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W. Derek Suderman

Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theological Studies

W. Derek Suderman

(519) 885-0220 ext. 24212
Office:  CGUC 4207
* email or personal appointments are preferred

BTh, Canadian Mennonite Bible College (now Canadian Mennonite Univ.), 1993.
BA (History/PACS), University of Waterloo, 1996
BEd, Brock University, 1997
MTS, Conrad Grebel University College, 2000
PhD, University of St. Michael’s College, 2007

Research Areas:

Psalms, Lament, Prayer, Wisdom Literature, Biblical Methodologies

Courses Taught:

RS 130 - The Bible
RS 232 - The Hebrew Prophets
RS 237 - Inclusion and Exclusion in the Bible
RS 338 - Seeking Wisdom in the Bible

TS 610 - Reading and Teaching the Old Testament
TS 715 - Special Topics in Old Testament Exegesis (various): Isaiah;  Psalms; Wisdom Literature; Job; Minor Prophets

Selected Publications:

  • “Prayer” and “Psalm/Psalmist/Book of Psalms” in Dictionary of the Bible and Western Culture: A Handbook for Students. Edited by Mary Ann Beavis and Michael Gilmour. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2012.
  • “Wrestling with Violent Depictions of God: A Response to Eric Seibert’s Disturbing Divine Behavior,” Direction, Fall, 2011.
  • “In Search of Divine Wisdom: Perspectives on MCC from Old Testament Wisdom,” Conrad Grebel Review, Winter 2011, pp. 71-89.
  • “Are Individual Complaint Psalms Really Prayers? Recognizing Social Address as Characteristic of Individual Complaints.”  In The Bible as a Human Witness to Divine Revelation. Edited by Randall Heskett and Brian Irwin. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies 469. London and New York: T & T Clark International, 2010, pp. 153-70.
  • “Who’ll Be a Witness for My Lord? Testimony in the Old Testament,” Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology, Fall 2009, pp. 5-12.
  • “Modest or Magnificent? Lotus vs. Lily in Canticles,” in Catholic Biblical Quarterly vol. 77, No.1, January 2005, pp. 42-58.

Selected Activities: 

Professional Contributions

  • Member of the Editorial Council of the Believer’s Church Bible Commentary Series, 2004-
  • Member of the Executive of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, 2005-2007
  • Member of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (CSBS)

Selected Activities

  • Participating as a ‘Faith Partner’ on the YELLA! Young adult trip to Israel in May, 2012, sponsored by Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada and Mennonite Central Committee.

Presented Papers and Workshops

  • Leading “It Only Takes a Spark: Engaging the Word,” a day-long workshop on facilitating Bible study for church leaders in Vineland ON, Jan. 2012.
  • Presented a paper entitled “Created Male and Female: ’adam, Gender, and the Consequences of Disobedience” at the 5th Mennonite-Christian / Shi’ah-Muslim Dialogue in Winnipeg MB, June 2011.
  • Presented several papers at the Society of Biblical Literature meetings in Atlanta GA in Nov. 2010:
  • “Hearing Jussives at Work: An Exploration of Rhetorical Function in Individual Lament Psalms,” “Deaf Communities: Considering the Ethical Cost of Losing Lament,” and “Wrestling with Violent Depictions of God: A Response to Eric Seibert’s Disturbing Divine Behavior.”
  • Presented an invited Lecture to the Biblical Department of Fribourg University (Fribourg, Switzerland) entitled, “The Rhetorical Function of Social Address in Individual Complaint Psalms,” Apr. 22, 2010.
  • Numerous Bible Study Series on multiple topics (Jonah, Ruth, Psalms, Wisdom) in Southern Ontario churches, as well as at the Eglise Evangélique Mennonite in St. Genis Pouilly, France, Winter 2010.

 Previous Experience

      Before coming to Grebel, Derek has worked as:

  • a Conflict Resolution trainer with JustaPaz in Colombia, South America and the Network for Conflict Resolution in Waterloo, ON;  
  • a Community Service Worker in Provincial and Federal Penitentiaries (Headingley and Stony Mountain), including as the Inmate Response Coordinator for the Headingley Riot Review, with the John Howard Society of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB.
  • an ESL teacher.

Fellowships and Awards:

  • Teaching Fellow in Biblical Hebrew, Emmanuel College (Toronto School of Theology), 2001-2003.

Web Page:

University of Waterloo

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