0 Sarah Derck

Sarah Derck

Sarah Derck

Associate Professor of Old Testament; Chair, Religion and Global Service

Sarah is associate professor of Old Testament at Houghton. She completed her Ph.D. thesis in 2012, titled “Barrenness Beyond the Narratives: An Examination of Barrenness as a Symbol of God’s (Dis)Favour in Hebrew Scripture.” In addition to revising her thesis for publication, she has written two commentaries for the New Beacon Bible Commentary series, Ruth and Song of Songs (forthcoming August 2020). She loves to preach and is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. She has served as both a college chaplain and an associate pastor in an urban church plant in Manchester, England. She holds membership in the Society of Biblical Literature, Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy, and Wesleyan Theological Society. Her particular areas of research and teaching interest include women’s narratives, Wisdom Literature/Megillot, and preaching the Old Testament. Sarah and her husband, Joshua, love to travel, browse antique shops, and read and snuggle with their children, Joseph and Miriam.


  • Ph.D., Nazarene Theological College/University of Manchester (2012)
    Old Testament Studies
    Dissertation title: Barrenness beyond the Narratives: an Examination of Barrenness as a Symbol of God’s (Dis)Favour in Hebrew Scripture
  • M.A., Nazarene Theological Seminary (2002)
    Theological studies (Biblical research, Old Testament), summa cum laude
    Thesis title: Barrenness in the Old Testament: Recovering the Metaphor
    Certificate, Cross-cultural Ministries
    Post-degree studies pursuant to Ph.D. preparation and ordination
  • B.A., Indiana Wesleyan University (1999)
    Biblical literature, magna cum laude
  • Additional attendance at:
    Roberts Wesleyan College (10 credit hours pre-college work, 1991-1995)
    Nazarene Bible College (6 credit hours toward ordination., 2007)

Teaching Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Old Testament
    Houghton College – Houghton, NY (2012-present)

    • Courses Taught: Biblical Hebrew 1&2, Biblical Literature, OT Prophets, Pentateuch
  • Adjunct Faculty, Biblical Languages and Literature
    Nazarene Theological Seminary – Kansas City, MO (2008-present)

    • Courses Taught: LNG510, Introduction to Biblical Languages (online)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Old Testament
    Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, IN (2011-2012)

    • Courses Taught: Biblical Greek 1&2, Biblical Hebrew 1&2, Inductive Bible Study, OT
      Survey, and Wisdom Literature
  • Sessional Lecturer, Biblical Studies
    Nazarene Theological College – Manchester, UK (2008-2011)

    • Courses Taught: Introduction to Biblical Languages (B.A.); Orientation Course, “Living the Kingdom Adventure” (B.A.); Christian Holiness in Biblical Perspective (M.A.);
      Teaching Assistantundergraduate Old Testament courses
  • Hebrew Bible Faculty, United Methodist Course of Study
    Saint Paul School of Theology – Kansas City, MO (2007-2009)

    • Courses Taught: COS411: Hebrew Bible II
  • Teaching Assistant, Biblical Studies Department
    Nazarene Theological Seminary – Kansas City, MO (2001-2002)

    • Courses Taught: HEB510, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew and HEB610, Intermediate Biblical Hebrew

Ministry Experience and Credentials

  • Ordained Elder
    Church of the Nazarene (2011)
  • Chaplain and Director of Ministerial and Spiritual Formation
    Nazarene Theological College – Manchester, UK (2009-2011)

    • Provided pastoral care and counseling to student body, faculty, and staff
    • Planned, implemented, and led spiritual life programming: weekly chapel and communion services, morning prayers, retreats, Spiritual Renewal Week, etc.
    • Oversaw pastoral care groups, facilitated by faculty/staff for all students
    • Oversaw ministerial placement program for practical theology students
    • Supervised student resident assistant
  • Associate Pastor at church plant in urban Manchester
    Didsbury Community Church of the Nazarene – Didsbury, UK (2008-2010)

    • Taught and preached in main worship services and discipleship meetings
    • Developed discipleship tools and oversaw small group program
    • Mentored student ministry assistants
  • Ministry Program Assistant/Women Clergy Facilitator
    Clergy Development, International Church of the Nazarene – Kansas City, MO (2002-2007)

    • Edited new Course of Study curriculum for the denomination.
    • Developed resources and denominational support for women clergy.
    • Coordinated and ran clergy training conferences across the U.S. and Canada.
    • Coordinated over 1,000 workshops for PALCON 2004 clergy conferences.
    • Maintained the department’s family of websites.
    • Provided administrative support to the denomination’s 600+ evangelists.
    • Served as editorial assistant for department publications:
      • Preacher’s Magazine
      • Soul Care Newsletter
      • GROW Magazine
      • New Horizons Newsletter for Women in Ministry
      • The Evangelist’s Perspective magazine.



“Love in the Old Testament: Insights from Ruth and Song of Songs.” In The Bible Tells Me So: Reading the Bible as Scripture. Edited by Thomas J. Oord and Richard P. Thompson. Nampa, ID: SacraSage Press, 2011.

RuthA Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition. New Beacon Bible Commentary. Kansas City:Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City (forthcoming 2014).

Song of Songs: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition. With Joseph E. Coleson. New Beacon Bible CommentaryKansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City (forthcoming 2014).


Bible Studies on Women in Ministry. Editor. Kansas City: Wynkoop Center for Women in Ministry, 2007.
“Infertility in the Ancient Near East.” Illustrated Bible Life (Spring 2007).
“Prophecy.” Credo Magazine (Jan/Feb 2009).
“Whodunit? The Child of Advent.” Credo Magazine (Nov/Dec 2009).
“The Covenant: A Declaration of (In)Dependence.” Credo Magazine (Jan/Feb 2010).
“Offerings and Sacrifices.” Illustrated Bible Life (Sept/Oct/Nov 2010).
“Helping Our People Lament.” Grace and Peace Magazine (Spring 2013).

Conference/Seminar Presentations

“Barrenness Beyond the Narratives.” Presented to the Postgraduate Seminar at Nazarene Theological College. Manchester, England, April 24, 2009.
“Ancient Near Eastern Perspectives on Barrenness.” Presented to the Graduate Student Theological Seminar of the Wesleyan and Free Methodist Churches. Indianapolis, Indiana, September 26, 2009.
“Preaching from Ruth and the Song of Songs.” Presented to the Wesley Center Conference, “The Bible Tells Me So,” Northwest Nazarene University. Nampa, Idaho, February 10-12, 2011.
“The Vocabulary of Barrenness in the Hebrew Bible: A Test Case.” Presented to the One-Day Theology Conference, Nazarene Theological College. Manchester, England, June 11, 2011.

Professional Memberships/Committees

Manchester Wesley Research Centre, Junior Fellow
The Society for Old Testament Study
Society of Biblical Literature
Tyndale Fellowship
Wesleyan/Holiness Women Clergy
Wesleyan Theological Society

    This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.