Newbold Academic Press Launches with Festschrift for Michael Pearson

(Spectrumbot) #1

Newbold College of Higher Education, a Seventh-day Adventist College in Berkshire, England, has launched a new publishing venture, Newbold Academic Press. The press's first publication, released Saturday, March 28, was "Journeys to Wisdom: A Festchrift in Honour of Michael Pearson."

Dr. Michael Pearson has served Newbold College as a lecturer and administrator for 42 years, most recently as principal lecturer emeritus. He will retire at the end of Newbold's current term. Dr. Andreas Bochmann, Head of the MA in counseling program at Friedensau Adventist University in Germany and visiting lecturer of pastoral counseling at Newbold, conceived of the idea to honor Pearson in 2013.

"When Mike had announced his plans to retire at the end of 2013, I quickly inquired with the then principal (president) of Newbold whether any kind of recognition was planned after his 42 years of service at Newbold College," Bochmann said.

When Bochmann learned that nothing had been planned for Pearson's retirement beyond the usual “farewell” during the Christmas banquet, he started looking for alternative ways to celebrate Pearson's career. Bochmann discussed the matter with Pearson's wife Helen, and from their discussions, the idea of a festschrift was born. (A festschrift is a book honoring an academic on the occasion of a retirement or other significant life or academic milestone.)

Newbold College Principal John Baildam said that both the festschrift and Newbold Academic press were Bochmann's ideas. "[Bochmann] pestered me incessantly once I had been appointed principal until I set up a publications panel in the late fall of 2014 with Manfred Lemke (academic registrar) as chair," Baildam said.

When Baildam became Newbold's principal in May 2014, Bochmann suggested the press as a way to put Newbold on the map. "We found open ears for the suggestion to use this festschrift as an opening for a new line of books to be published under a brand new label 'Newbold Academic Press,'" Bochmann said.

Lemke, who was appointed academic registrar in September 2014, recounts conversations with Baildam about visions for the future of Newbold College.

"It must have been in one of these meetings that I shared an idea for Newbold College which still needs to be explored, but Andreas Bochmann's idea about NAP (of which I had no idea) fitted perfecly into that vision I depicted to John," Lemke said. Baildam asked Lemke to chair the Newbold Academic Press publication panel, and Lemke says, in a matter of moments, he went from trying to articulate a vision to seeing a major part of it realized.

In planning NAP's first publication, Pearson's family agreed with Bochmann that merely presenting Pearson with a collection of scholarly papers would be "a little dry and not really 'him,'” Bochmann said. "Thus we widened the scope and invited colleagues and friends to contribute whatever they liked in the fields Mike has been excelling in: philosophy, ethics, spirituality." Bochmann describes the result as "astounding."

"Journeys to Wisdom" features essays from twenty Adventist scholars and administrators from Europe and the United States, and, Bochmann says, has a very “Adventist” focus, which Bochmann says "is in line with Mike’s critical loyalty to the church."

Because of the project's Adventist flavor, the potential audience and list of potential publishers shrank. The editorial team (Bochmann, Jean-Claude Verrecchia and Manuela Casti Yeagley) discussed alternative ways to publish.

Says Baildam: "There are several more publications in the pipeline, but next on the press will be the conference proceedings from the current European Theology Teachers’ Conference." It was at that conference that Pearson was honored for his years of service. At the closing banquet of the European Theology Teachers Conference, Pearson was surprised by the unveiling of "Journeys to Wisdom."

Dr. Mike Pearson (left) with Principal John Baildam and the first copy of "Journeys to Wisdom."

Lemke adds, "Through these few months I discovered how it is to work with a team where everyone works at her or his best. I am grateful and honoured to be a part of this group."

And in terms of the impact of Newbold Academic's first publication, "Journeys to Wisdom" hit its first mark. "The very fact that Mike did not have a clue about the entire enterprise and was taken by utter surprise made the ceremony last night even more precious for all of us," Lemke said.

Many colleagues, students and friends have shared their well-wishes and thoughts for the occasion of Pearson's retirement on Newbold College's Facebook page.

"Journeys to Wisdom" is available from Amazon as an e-publication or paperback here for American readers, and here in the UK.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Marianne Faust) #2

Prima Andreas! Where/when can I read it?

