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Chesterton House

A Center for Christian Studies at Cornell

Adjunct Faculty

Ryan O'Dowd serves as Chesterton House Senior Fellow, including status as both Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at Gordon College and Cornell United Religious Work (CURW) Chaplain.  His formal education includes a B.S. in Biology from the U.S. Air Force Academy, M.A. in biblical studies from Reformed Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. in biblical studies from the University of Liverpool (2005).  He has taught courses in biblical and religious studies at Briercrest College, Redeemer University College, and the Paideia Centre for Public Theology.

He also served in the active duty Air Force from 1994-2001 and 2010-13 and in the Air Force Reserves from 2001-2009 and 2013 to the present.  During his second tour on active duty he served as Courtesy Associate Professor of Aerospace Studies at Cornell University, and also served as a member of the board of governors at Chesterton House.  He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and serves as Inspector General at the 514th Air Mobility Wing (Air Force Reserves) at McGuire Air Force Base, NJ.

Ryan is married to the former Amy Gunter of Pacific Grove, CA and they have four children.  Their marriage has included 13 homes in six U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and Cheltenham, England.  They’re very happy to be settled in Ithaca.

Jim Thomforde serves Chesterton House as a Gordon College Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies.  He also teaches and mentors Cornell students as the Ministry Director of Christian Union and he is the Chaplain of the Cornell football team.  His education includes a B.A. in Economics from Trinity College, M.A. in Theology and M.A. in Church History from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and he is a PhD Candidate in Theology at the University of Edinburgh.  In addition to his teaching and ministry experience, he has played professional baseball for the New York Yankees and worked for several years on Wall Street in institutional equities. Jim and his wife Liz live in Ithaca and have two children, JT and Ella.