Our congratulations go out to Dr. Aaron Ebert, a recent graduate of the Graduate Program in Religion who managed to complete his PhD in just five years - all while raising five children, along with chickens, pigs, and a cow on his farm! Ebert defended his dissertation in July 2023 for a September graduation. His project was entitled “The Second Sin: A Study of the Vice of Envy in the Thought of St. Augustine,” and Dr. J. Warren Smith chaired his committee, comprised of Drs. Thomas Pfau, Janet Soskice, Jed Atkins, and Reinhard Huetter (of The Catholic University of America).
Ebert’s undergraduate training was in accounting, having earned a B.S. in Business Administration from University of Montevallo in Alabama. His newfound skills were tested in Auckland, New Zealand for a couple of years and he was as a Certified Public Accountant for seven years altogether. Ebert graduated with a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Duke Divinity School in 2017 and entered Duke’s Doctor of Philosophy program in fall of 2018. One might draw parallels between the skills and traits needed for accounting versus academia – work ethic, integrity, analytical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail.
During his time as a PhD student, Ebert had three articles published and another is forthcoming. He has had extensive teaching experience as well, serving as Writing Instructor for a year, Teaching Assistant for seven courses and Instructor of Record for two courses. He served as Research Assistant for three different faculty members as well, with one of those assignments resulting in copy editing Dr. Thomas Pfau’s book Incomprehensible Certainly: Metaphysics and Hermeneutics of the Image (Notre Dame: UND Press, 2022).
Ebert has extensive language training. He uses or has used ancient languages of Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Hebrew as well as modern languages of German and French in the course of his research.
In the penultimate year of his PhD studies, Ebert was honored as a Graduate Fellow at Duke University’s Kenan Institute for Ethics. Now that he has earned a doctorate, he has returned to Kenan as John & Daria Barry Postdoctoral Fellow. He is continuing his writing and research and is teaching two undergraduate seminars. We have confidence that his career will flourish.