Dr. Carrie Wood serves as a professor at Regent University. With a Ph.D. in Renewal Theology and a Master’s in Divinity, Dr. Wood teaches Biblical Studies at Regent University’s School of Divinity. Dr. Wood loves the Scriptures, adventuring with her family, and archeology. She also works as an instructor with Biblical Expedition leading groups to go into the Lands of the Bible and the Holy Lands.
What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned since your time in Israel?
I went to Israel for the first time as a student in 2013, and I spent five weeks there. Two years later, I proceeded to go back for about nine weeks to study. The things I learn in Israel really bring an impact on how I read Scripture. I’ve studied in the Lands of the Bible: Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece. The things I’ve learned while studying in the Lands of the Bible is that it brings the Scriptures into full dimension. I open the Scripture with students, and I open the Scripture myself, and I can see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, and observe it. The land is that living voice that’s still active, present, and speaking. For me, the biggest takeaway is studying in the land brings the Scripture to life off of the pages
Has studying in the Lands of the Bible changed your perception of Scripture?
It has changed. When I’m teaching, I talk about the fact that we’ve kept Jesus on a flannel graph. In Sunday school, we used to have flannel boards, and the same person that we used for David would be Jesus, or that we used for Goliath could be Peter. Studying in the lands of the Bible, it brings all of that forward into its time and its space, and it changes my life; it changes how I read, and it changes how I see Jesus coming into you and onto the earth.
Are you planning on helping with any more digs in Isreal or any of the other Lands of the Bible soon?
I am going back to Isreal in July and August. El Araj is on the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee, North-East. It is just across the Jordan, and it is thought that it’s the Biblical Bethsestda. It’s an important site, and I will be going back as long as they need my help, and I can get away from my teaching. This particular dig site floods, so we have to wait until it is hot enough for the water to evaporate from the squares where we dig.
What has been your favorite moment throughout your adventures?
This past summer, we were in a square called Area D, and within just a few inches, we were already at the Roman level. First, it was the fact that we were encountering levels that hadn’t been touched for so long, but then to pull out first-century coins! Coins that now have been cleaned and were presented at the Museum of the Bible by an archaeologist from Galilee, Mordechai “Moti” Aviam. We weren’t very far down, maybe a meter and a half. It’s this wonderful moment where you’re holding it in your hand, and then you don’t see the fruition of the work. It’s very Biblical, very Scriptural, where you’re planting seeds, you’re doing the work, you’re doing all of that, and then you see it months later!
I was digging for the first time on the shores of Galilee, where I could really put into perspective the first-century early Christian world. As I’m looking at Bethesda, Capernaum, and Chorazin – this is a very small area in which Jesus spends the majority of his ministry. Now, I can look not only at all the locations he used in parables but I can look at locations that we see throughout the gospels. I understood at that moment that God had given me a gift and was allowing me to sit in the context of Jesus’s teachings. That was a really great moment
What are your favorite books?
I’m a huge fan of Carta and The Sacred Bridge, it’s more like a coffee table Atlas, but I’ve read it from front to back, and it is all worn from walking and studying through the land. I would carry this with me back and forth in the earlier years.
I really enjoy reading Craig Keener. I have favorite scholars in the Lands of the Bible like Stephen Knotley, who is the scholar for El Araj. I get to work and study under him while I’m there. I have been reading a lot of books by Karen Jobs; she’s a female scholar in Biblical studies.
What is your favorite Regent Memory?
I graduated with three different degrees: my undergrad, my Master of Divinity, and my Ph.D., and never once walked in graduation. Because of living overseas, various reasons, and the Ph.D. happening during the pandemic. I have great photos sitting all by myself in front of the library where we normally hold our commencements. However, I did go to commissioning for my master’s. In the School of Divinity, the graduate comes forward, receives their hood, and then walks down where the faculty will pray over each of them.
Dr. Mara Crabtree was praying over me and this person walked up who I had never met or seen before. He laid his hand on me and prayed, and he said, “The ancient of days has called you to walk the ancient paths.” He said in this beautiful British accent. I remember getting done and saying, “Who was that?” Someone did tell me who it was. Being prayed over by our faculty and commissioned to go into the world is phenomenal. It is life-giving after you’ve completed this rigorous discipline study. Having them send you out, so that’s monumental, but then having somebody who doesn’t know me and had no idea that I was about to go to Israel come and say those words over me was phenomenal.
Last May, I participated in my first graduation with all of the confetti and the speakers being our governor and our Lieutenant governor. That was my first graduation experience, and I got to do it as faculty. I got to walk with the students, sit with the students, and experience the joy of teaching. the joy of seeing them complete what God called them to do here and move forward in the ministry and the journey that God has called them to. It was beautiful. There is nothing to me that’s ever solidified the role that we have here in serving our students, and it was probably one of the most fulfilling days that I’ve spent here that was celebrating for them and with them
What do you do for fun outside of teaching?
I have a five-year-old grandson, Theodore, who’s amazing. I like adventures with my family, I like adventures with Theodore, and honestly, to travel and to see the world. I like being with my adult children, who are amazing people. I like to play in the dirt… I play in the dirt in Israel!