Hylen Associate Professor of New Testament Susan E. Hylen has received the Excellence in Teaching and Pedagogy Award from the Center for Women at Emory and the Emory Alumni Association. Hylen’s was one of seven Women of Excellence Awards presented during a dinner and ceremony at Emory on March 18.

The Excellence in Teaching and Pedagogy Award recognizes any teacher at Emory whose teaching methods, syllabi, and/or course design addresses women’s issues or matters of feminist importance with innovation and success. Hylen was honored for her original approaches to teaching about women’s issues and feminism at the graduate level.

Second-year MDiv student Tiffania Willetts took Hylen’s survey course “Interpretation of the New Testament,” and nominated Hylen for the award. In her nomination letter, Willetts praised Hylen for the way she directly addresses texts that have systematically been used to oppress women in Christianity and Western society.

“Dr. Hylen encourages students to maintain the tension between our current society and the ancient society which produced the text we are reading,” Willetts wrote. “She tells her students not to accept the text at face value, but to challenge ourselves to read beyond the text to the greater message the author is trying to give us. Dr. Hylen is working against hundreds of years of discrimination against women in an introductory, mandatory course for Master of Divinity students, and does it while simultaneously promoting women’s equality and giving space for students to maintain their own beliefs.”

A graduate of Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion (GDR), Hylen teaches New Testament courses at Candler and in the GDR. She has authored three books on the Gospel of John, as well as a number of other book chapters, essays and articles. Her most recent book, A Modest Apostle: Thecla and the History of Women in the Early Church (Oxford University Press, 2015) connects with her research that explores the roles and authority of women in the early church, offering a new way of interpreting the diverse and often contradictory evidence about the participation of women.

A ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Hylen also serves the Candler community and the academy, contributing to several committees, advisory and editorial boards, including chairing the Women in the Biblical World section of the Society of Biblical Literature. She is a frequent lecturer at church, conference and teaching events.

Top photo: Hylen receives her award from Chanel Craft, assistant director of the Center for Women.

Story photo: Hylen with assistant directors of the Center for Women, Chanel Craft (left) and Tiffany Del Valle.

Photos: Becky Stein