Lecturer in Theology and Adventure
Lance interprets the whole of his education as an attempt to further answer those questions that first vexed him as an undergraduate: what is the relationship between theology and philosophy and how should Christianity best interpret how God relates to the created world? These themes are constant through his academic career, acting as a fixed point for all of his other theological interests.
While completing his master’s degree at Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN), Lance became increasingly focused on bringing the phenomenology of Martin Heidegger into conversation with theology. This led to his immersion in the thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Erich Przywara, both of whom act as his theological mooring and are essential to his doctoral work at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). His dissertation explores the interplay between poetics and metaphysics in J.R.R. Tolkien, Heidegger, and Balthasar. More generally, Lance’s research interests included Trinitarian theology, the analogy of being, and the philosophy of technology.
Married to Dr. Rachel Toombs (Professor of Theology & Old Testament), Lance spent a number of years working in the bicycle industry while Rachel completed her PhD at Baylor University (Waco, TX). This developed his intense love for mountain biking. Most importantly concerning their time in Texas, however, are Lance’s and Rachel’s pit bull rescues, Eowyn and Rosie.
Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Lance has a special fondness of the wilderness and the mountains, and is an avid outdoorsman and cyclist—road, gravel, and mountain. He is constantly looking for new trails to ride, gravel roads to explore, and mountains to climb, none of which are in short supply in Bozeman. Despite a fondness for the quality coffee, culture, and restaurants provided by urban settings, Lance is far more comfortable in the rural and wild places. Thus, he is especially enthusiastic about expanding the rigor of the classroom to the trails, rivers, and lakes surrounding Bozeman. The unique mission of YTI and the landscape of the Gallatin Valley allow him to integrate all of his loves.
Ph.D. (in process), Divinity, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
Supervisor: Judith Wolfe, Ph.D.
M.A., Theology, Luther Seminary (magna cum laude)
Thesis: “A Balthasarian Way Forward: Beyond Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Subordination of the Feminine”
Supervisor: Lois Malcolm, Ph.D.
B.A., Theology and Philosophy, Trinity Lutheran College (cum laude)
Systematic theology, Trinitarian theology, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Erich Przywara, Martin Heidegger, ressourcement theology, Christian mysticism, metaphysics and gender.
Lecturer in Theology and Adventure, Yellowstone Theological Institute, 2017 – present
“How Does Christian Mysticism Redefine Our Sexuality?” vignette in Sexy: The Quest for Erotic Virtue in Perplexing Times, by Dr. Jeff Mallinson. Irvine: NRP Books, forthcoming.
“Poetry and the Redemption of Language: The Philosophy of Solmaz Sharif’s “Look,” Upper Midwest American Academy of Religion — Saint Paul, MN, April 1, 2017.
Paper: “A Coakleyian Reading of Hans Urs von Balthasar: Reading Balthasar Against Himself,” Upper Midwest American Academy of Religion — Saint Paul, MN, April 2, 2016.
Panel Participant: “Literary and Religious Studies Scholars Read Together – Faulkner’s ‘That Evening Sun,’ A Socratic Seminar,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies — Dallas, TX, March 12, 2016.
Paper: “Removing the Brackets: Trinitarian Theology’s Resuscitation of Pneumatology,” Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion— Portland, OR, March 28, 2015.
Paper: “Cross-Appropriation: Martin Luther’s Influence on Martin Heidegger,” Upper Midwest American Academy of Religion — Saint Paul, MN, April 5, 2013.
Paper: “The Preaching of Justification and Illocutionary Acts,” Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religion — Spokane, WA, May 15, 2011.
Admissions Scholarship, University of St. Andrews, 2017-Current
Trustee Scholarship, Luther Seminary, 2012-2016
Dean’s Scholarship, Trinity Lutheran College, 2009-2011
Dean’s List, Trinity Lutheran College, six semesters, 2009-2011