Beverly Cushman - Biography

I was born in Orlando, Florida, and attended Stetson University, where I met my husband,
David Cushman. We were married in Orlando at Park Lake Presbytrian Church. 

After the wedding we moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where David entered the Ph.D program at
Vanderbuilt University.  The following fall I began my work for the Master of Divinity at the

Vanderbilt Divinity School.  My areas of study included Pastoral Theology, Church History,
and Old Testament.  I also became the cataloger for books coming into the Divinity Library.
I received my Master of Divinity degree in May 1977.  

In 1977, I received a call from Raceland Presbyterian Church, and was ordained as the first
woman minister in the state of Louisiana. Raceland is about fifty miles southwest of New Orleans
and is a small Cajun town situated on Bayou Lafourche. I learned to cook Cajun and to make
strong Cajun coffee. Also, David and I had our first child, Jeremiah David, while living there.


I served that congregation for four years before moving to New Orleans, where I was Associate Pastor of Lakeview Presbyterian Church. My work at Lakeview focused on Christian Education and pastoral care. It was while working at Lakeview that our second child, Amanda Katherine, was born.


I was then called to serve as Interim Pastor at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in New Orleans East. This congregation had a vital ministry with the Laotian community in New Orleans East. On Pentecost Sunday, 1985, I was privileged to baptize twenty-one Laotians into the Christian faith.


When David was given the opportunity to return to Vanderbilt in 1986 to do some teaching, we left South Louisiana and I was able to begin my doctoral work in Bible, with a specialty in Hebrew Bible.


From there our family moved to Tampa, Florida, in 1987. I served one year as the protestant chaplain for the University of South Florida. I then began my work as Parish Associate at Tims Memorial Presbyterian Church in Lutz, Florida. In my four years there, the congregation grew from approximately two hundred and fifty members to nearly five hundred members.


In 1992, David got a position as Professor of Economics at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Saskatoon is the largest city in the province of Saskatchewan. 


I served a number of churches in my ten years in Saskatchewan. I also began teaching religion at the University of Saskatchewan, at St. Thomas More College, and at the three seminaries there, St. Andrew's Seminary (United Church of Canada), Lutheran Seminary (ELCA), and the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad (Anglican). I served as registrar at Emmanuel and St. Chad. In 1999, I completed my dissertation and was awarded the Ph.D. from Vanderbilt.

When Jeremiah and Amanda were looking at colleges, they both chose to return to the United States.  Both Jeremiah and Amanda attended Boston University, and were in the College Honors Program.


When it was clear that Amanda was returning to the States, I decided also to look for jobs back home.  In 2002 I returned to the United States where I taught for two years at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


In 2004 I came to Westminster College with the mandate to reinvigorate the Christian Education program. In 2005, my husband, David, was invited to come to Westminster as chair of the Economics and Business Department. In 2006, he was appointed to the Captain William McKee Chair of Economics and Business.

In the summer of 2008 I officiated at the wedding of our son Jeremiah, to Nicole Anastasia Piro (Nico).          

 A week later I traveled to Oxford England to participate in an NEH summer institute
Holy Land and Holy City in Classical
Judaism, Christianity and Islam. 
The institute took place at Yarnton Manor, an eighteenth century manor house belonging
to the Spencer family (Lady Diana).  Yarnton Manor is home to the Oxford School of                                                            
Hebrew and Jewish studies.  The following summer David and I returned to
Yarnton Manor and I was able to continue my research on the temple of Solomon and its
theology of sacred space.  We will be returning to Yarnton again in the summer of 2010.

Our son Jeremiah, and his wife Nico work in the Washington D.C. area.  Jeremiah works
as a weapons editor for the on-line publication Military Periscope, and Nico is the Young Adult
librarian at the Arlington Central Library.

Amanda is an associate editor for the American Diabetes Association in Alexandria, VA.

David and I now live in New Wilmington, PA, a quiet town surrounded by Amish farms.  We share our lives with two cats: Chloe and Pelagiaus.