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Nov 11 / Steve Runge

The Runges are on the Move (Hopefully)

Glenda and I have entered a period of transition as I apply for a position that will finally enable me to teach regularly. I first started this process two years ago based on a growing desire to get into the classroom and the recognition the long-term projects I’ve worked on at Faithlife are nearing completion. My intention all through grad school was primarily to teach with some research, whereas my current position has been a mixture of research, marketing and product management.

Back in October, 2006, Faithlife hired into an experimental position, essentially a two-year post-doc to try and convert my concept of an annotated Greek NT into a product. Thanks to collaboration with Rick Brannan, Eli Evans and others, the result was the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and (thanks to Bob Pritchett’s urging) the High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition. Words fail to describe my gratitude for the opportunity to build the teaching resources I had been conceptualizing during my doctoral research, for without Faithlife’s support I seriously doubt they would have come to fruition. The commercial success of the NT discourse databases caught all of us by surprise. Maybe there was a need for more resources like this? The publication of Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament in 2008 (digital) and in 2010 (print) confirmed that people were hungry for explanations of features typically attributed to stylistic variation and such. At that point I stopped applying for teaching positions in order to continuing building the resources I envisioned using for teaching Greek and Hebrew exegesis. With the help of Josh Westbury and Kris Lyle, the Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible project was released in 2012. The next five years were devoted to supporting the creation of databases for Logos Bible Software base packages, writing High Definition Commentaries, and creating video products for Logos Mobile Ed and Faithlife Today.

Now eleven years into my experimental, two-year post-doc, I am more convinced that ever that the remaining projects on my to-do list are best pursued in conjunction with classroom teaching, something that full-time employment at Faithlife can’t support. Plans are in place for me to continue close collaboration with them on datasets, but as a part-time contractor like so many others have done. In the meantime I’ll continue working full-time.

There are also a number of personal factors driving this decision. This year I turned 50, saw our younger daughter graduate from high school and our older daughter continue to flourish in university. Glenda and I are almost empty nesters. I also marked the one-year anniversary of my father’s death and the three-year anniversary of my mother’s, meaning my responsibilities looking after their affairs here in town have ended. I enjoyed the one-month sabbatical that Faithlife grants employees after ten years of service, but long for the longer breaks that are a natural part of campus life. I realized that if I am ever going to join a green-campus faculty and enjoy summer research time and a longer, traditional, academic sabbatical, time is ticking to make the transition. The search for a teaching position that I began two years ago was suspended after discussion with those supervising me. The additional year turned out to be a blessing, allowing me to bury my dad without him needing to move him late in life and my daughter to complete her senior year without a move. But after having the same discussion again with my supervisors, all agreed that it made sense to begin seeking out what’s next for the Runges.

I have slowly been slowly getting the word out that I’m searching for a teaching position, but have been reluctant to broadcast the news. However, in light of the tight job market and my being outside traditional academic networks, it seemed prudent to let folks know. My hope is to find a position that would allow me to teach Greek exegesis and NT exposition along with the opportunity to supervise theses, but I m happy teaching larger survey courses as well. If you know of positions or are interested in starting a dialogue with me about the possibilities, please let me know.

2 Comments

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  1. Adam Olean / Nov 11 2017

    Steve, I’m grateful for your work at Faithlife! It was a blessing to me when I had become discontented with the state of biblical language pedagogy. Your work—along with many others, such as, Randall Buth, Stephen Levinsohn, and your current and former colleagues at Faithlife (and elsewhere)—has helped me to begin understanding and interacting with the biblical languages as actual languages. Go figure! That’s what I had set out to do all along. I had just run into many bumps, turns, roundabouts, obstacles, and roadblocks along the way. I look forward to seeing what stewardship opportunities the Lord brings your way!

  2. Steve Runge / Nov 11 2017

    Many thanks, Adam, glad to hear our work has been useful!

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