By Lacey Keefer, Campus News Staff Writer —
Dr. Jonathan Yeager, associate professor of religion, has just received the Guerra Professorship.
The Guerra Professorship is a five-year position which entails an additional stipend and is awarded to accomplished professors. Yeager was nominated for this award by the head of the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Dr. Joshua Davies.
Yeager has written three books, Enlightened Evangelicalism: The Life and Thought of John Erskine, Early Evangelicalism: A Reader and Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture. He has two more books currently under contract, as well as many journal articles and essays. Yeager believes this is why he earned the professorship.
“It felt nice to be appreciated, in terms of the scholarship that I have done,” said Yeager.
But Yeager did not begin his career in religious history. He first earned a degree in Business administration. He built a successful business as a financial consultant, but less than five years later, he quit.
“About two years into the business, I was pretty disillusioned,” said Yeager. “I mean, I was making a lot of money. I was 22 years old. I was driving a Mercedes Benz, my wife was driving a brand new BMW, and I just couldn’t stand my job.”
“I just thought, there’s got to be more to life than this. And I really wasn’t happy, even though I was making all this money.”
Yeager then moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he earned two master’s degrees in Theology. He spent two and half years in Scotland earning his PhD from the University of Stirling. After coming back to America, Yeager found it extremely difficult to find a job.
“If I knew what it would have taken to get here, then I wouldn’t have done it. But thank goodness I did do it, because I ended up here and I love my job and it’s awesome,” saif Yeager.
Yeager has been teaching at UTC since 2011. He teaches several general education classes, such as History of Christianity and American Religious History. He also teaches upper level courses like Religion in the South, Modern Christian Thought. A class of his own design, Religion and Fly Fishing, has been popular.
“I’m the Christian Studies guy,” said Yeager.
Senior English major and Philosophy and Religion minor Taylor Bowman says that Yeager deserves this award because he sets his students up to succeed.
“He is very diligent. He expects the best from us, so I know he carries that expectation for himself as well. He is going to know all that he can. He is going to prepare the best that he can, and that just really comes across in his teaching,” said Bowman.