Giving a warm, Whitworth welcome to one of the newest additions to the Whitworth English department:
Dr. Jake Andrews,
Starting out at Troy State (now called Troy) because he received a scholarship from opportunity, and like many other cases, because parents want us to go to certain colleges for any number of reasons. Dr. Andrews had an idea of what he wanted to do, and he wanted to major in English. He’s a lover of books and stories, the characters, and the act of reading; getting lost in other worlds and escaping reality. Because of his love for books, the lack of an English degree at Troy, and because he didn’t want to be a Journalist, Dr. Andrews transferred to the University of Alabama some time into his sophomore year. From then, he was working full time in the day as he was a full-time student at night, returning to the day-student schedule at Alabama. He was actively paving his own way for his future through the hard work and dedication, which earned him his undergraduate degree in English and a minor in creative writing starting him on the adventures and journey of his life.
From University of Alabama, he took the opportunity to attend seminary in Birmingham, Alabama, because, as he said, he was a “pony-tail having, goatee having, Birkenstock wearing” youth intern in college. He led worship and was a worship singer for the campus ministry, becoming the youth director for 9 months of seminary. While Dr. Andrews was in seminary, he was given the opportunity to go to the UK for four weeks studying the English Reformation, when his wife and he decided they wanted to live in Britain. Someone had given Dr. Andrews the advice to apply for grad school in Scotland, and to major in theology and interpretation instead of majoring in the New Testament, which at the time he wasn’t finding very interesting as a path of study. He published his dissertation, Hermeneutics and the Church, and spent four years teaching and researching theology at the Universities of St. Andrews and Cambridge.
Dr. Andrews became an English professor because creative writing and literature gave him the opportunity to explore his faith through writing. He has always been a writer, and he can continue this theological pursuit through fiction. The draft of one of his fiction pieces got him into the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Leaving England, he began his next chapter of life in Iowa, where he finished a novel and received an honorable mention award and began teaching English and creative writing as a lecturer for Iowa State.
So why did Dr. Andrews transition from Theology into English?
He is still very wise in the Theological aspect of his education, an ordained deacon in the Episcopal church. Dr. Andrews loves reading and writing. He didn’t just pick one, he brought the two together! Theology and English are two parts to the same identity, blending them together and boosting more interest, exploration of one by using the other. Any student interested in this different way of viewing faith, or that wants to try this way of approaching faith and discovery, should feel free and confident to reach out to Dr. Andrews. He is always willing and ready to have a conversation about either topic of fiction writing, or about Theological texts and understanding. He really is a Jack of Many Trades, a very wise and well-educated individual that the Whitworth English department is proud to welcome!