After eight years and nine months it is time for me to leave Paternoster. It is my last day today (little tear slides down cheek - well, perhaps it would if I was not such a hard-hearted Englishman).
In 1999, when I was a teacher at Worcester Sixth Form College, my wife and I felt that God was saying that after two years I would have a job working in academic theology but not teaching it. In addition to that I was not to look for such a job ... so I did not. Towards the end of that two year period, on the very day that Carol was going to suggest that I did start looking for such work, I got a phone call from Mark Finnie at Paternoster Publishing (who I did not know from Adam) asking if I was interested in a job commissioning for Paternoster! Until that point I had no ideas at all what kind of job might get me involved in academic theology without teaching it. So began my life at Paternoster. In all the time I have spent working here I have never wavered in my conviction that I was in the place that God wanted me to be.
I have worked with a genuinely fabulous team of people at Authentic Media - the salt of the earth. I have also had the pleasure of working with so many lovely authors. One of the highlights of the job was getting out and meeting interesting people! And I got paid to talk theology - how cool is that! Plus, joy of joys, I got to go to Scotland on quite a few occasions (my heart is humming now even as I think of it).
Looking back over the books we published during the Parry-phase of the Paternoster story I am pleased with the direction that we took things (which is not to say that we did not make some mistakes along the way but such is life). We have developed some great series and published some corking books. It has been both a joy and a privilage to do the job I have done.
But I do feel that it is time to move on, both for me and for Paternoster, and so whilst I will miss people I have no regrets and I am excited about the future - Paternoster's and my own (with Wipf and Stock).
I am thrilled to announce that my replacement will be Dr Michael Parsons. Mike did his MPhil at London Bible College and his PhD at Spurgeon's College (it was about the husband and wife relationship in the theology of Luther and Calvin). He then moved to Perth, Australia where he was Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Murdoch University (1999-2002), Head of the Department of Christian Thought at the Baptist College in Perth (2003-2006), and Head of the Department of Christian Thought and Director of Postgraduate Research at Vose Seminary, Perth (2008-2009). 2010 saw him return to the UK to be Associate Research Fellow at Spurgeon's College, London and now to head up Paternoster.
Mike has published books and articles in the areas of New Testament studies, systematic theology, and historical theology (with Reformation being a special interest). In fact, he is already a Paternoster author having edited and contributed to Text and Task: Scripture and Mission in 2005.
Mike brings a wealth of experience working in the academy and a breadth of interest that makes him just right for the job. He is very excited about heading up Paternoster and has plenty of ideas for taking it on into its next phase.
Mike will be starting on 1st June 2010.
Well - that's about it so, without any more waffle, I will bid Paternoster adieu. As my mum taught me to say, "Thanks for a lovely meal. Please may I leave the table?"
On Monday I start work for Wipf and Stock