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Summer Course with J. Richard Middleton: The Ethics of Power, Leadership, and Mentoring in 1 Samuel 1–15

Mon 07.10.23 @ 8:30 AM - Fri 07.14.23 @ 1:00 PM CDT

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Distinguished Professor J. Richard Middleton is partnering with Upper House to offer a one-week course premised on his forthcoming book: The Ethics of Power, Leadership, and Mentoring in 1 Samuel 1–15. 

First Samuel 1–15 contains an important account of Israel’s transition from tribal league to monarchy, beginning with the story of Hannah and her new-born son, Samuel, through Samuel receiving his prophetic call and his long, tension-filled, relationship with Saul, Israel’s first king. This material is not only some of the most nuanced narrative in the Hebrew Bible, it is a rich resource for reflection on the theology and ethics of human freedom and power in light of the freedom and power of God, Israel’s true/original King.

With its focus on practical skills, this course will equip attendees to carefully glean a significant unit of biblical narrative within its literary and historical/cultural context and, in the process, gain insight into Samuel’s challenging message for today. As the group studies the conflictual relationship between God, the powerful prophet Samuel, and the newly minted king Saul, attendees will also reflect on key lessons concerning leadership, mentoring, and the use (and abuse) of power in the church today. 

In addition to rich content, this course offers attendees an opportunity to grow in their expertise in biblical interpretation and to gain confidence in developing their own interpretation of Scripture as they interact with the professor, other students, and secondary sources (biblical commentaries). Furthermore, those in ministry roles will gain further experience utilizing Scripture for preaching or teaching in the church, through focused exegesis and theological reflection.

About J. Richard Middleton

Dr. J. Richard Middleton is Professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester, NY. He is the author of four books and widely published in religious periodicals and journals. His areas of interest include Old Testament theology, the Christian worldview, the books of Genesis and Samuel, the doctrine of Creation, and Christianity and postmodern culture. Dr. Middleton served as president of the Canadian Evangelical Theological Association and additionally serves as an adjunct professor of Old Testament at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology in Kingston, Jamaica.  (For more information about J. Richard Middleton and his writings, please also visit his blog: CREATION to ESCHATON: Explorations in Biblical Theology.)



  • $250 to audit
  • $887 for 3 graduate credits by portfolio with the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, based on portfolio evaluation (those interested should directly contact Dr. Chris James at for more information.)

Readings and Syllabus

Email Tony Bolos, Upper House’s Director of Continuing Education, to request the reading list and syllabus.


SCHEDULE Middleton Summer Course on 1 Samuel 1–15 (downloadable PDF)



Mon 07.10.23 @ 8:30 AM CDT
Fri 07.14.23 @ 1:00 PM CDT
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