Faculty Friday: Dr. Jodi Grimes

A women is standing with a few books.

Dr. Jodi Grimes passionately serves in a variety of roles on campus. As an English professor, an academic advisor, and a co-sponsor for programs like Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, and DOXA Literary Circle, she invests both time and energy into each area of service.

“I am passionate about teaching in a place where I can integrate my content fully with my faith in a place permeated by Christ’s message of integrity, compassion, and grace,” Grimes shared. “The study of language and literature is significant. God speaks the world into existence in Genesis 1 and John 1:14 tells us that God incarnate, Jesus, is the Word. As an orator and storyteller, through His sermons and parables, Jesus Himself was involved in linguistic and literary creation.”

Grimes explains that a Christ-centered education is one that that utilizes a biblical worldview throughout the learning process.

“A Christ-centered education requires the pursuit of truth and excellence in academic study. It is one where scholars confront and evaluate ideas in light of Christian revelation and in turn, they evaluate the extent to which their own ideas may be wrong or culturally biased.” Grimes said. “This type of education brings coherence to the learning process. Ultimately, our students search for wisdom with integrity and humility, then seek to apply it to their academic fields, vocational callings, and personal lives.”

Throughout her courses, Grimes’s goal for her students is that they would grow academically in such a way that prepares them for more than just a specific career, but for life in general.

“Although certainly the skills learned in my classroom will help students vocationally, I am teaching far more than simple skills that lead to a particular job.” Grimes explained. “Our ability to communicate increasingly is the measure by which others regard us. I want my students to develop the analytic thought and rhetorical skill necessary for all aspects of life. I want them to use the skills they develop in my classes to walk through the doors God opens, to unashamedly—but gracefully—voice the message He prepares, to become servant leaders in a way that gives Him the glory in a world that needs His love and grace.”

Grimes mentors students in and outside of the classroom. To her students, she is a helpful academic and professional resource as well as a friend and confidante.

“Informal mentoring often takes place on campus outside of my office or classroom. Serving lunches to students during SWAT service learning opportunities, eating with them at Mooyah or Chick Fil-A, and working out at the Fitness Center allows me to walk beside them through their college years. My family also enjoys cheering on my students at basketball and baseball games or musical performances.”

For Grimes, teaching is a blessing, especially in a discipline that entails examining different cultural perspectives and worldviews, both of which challenge students to ponder their own beliefs and actions.

“As Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. points out in Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living, John Calvin searched for truth in literature everywhere,” Grimes said. “Our challenge is in discovering what God’s truth is, where that is found in the texts we read, where the differences are, and humbly determining where our own views may not be aligned well.”

About Faculty Fridays

Faculty Fridays is a feature in which we interview a few of our faculty about their time here at Dallas Baptist University. Through this endeavor, we hope to provide a glimpse into the heart of our faculty and shine a light on the genuine passion our faculty have for Christ and for our students.

Written by Faith Myers

Faith Myers is a member of University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.