(James J Londis) #3

He is a fine scholar and a gentleman to be admired. Having only been to Newbold once many years ago, that is the only time we met, but I was and am impressed. Congratulations, Michael on an enviable career! Blessings to you.

Jim Londis

(jeremy) #4

contratulations, andreas…

i enjoyed the time i spent at newbold some time ago, and have good memories…the school appears to be running well…people are kind, and go out of their way to make you feel welcome…

is michael pearson any relation to robert h. pearson, i wonder…i went to grade-school at andrews with robert’s granddaughter yrs ago…she was well-liked, and we all thought it was neat that the granddaughter of the gc president was in our class…

(Jared Wright) #5

“Prima Andreas! Where/when can I read it?”

Marianne, see the links in the final paragraph for ways of procuring a copy of “Journeys to Wisdom.”

(Ole-Edvin Utaker) #6

Michael Pearson was one of my first teachers at Newbold, when I came there back in 1977, the same year that Andreas Bochmann enrolled (I believe?). He is a great teacher and a fine scholar! I believe his contributions, both in the classroom and on campus, will be greatly missed.


The article is excellent but perhaps could have focused less on the process and more on the content of the book, which contains fine contributions from a broad variety of authors variously connected to Michael Pearson.

(Marianne Faust) #8

Thanks Jared! There is even a Kindle Edition…

(Peter Marks) #9


Michael’s family name is spelt PEARSON, Robert’s was spelt PIERSON. PEARSON is a worthy English gentleman, an Oxford trained ethicist, no less. PIERSON was a gracious American gentleman.

I was fortunate in that I had Mike as a lecturer during my two year stint at Newbold, 1986-88 in the Postgraduate School of Theology. He demanded intellectual rigor from all his students which I appreciated.

I remember doing the course, “Doctrine of Man” under his tutelage. And “Christian Ethics.” Though, I remember he diagreed radically from our textbook by John Stott when it came to his approach to sexuality.

(jeremy) #10

thx for that correction, peter…i’ve been looking up past gc presidents to get a feel for what their legacies may have been, and i missed that spelling for pierson… :relaxed:

(Aage Rendalen) #11

I must be getting old. I remember Michael and Helen as the youngest of the faculty at Newbold–1972. Congratulations to both of you. I no longer walk among you (only metaphorically, of course, I’still very much embodied), but I remember my year in Binfield as a year of magic and the Pearsons were part of it. Newbold was my Hogworths. Nothing else ever came close.


Like Aage, who roomed next door to me in Keough House, I arrived at Newbold College in the autumn of 1972, a 20-year-old American fresh from having spent a year as a student missionary in Mexico. If I remember correctly, that was the first academic year Michael and Helen Pearson were on staff. I took Sociology from Mike and audited his French class. I’m glad I wasn’t taking French for a grade–because my pronunciation was atrocious!

Sociology class was where my admiration for Mike really took root. I’ve never had a teacher who invested as much in me as a student as Mike did. I would scribble an all-but-illegible, half-baked three- or four-page essay–and Mike would write a page and a half of critique in beautifully penned cursive. While his penmanship never rubbed off on me, I would like to believe that his powers of careful observation, his penchant for objective analysis and his unmitigated distaste for unverifiable assertions did leave an indelible impression. When a teacher takes a student’s work as seriously as Mike appeared to take mine, it throws out an unspoken but inescapable challenge to aim higher.

Mike and Helen are both exceptional people–authentic, unpretentious, approachable, wise, caring, committed . . . and I could go on. Of course, were he grading this, I’m sure Mike would knock off a few points for what he would declare are “unverifiable assertions.” But I know otherwise.

Thanks to both of you, Mike and Helen, for playing such a major role in making the three years Leonie and I spent at Newbold such a rich, enjoyable and lasting educational experience. The laudatory comments made here, and those that will be made elsewhere concerning the impact you’ve made on the lives of hundreds of students who came from nearly every nook and cranny of the globe, will actually be understatement.

Again, thanks.


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #13

I appreciate the information you posted about contributors. I also liked learning in the described process about the role of @andreas.

(Andreas Bochmann) #14

A book review will probably take a little longer … 300 pages of scholarly essays and papers need to be read and digested - and the book wasn’t available before Saturday night, when it was presented. :slight_smile:
But — what has not been, may be. :wink: