The Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Boomershine is an internationally known speaker and author in the interpretation of the narratives of the Bible as oral story in antiquity and in the communication systems of the digital age. He served as the G. Ernest Thomas Distinguished Professor of Christianity and Communication at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio from 2004-2006 where he also served as Professor of New Testament from 1979-2000. He now writes and produces multimedia resources for the interpretation of the Bible in digital culture.
From 2000-2004, Tom served as Dean of the Lumicon Institute and Vice-President of Lumicon Digital Productions, a division of UMR Communications in Dallas, Texas. At Lumicon he led a team that established the first comprehensive program for the education of clergy and laity in digital culture ministry and produced an integrated series of oral, written, and digital resources for the full three-year cycle of the lectionary.
Tom founded the Network of Biblical Storytellers in 1977 and has lectured and led biblical storytelling workshops around the world. He recently spent a month in Australia making presentations on digital biblical storytelling and resourcing the NOBS community there. A leader in the rediscovery of the Gospel as story, his dissertation at Union Theological Seminary, Mark the Storyteller, was the first systematic study of the Gospel narratives as story. As part of his research and ministry, he began telling the Gospel of Mark in the early ‘70’s. Tom’s book, Story Journey: An Invitation to the Gospel as Storytelling, is published by Abingdon Press. In 2004 he organized the NOBS Seminar, a group of biblical scholars and biblical storytellers, that is exploring the implications of biblical storytelling for biblical scholarship.
Tom served as Chief Consultant for Multimedia Translations for the American Bible Society (1989-1993). He was an Executive Producer for the award winning ABS video/multimedia program “Out of the Tombs”, an audiovisual translation of Mark’s story of the Gerasene demoniac. Tom has been on-camera talent for three segments of the “Disciple” Bible study series of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Tom is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and was the founder (1982) and past chair (1982-89) of the Bible in Ancient and Modern Media group. He has received major grants from the Lilly Endowment for research in the media history of Christianity and has participated in several international research conferences on Christianity and communications. He has published a range of articles on the Gospels as story, the intersection of biblical studies and communication, the Church in digital culture, and digital biblical hermeneutics.
Tom lived in the heart of the civil rights struggle of the 1960's while serving inner city multi-ethnic parishes in New York and Chicago. During his tenure as Professor of Biblical Studies at New York Theological Seminary (1972-79), he had an integral role in the development of the Certificate, STM, and DMin programs for African-American, Hispanic and Korean pastors in the New York metropolitan area.
Tom is an ordained elder in the West Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a classical pianist, a church organist since age 12, loves to play golf and tennis, and to work and hike with his wife, Amelia.
Representative Recent Publications
Story Journey: An Invitation to the Gospel as Storytelling (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1988).
“Toward a Biblical Theology of Communication” in Catholic International Quarterly, Fall 2001.
“Does the UMC Have a Future in Digital Culture?” in The Future of Methodism, ed. Russell Richey, Dennis Campbell, and William Lawrence, Abingdon, 2000.
“Biblical Megatrends - Towards a Paradigm for the Interpretation of the Bible in Electronic Media” in Trinity Occasional Papers. Vol. 14, No. 1 (June, 1995).
“Jesus of Nazareth and the Watershed of Orality and Literacy in Antiquity” in Semeia 65, Spring, 1995.
“The Polish Cavalry and Christianity in Electronic Culture” in Journal of Theology Vol. XCIX, 1995.
“A Transmediatization Theory of Biblical Translation” in Bulletin - United Bible Societies: Current Trends in Scripture Translation. No. 170-171, 1994.
“Biblical Storytelling in Education” in Journal of Christian Education. Vol. 36, No.3 (December 1993). Published by the Australian Teachers’ Christian Fellowship)
Keynote speaker for the Festival Gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, Atlanta, Georgia. “Biblical Storytelling in Digital Culture,” July, 2005
Paper for Bible in Ancient and Modern Media Group, SBL, Toronto, Canada, “Biblical Storytelling and Biblical Scholarship” November, 2002
Lecturer for Bishop’s Convocation, Western New York Episcopal Area UMC, “The Local Church in Digital Culture,” October, 2002.
Lecturer for Black Catholic Congress, Ft. Lauderdale, “The Black Catholic Church and Digital Culture,” April 2001.
Workshop Leader for Religious Education Congress, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, “Biblical Storytelling in Religious Education for the Children of Digital Culture,” Feb. 2001.
Lecturer for Congress of National Black Churches, “The Black Church and the Digital Divide,” Kansas City, Dec. 2000.
Lecturer for International Symposium on Worship in Electronic Culture, Ulsan, Korea, Oct. 2000. “The Local Church and Worship in Digital Culture.”
Staley Lectures, Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C., Oct. 2000. “Digital Biblical Storytelling and the Digital Divide.”
Lecturer for Perkins Ministers Week, Dallas, Texas, Fall, 1999
Lecturer for International Catholic Symposium, “Witnessing to the Faith in Electronic Media,” St. Paul University, Ottowa, Canada, May, ’99.
Bible Lectures, Christ Episcopal Cathedral, “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ in Digital Culture”. Indianapolis, Indiana, Nov. 1998.
Leader and Spiritual Director for Archdiocese of Cincinnati Priests’ Retreat, April ’98. Jesuit Renewal Center, Cincinnati, Ohio. “Biblical Storytelling and Prayer.”
Lecturer and workshop leader for the Institute of Preaching, Florida Annual Conference UMC, January, 1998. “Preaching in Post-Literate Culture”
Lecturer for the Jesuit Chicago Province Area-Days (Cincinnati & Chicago), February, 1998
Principal lecturer for the national NOCERCC (National Organization for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy) Convention, Orlando, February, 1997
Lecturer and workshop leader, the Festival Gathering of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, Duke Divinity School, August, 1994-5; Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, August, 1996-7
Lecturer for School of Continuing Education, Virginia Theological Seminary (Episcopal), June, 1997
Principal storyteller and trainer for 70 biblical storytellers at Lutheran Youth Gathering (35,000 Lutheran youth), New Orleans, Lousiana, July, 1997
Prayer Retreat leader “Windsurfing the Word” Milford Spiritual Center (a Jesuit retreat center in Cincinnati, Ohio) August, 1996.
Workshop leader for St. Peter’s Church (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) on Biblical Storytelling and Jazz in New York, April, 1995
Lecturer for Convention of Priests of Ohio and Michigan, (NOCERCC; Roman Catholic) Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1995
Lecturer and workshop leader for Synod of the Northeast, UPUSA (Presbyterian), at Rutgers University, on evangelism and narrative, June, 1995