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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Andy Watts

Andy Watts

Janet Ayers Academic Center 2021
Phone: (615) 460-5549
andy.watts@belmont.edu

I teach because I learn.

I’ve been a member of the faculty in the School of Religion for nine years.  In that span of time I’ve taught various courses in Christian Ethics and New Testament studies.  And in that time I’ve been taught many lessons about love, life and learning by students and colleagues, lessons which continue to shape me every day.  This has been the reward of teaching in the School of Religion for me.  I have been enriched and fulfilled by the relationships I’ve stumbled into in this little corner of Belmont.

I teach ethics because morality is relational.

Relationships are quite important to me because they form the foundations for what I understand ethics to be about.  While moral theory and biblical interpretation have their place in Christian ethics, the story of “relationship” gives shape to the moral dynamic of the Good News of Jesus.  Furthermore, this story is enriched by interdisciplinary relationships, interdenominational relationships, and interfaith relationships.  

I teach about moral relationships because there are so many different kinds of them.

I grew up in Texas shaped by several different cultures.  I’ve lived in six states and traveled abroad in 10 countries.  Morality and justice are concrete, cultural, social and spiritual things that beg the nurture of the diversity humankind.  My wife Amy experiences this diversity every day in her position as Executive Director of Luke 14:12.  My two sons, Samuel and Benjamin, value this diversity in their schools and their church, Glendale Baptist Church.

I teach about moral diversity because I have experienced it intellectually, spiritually, theologically and socially.

I am grateful for the many teachers who’ve shaped my life: incarcerated voices and free-world risk-takers, post-liberal aggravators and liberationist agitators, feminist paladins, creative activists, loving advocates, and seeking friends.  

Education

Ph.D., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Th.M., Duke University
M.Div., Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
B.A., Baylor University

Publications

  • “Commentary on Gospel of John” in Feasting on the Gospels (Westminster John Knox Press), forthcoming 2015.
  • “Withdraw,” in Pause – A Year of Daily Devotions, (PASSPORTMedia, 2014).
  • “Does Baptism make for better Presidents?” (ONScripture, January 2012)
  • “The School That Democracy Built,” (Huffington Post, 2012)
  • “Thoughts on the Drum Major Instinct in an Election Year,” (Huffington Post, 2011)
  • “Jesus Take the Wheel: Country Music and Whiteness,” Belmont University Humanities Symposium Journal 1, (Santa Monica, Ca: Phoebus, 2011)
  • “Merit-Based Health Care: The Shame of American Christianity,” (EthicsDaily.com, 2009)
  • Racial Reconciliation is More than a Habit of the Heart, (EthicsDaily.com November 2008)
  • “Luke 4.19 Commentary”, The Agenda: 8 Lessons from Luke 4 (Acacia Press, Spring 2007)
  • Finding God in the Machine,” (Research News & Opportunities in Science and Theology, 2002)
  • Various book reviews and other popular articles