stories | Faculty

Introducing 2018-19 Full-Time Faculty Hires

August 8, 2018 | Jane Scharl

For the 2018-19 school year, The King’s College is pleased to welcome two new faculty members. In addition to teaching across the whole student body, Dr. Kelly Lehtonen and Professor Benjamin G. White bring their experience and expertise to the English and Humanities majors and the Religious and Theological Studies major, respectively.

Dr. Kelly Lehtonen

Dr. Kelly Lehtonen was hired as a full-time assistant professor of English and writing as well as the writing coordinator, beginning fall 2018. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Pennsylvania State University and specializes in European Renaissance literature, particularly epic poetry. Her research and teaching interests include aesthetic philosophy, psychology and literature, the Protestant Reformation, and the Western epic tradition from Homer to the twenty-first century. Dr. Lehtonen has taught courses on heroic literature, fantasy literature, Shakespeare, and rhetoric and composition, along with a survey of Western literature from Homer through the Renaissance.

Dr. Mark Hijleh, provost of The King’s College, said, “Dr. Lehtonen brings a wealth of experience as a teacher and scholar to King’s. She is excited about providing additional leadership to our writing program, having had a great deal of success with a wide variety of students at Penn State. Dr. Lehtonen also brings distinctive perspectives from her time working as a professional writer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and from her mastery of French, German, and Italian bolstered by knowledge of Latin and Greek. She has a passion for thinking and teaching Christianly that is fully integrated with her research expertise in Western literature and excellence in writing. I look forward to the wonderfully positive impact Dr. Lehtonen and her family will have on the King’s community.”

Prof. Benjamin G. White

Prof. Benjamin G. White was hired as a full-time instructor of biblical studies starting fall 2018. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Durham University in the United Kingdom and is also a fellow of the Chicago-based Center for Pastor Theologians. Inspired by the great theologians and exegetes of the Christian tradition, Professor White’s primary focus is understanding the gospel in its first-century context and how it speaks to Christians today. His academic expertise lies in Pauline studies, the New Testament, biblical studies, and some aspects of Reformation theology. His other academic interests include biblical hermeneutics and interpretation as well as Christian theology, pedagogy, and preaching.

Dr. Hijleh said, “Professor White has an incredibly keen mind with regard to biblical studies in historical and cultural perspective, coupled with a pastor’s heart. He has not only taught but also lived with and mentored students consistently over the years. Professor White also studied urban planning and worked with analytical and data elements in that field before being called to the ministry of teaching and research. He brings valuable international perspectives as a Canadian by birth who has spent considerable time in the U.K. as well as in the U.S. It is a real pleasure to welcome Professor White and his family into our midst.”