled in "Introduction to Hebrew Bible."

"Healing the World, Healing the Self: Comparing Tibetan Buddhist Mandalas to Navajo Sandpaintings"
March 15, 2005
Meadows Museum, Centenary College

"Building the Inclusive Church Workshop"
November 5-7, 2004
Wallingford United Methodist Church, Seattle, WA.

"Biblical Images for the Future of Religious Education"
October 14-18, 2004
Christian Educator's Fellowship, National Conference, New Orleans, LA.

"Old Testament Words, Modern Day Issues"
October 4-6, 2002
Christian Educator's Fellowship, National Conference, Norfolk, VA.

"Sacred Words, Secular World: The Use of Religious Language in Political and Public Discourse in Kenya,1991-2002"
June 16, 2002
International Studies in East Africa Conference, Mombasa, Kenya

"Switching Places: Gender Inversion in the Gospel of John"
June 14, 2001
University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Global Partners Nairobi 2001 Faculty Development Program

The ACS Archaeology Program: Hacimusalar 2000 Archeological Field School. Served for 6.5 weeks as archeological photographer. Demonstrated competencies in digital and conventional 35mm photography Adobe Photoshop 5.5, Debabalizer, Quicktime Video Authoring Software, and HTML. Over 400 photos from the dig published in professional journals.

"Old Testament Words, Modern Day Issues"
October 2-6, 2000
Christian Educator's Fellowship, National Conference, San Diego, CA.

"Transformations in Turkey: Economics, Polity and Religion"
June 10-22, 2000
International Faculty Development Conference, Istanbul, Turkey
Invited as one of nine professors from the United States to participate in this program, designed to promote scholarly exploration and conversation on the critical socio-religious struggle occurring in Turkey.

"Hear Our Voices", Methodist Federation for Social Action
January, 2000
Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church
Keynote address in both morning and afternoon sessions.

"Meeting the People of God", multimedia Plenary Session exploring the multiple "voices" within Religious Education
November 3-5, 2000 Atlanta, GA.
Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education Convention

"Gender Benders, Role Defenders and the Bible"
July 29-August 1, 1999
National Reconciling Congregations Convocation; Denton, TX.
Two-day series of lectures. Used Queer Theory to construct a radical, liberation reading strategy for the First and Second Testaments.

"Ethics and Moral Values with Youth"
January 11-15, 1999
Youth Ministry University
Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.
Taught same course at Perkins, January 1998.

"Urbanization and Youth Ministry for the 21st Century"
January 11-15, 1999
Youth Ministry University
Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
Taught same course at Perkins, January 1998.

"Theological and Educational Acts of Reconciliation"
May 24, 1998
West Kansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Salina, Kansas.

"Yahwistic Notions of Future and the Theological Implications for Land"
March, 1998
Earth Care Summit, Chattanooga, Tennessee

"Equal Discipleship: Biblical Images of Justice"
October 1997
Texas Conference Church and Society Convention

"Theological Issues of Justice in a Pluralistic World",
October, 1997
Texas Conference Church and Society Convention

"Word G! Gang Violence, Deconstruction and the Kin(g)dom of God:
A Theoretical Model of Religious Education for the Urban Streets"
November, 1996
Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education
Annual National Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana

"Living in America at the End of the Millennium: ‘Rent’, Post Modern Theology and
the Future of Asking Questions"
January 1997
Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK
Paper delivered while present as Theologian-in-Residence

Appeared on Donahue to discuss the history and practices of Hoodooism
October 19, 1996
New York City, New York
Based on previous graduate research and presentations. Research in this area also presented in The New York Times, New Yorker magazine and several radio interviews, including segments on NPR’s "All Things Considered" and BBC’s "Voice of Europe".

"The Teaching and Nurturing Church: The Future of Curriculum"
August, 1994
United Methodist Scholars in Christian Education (UMASCE) Conference
Jekyll Island, Georgia
A series of paper/multimedia presentations delivered as plenary sessions.

Numerous appearance at local churches to teach Adult Sunday school classes.

(Complete listing of Professional Papers and Presentations available on request)

Publications

"Talking About God" (in process)
thethoughtfulchristian.com (2014)

"Homosexuality: United Methodists at the Crossroads"
thethoughtfulchristian.com (2014)

"What do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe?"
thethoughfulchristian.com (2014)

"What do Seventh Day Adventists Believe?"
thethoughtfulchrisitian.com (2014)

Authored several sessions in a youth-oriented curricular resource, Just Peace, to be published by the World Council of Churches. 2013

"What Is Discipleship?" A six-session Adult Bible Lenten Series 2011
The Thoughtful Christian

Insiders' Guide: Shreveport (2010). Guilford, CN: Globe Pequot Press.

"Journeys of Paul: Recent Research" A three-part article (2008).The Thoughtful Christian

"Hospitality in the New Testament" (2008)
The Thoughtful Christian

"Hospitality in the Hebrew Bible" (2008).
The Thoughtful Christian

"What is Scientology?" (2007). The Thoughtful Christian

Four Bible Studies (DVD format; sold via Good News Ministries)
October 5-9, 2006
2006 Christian Educators Fellowship National Convention
Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

"'Miracles of Jesus (2000) Nashville: Abingdon Press.

Covenant: Living with Promises. (1999) Nashville: Abingdon Press.

"National Reconciling Congregations Bible Study", four-session, VHS format with study guide
National Reconciling Congregations Program of The United Methodist Church, Chicago, Illinois.

Reality Check: A Guide for Redesigning Youth Ministry. (1995) Nashville: Discipleship Resource.

"Scriptures Alive", 87 episodes. Broadcast internationally on ODYSSEY network, based in New York.
Each 30-minute episode, co-produced through United Methodist Communications in Nashville explores a current social issue from theological and biblical perspectives.

"Discovering Who We Are" a chapter in Follow Me!, the official United Methodist Confirmation
curriculum resource material (1993). Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House.

"Using the Foundations Document with Adult Workers with Youth" for Foundations: A Statement of Christian Education in The United Methodist Church. (1995). Discipleship Resources.

Guidelines for Leading Your Church: Youth Ministry in Guideline Series (1992) Nashville: Abingdon Press.

(Complete listing of publications available upon request)

Workshops and other Presentations

Professionally, I have conducted numerous workshops on the local, regional and national levels focusing on Christian Education, gay theology, biblical studies and the relationship of religion to culture. A comprehensive listing of workshop titles and locations available on request. Also, I often teach Adult Sunday school classes in Shreveport.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • Society for Biblical Literature
  • Association of Professors and Researchers in Religion Education
  • Christian Educators Fellowship
  • United Methodist Scholars in Christian Education
Share |