The Rev. Dr. Katherine Shaner, Assistant Professor of New Testament, made a surprise guest appearance, on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, in an introductory bible course for college freshmen at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. She did not travel all the way across the country, however, from New York City. Rather, she "Skyped" into the Bible 100: Bible Survey course taught by her friend and colleague Dr. Brian Doak, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at the university. The students were exploring the writings of Paul that day, and Prof. Doak asked her to join the class for a "scholarly discussion" about slavery and the Pauline communities. "After feining surprise at my popping up on his screen," Shaner explained, "he and I discussed the Christ Hymn in Philippians 2; Philemon and Onesimos; and finally the declaration in Galatians 3:28 that there is neither slave nor free."
"I was sitting in my living room the whole time," Shaner noted. The students asked many questions about slavery and the New Testament, including about the role of Paul's letters in the abolition debates in the United States during the mid-19th century. Then, "as the seminary's bells rang for the Eucharist in New York, I had to say goodbye and run off to chapel."