Not many college professors can sport both a medical doctorate and a theology doctorate on their office walls. Doctor (Doctor) Hans Madueme, professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Covenant College, can.
Not many people say they have lived in Sweden, Nigeria, Austria, England, and Canada before the age of 20. Dr. Hans Madueme can.
Madueme lived in his birth country of Sweden until the age of one when his family moved to Nigeria for six years. There, he attended an international school of German and English influence. The family then relocated to Vienna, Austria, and sent him to a boarding school in England.
When his family later moved to Canada, he decided to attend McGill Medical School in Montreal to be closer to them. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in anatomy in
1996, he went on to receive his Masters of Divinity from Howard Medical School in Washington D.C. during his first time in the United States.
Madueme ended up doing his residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he suddenly recognized that he no longer wanted to be a doctor.
“I was bitten by the theology bug. One day I woke up and I fell out of love with medicine. I was dreaming about theology,” he said. He realized this in the first year of his residency but finished the remaining three years to soften the blow to his parents, who he knew would be disappointed that he had decided to pursue theology instead of medicine.
And pursue he did. “It was like boiling water spilling over,” Madueme said. He applied to and was accepted by the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he earned his Doctor of Philosophy and Masters of Divinity degrees.
He met his wife Shelley at Trinity, where she was pursuing a degree in New Testament studies. Madueme remembers how driven she was in school as one of the few women in the theology field. After they got married, however, he laughs at the way her “maternal instincts all exploded after marriage.”
She gave up her original plan to teach theology to become a wife and mother. Their son Caleb is now four years old.
Doctor Jay Green happened to be friends with one of Madueme’s residency coworkers named Doug Sweeney. Green sent an application for a newly open Bible professor position at Covenant College to Sweeney, who forwarded it to Madueme.
The rest is colloquial history.
Madueme arrived to fill that opening in the Bible department at Covenant College in 2012. He recalls approaching his first year at Covenant like the typical ‘lecture in sermon format’ that he had been giving at seminary. It didn’t go so well. “Students can be hostile, and it took me a whole year to find my mojo,” he laughs.
After that first rocky year, he has since become an integral part of the Biblical and Theological Studies faculty, teaching classes such as Christian Mind, Doctrine I and II, Global Theology, and the Senior Integration Project class for Covenant seniors majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies.
He has also managed to build quite a reputation among the students who take classes with him.
“He’s very easy to understand, open to discussion and others’ opinions, and friendly and funny outside the classroom,” says Jessica Tailer (’17).
“I greatly appreciate his evident commitment to God’s Word, practicing the truth he teaches in class. Also, he keeps us on our toes and has an impeccable sense of humor,” states Mary Grace Padgett (’17).
Madueme labels his sense of humor as independent, but attributes it in part to his diverse cultural background.
As a college professor, he wants students to “catch a passion for doctrine,” as he did, to “ignite them in a way that will endure.” His deep voice, passion for the dramatic, and balance of humor and seriousness keep his classes focused. He frequently engages students in discussion with himself and their classmates, pushing them to grapple with their Christian faith.
Ultimately, he seeks to give each of his students the Biblical tools to survive and grow in their theology and doctrine in their lives in the world after Covenant.
Dr. Hans Madueme feels he is where the Lord wants him to be until retirement. In his words, college is “glorious.” He loves the Covenant faculty and student community.
“I’m happy to camp out here,” Madueme says.
After all, a theological professor who can refer to our much-cherished Reformed theologian John Calvin as “Johnny” in class seems to have indeed found his mojo.