Campus Closed Monday, January 22nd

WEATHER ALERT - Grace University offices closed & classes canceled Monday, January 22, 2018 due to inclement weather.


Karl Pagenkemper

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Professor of Biblical Studies

Degree: BA, MDiv, STM, ThD, Post-doctoral Studies
Office: Admin 251
Phone Number: (402) 449-2851

Professional Profile

BA in Speech Communications from The Pennsylvania State University; MDiv from the International School of Theology; STM (double major equivalent) in Hebrew and Semitics and New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary; ThD in New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Dallas Theological Seminar; and PhD Studies (ABD) in Religion (New Testament) at Claremont Graduate University (with additional studies at University of California, Riverside and other schools).

Dr. Pagenkemper does not count his Teaching Assistance role at Penn State as part of his formal instructional career. However, he began instructing in ernest while a doctoral student at Dallas Theolgical Seminary when he was recruited to teach Intermediate Greek (Grammar, that kind of thing) and Exegetical Methods in NT Studies. Working with some outstanding colleagues and terrific students piqued my excitement about teaching. In 1990, he took a post teaching New Testament at the International School of Theology in Southern California for 12 years. (ISOT was a stand-alone seminary at that time.) During that time he was able to travel across the country and into other countries (Russia, Ukraine, Philippines, Mexico … that kind of thing). Many of these opportunities were provided due to Campus Crusade for Christ (now known as Cru). For six of those years, he also functioned as an Associate Academic Dean.

In 2002, Dr. Pagenkemper moved to Omaha to take a position as Chair of the Bible Division at Grace University, and to direct the MA in Biblical Studies (now Christian Ministries). Between 2005 and 2009, he also served as Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Teaching and Related Service

Dr. Pagenkemper’s presently splits his time between Graduate-level classes (mostly) and occasional undergraduate-level classes. (He is generally viewed as a serious threat to the academic health of undergraduate students – though it is his desire to be totally non-threatening when it comes to the spiritual formation of the students in his classes.)

Areas of teaching in the undergraduate world include the Epistles of Romans, Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, and select gospels (Matthew and John for the time being). He also regularly finds himself involved in Sr. Integration classes when it comes to papers reflecting a student’s abilities to integrate his or her discipline and various broad areas of the thought world from a Christian Worldview.

At the Graduate level, Dr. Pagenkemper chairs the MA in Christian Ministries, which includes advising most all the students in that program. He teachings regularly the class in Hermeneutics that all graduate students in all programs must take. Within the Christian Ministry degree, he teaches classes on 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans, and the Prison Epistles, along with classes on Matthew and the Gospel of John. Additionally, he teaches in the NT portion of the regularly-occuring Survey classes (Gospesl/Acts & Epistles/Revelation) that allow any student to get through the OT and the NT in six successive classes. He also teaches Greek for Exegesis in a one-year format for those students who wish to take their studies to a deeper level. He has even been known to teach the OT historical sequence of classes (Penateuch and Historical Books); this reassures his wife that his Hebrew degree can still be useful.

Strangely enough, his local church occasionally asks him to teach classes for them as well – and they even occasionally allow him near a podium for services, too.

Research and Creative Activity

Dr. Pagenkemper’s areas of study have varied widely. Since his dissertation, his first loves have been in the area of Jesus, both Historical Jesus studies and exegesis and theology of the NT gospels. Additionally, he spends much time working in Pauline studies and theology, with particular attention to Paul’s primary epistles (Romans, Corinthian Correspondence; the Prison Epistles).

Other areas of research include studies on the New Perspective on Paul and its consequent to Jesus studies and the theology of the Gospel that saves. This has also led to an abiding interest in how the how the OT is read by the NT writers and how the OT comes to find fulfillment in Christ and the New Creation that he inaugurates. Other areas have included Hermeneutics (especially in the post-postmodern world), and various dispensational issues regarding the nature of the Kingdom and the growing raprochement between Amillenialists, Premillennialists and Dispensationalists. (Time-charts, though, do relatively little for him.) Finally, Dr. Pagenkemper has a long-standing interest in the interface between science and religion (or science and faith). When he was first interested in spiritual things, while reading a book by Henry Morris, he was discouraged by a youth pastor to not get too invested in explanations about the interaction of faith and various science disciplines. T his, of course, led him to pursue this particular discussion wtih even greater interest. With a family rooted in medicine and various science disciplines, he likes to stay abreast of the hermenteutical issues that come into play as new knowledge in history, science (including biology, geology, astrophysics – not that he is anything more than a dilitant!) and philsophy challenge those of us who take the scriptural texts seriously.

Personal Sketch

Dr. Pagenkemper lives (most contentedly) with his wife of 30 years in West Omaha. He has two daughters, both of whom are attempting to drain his bank account as students at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln). After growing up in the Valley Forge area PA (2 miles west of Philadelphia), he has lived in Appalachia (W Va), in Texas and in Southern California. (He has always been amazed at how God introduced him to an astounding lady from CO to be his wife. Who knew?!) He loves Racquetball (when his knees are in good shape), can enjoy watching most of the major sports (he remains a Nittany Lion fan for life), and takes his music seriously (from Benjamin Britten to Led Zeppelin, from Joe Satriani to Yes and Rush, from Beethoven to Chase, Jars of Clay and Chris Tomlin). He has a Kindle the is pressing its memory, along with Kindle apps for his iPad and his iPhone (he hates to be anywhere without a book). Finally, he has two cats and a dog who crave his attention.

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