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Profiles in Goodwill: Beth Allison Barr

Beth Allison Barr is an associate dean in the Baylor Graduate School, an associate professor of history at Baylor University and a resident scholar at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.

  • Where did you grow up?

In Mexia, Texas, where my father was the small-town doctor, and my mother was the small-town Bible study teacher.

  • What is your favorite verse, book or story in the Bible? Why?

I love the woman of Canaan story in Matthew 15.

It just encapsulates the gospel and encapsulates how Jesus always fights against injustice. The gospel of Christ is for everyone, as Jesus made clear to his disciples in this story. And the voice of a woman, a foreign woman disdained by the religious leaders, is valued by Jesus.

  • What is your favorite movie? Why?

Star Trek movies and shows, both old and new, are still my go-to shows when I just want to be entertained.

I am a Trekkie. One of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater was an original Star Trek with my father. I grew up on the original series and The Next Generation. My husband and I watched Deep Space Nine and Voyager when we were dating and newlyweds.

  • Who are three people you admire?

Raymond Watson, my maternal grandfather; Betty Jo Allison, my paternal grandmother; and Margery Kempe, a 15th-century woman who fiercely followed God.

  • What is one little-known fact about yourself?

I am one of four kids and the only one who did not graduate from high school as valedictorian or salutatorian. Keeps me humble.