Earlier this academic year, the History Department at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul learned that our esteemed historian of Ancient History, Dr. Charles Aling, would be retiring in May. We will be celebrating Dr. Aling’s career next month.
Dr. Aling’s retirement, though, meant that Northwestern’s History Department needed a new historian of the Ancient World. After conducting a national (and even international) search, I am pleased to announce our new hire: Dr. Jonathan Loopstra.
Dr. Loopstra is an expert in the Church of the East, the Church that developed in the Middle East and stretched farther east. As a linguist, he has great capabilities with Syriac, the language which gave voice to the Church’s worship and culture. Dr. Loopstra will teach Ancient History classes at Northwestern. He also brings additional strengths. Having lived and even taught in the Middle East for several years, Professor Loopstra will be able to connect the Ancient Middle East and the Modern Middle East, a class he will be developing at Northwestern. Further, Dr. Loopstra will bring a developed specialty in Digital History and Humanities to share with our students. Finally, he will complement the department’s decided strength in the History of Christianity.
As an added bonus, Dr. Loopstra is a Northwestern alumnus. He has earned degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Oxford University, and the Catholic University of America. Professor Loopstra joins our faculty after stints at the International Center for the Study of the Christian Orient (Grenada, Spain), Reformed Theological Seminary, the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, and Capital University in Ohio.