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hawkins3Dr. Ralph Hawkins,
Professor of Religious Studies

Email:  rhawkins@averett.edu 
Phone: 434-773-3995
Office: Frith Hall 425

It’s probably safe to say that you have never met anyone like Dr. Ralph Hawkins before. Yes, he is a university professor, a scholar and an author (he has four books published already, with two more scheduled for release in 2013). But he’s more like Indiana Jones, without the whip.  Hawkins is, in fact, a Biblical archaeologist, and he has many trips, many digs, in Near Eastern locations — primarily Jordan and the highlands of Israel — under his belt already, with no end in sight.

Talk to him even briefly and you’ll see his deep love for the subject: “I eat, sleep and drink the Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern archaeology,” he says with a sparkle in his eye. As you talk more, you learn that about the only thing better, for him, than digging in the dirt in search of biblical artifacts is having students with him, digging the dig. “That’s the wonderful thing about Averett,” he says, “is that it’s small enough that the students get to know the professors.

So if you’re a student who wants to study a topic seriously, working closely with teacher-scholars who have the time to give you their attention, come here.”  He adds: “You won’t be stuck in classes with hundreds of other students. You can work one-on-one with professors. In Religion you can go on adventures to the Holy Land with the professors and, when you’re ready, we’ll definitely help you get into the right graduate program.”

Not all of his students will elect to spend free time on archaeology digs overseas, of course, but the option is there. “We have a very diverse group of students,” Hawkins says. “They’re studying Theatre, Art, History, etc. We have a lot of student-athletes too, and many Religion students are just looking for who they are and what they want to do in life.”

An extremely friendly and outgoing man, Hawkins is working with the university’s Christian student union (with 50-60 members currently) and with Danville’s pastors. He welcomes current pastors into classes as part of their professional growth, and he says high school students can use Religion at Averett as a pre-pastoral program, adding, “We want Religion majors to consider us, of course, but students here also can minor in Religion.”

All of his students, of course, benefit from his abiding and contagious passion for unearthing revelatory pieces of history.

Education/Credentials

Ph.D., Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, Andrews University

D.Min., Church History and Greek New Testament, School of Theology at the University of the South

M.A., Biblical Exegesis, David Lipscomb University

B.A., Biblical Languages, David Lipscomb University

Expertise

Biblical/Near Eastern Archaeology; Old Testament; Anthropology; Ministry

Awards

Fellow-in-Residence, School of Theology, University of the South (Sewanee, TN); Catholic Biblical Association Memorial Stipend; Endowment for Biblical and Archaeological Research, American Schools of Oriental Research; Rabbi Randall M. Falk Prize in Interfaith Relations

Publications

His Inheritance: A Memorial Volume for Adam Zertal, 2021, Ugarit-Vorlag

Discovering Exodus: Content, Interpretation, Reception, 2021, Eerdmans

The Galilean Economy in the Time of Jesus (with David Fiensy), 2013, Society of Biblical Literature

How Israel Became a People, 2013, Abingdon

The Iron Age I Structure on Mt. Ebal: Excavation and Interpretation, 2012, Eisenbrauns