Robert Heaton, a Master of Theological Studies Thesis Track student at the Anderson University School of Theology, has been chosen as the 2011-12 Jeeninga Fellow in Archaeology. Heaton’s proposal focuses on digging at Tel Hazor, Israel, in a program offered by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Hazor is one of the early cities mentioned in the Old Testament during the conquest of Canaan by Joshua.
Heaton believes this Fellowship will provide for him what his current reading cannot capture. “I believe my experience at Tel Hazor will help me experience ancient Israel to a greater extent, and that through my work will be better prepared to lead and teach at both the university level and the church in the future.”
Heaton was motivated to apply for the Fellowship because of his connection with students and faculty who have traveled in the Middle East. “I have seen firsthand how personal experience of traveling in Israel, viewing archaeological sites, and grasping the geography helps a person more fully understand the Bible,” said Heaton. “That excitement was central to my desire to apply for the fellowship.”
The late Dr. Gustav Jeeninga, founder and former director of the Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies, established the Fellowship. The Fellowship assists a student to study up to four weeks in the Mediterranean basin around archaeology or personalized research from the Early Bronze Age to AD 1000.
The selection committee for the Fellowship consists of the dean of the College of Science and Humanities, chair of the Department of Religious Studies, biblical studies faculty from the School of Theology, and the director of the Jeeninga Museum.
“Gus and Aletta Jeeninga would be thrilled to see students growing personally and educationally through this Fellowship,” said David Neidert, director of the Jeeninga Museum. “It was their dream to help students. They would be pleased that their endowment gifts to the museum have provided this fifth fellowship recipient.”
The Jeeninga Fellowship in Archeology is a competitive process open to current biblical studies students and seminarians of Anderson University and the School of Theology. For more information, visit the museum website at www.anderson.edu/campus/museum.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.