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Joe Carlson

Joe Carlson

about the teacher

I was born in 1983, in Santa Cruz CA, to loving parents who were devoted to one another, who cared for me, who were active members within the leadership of our church, and modeled to me love, devotion, loyalty, and the priority of Christ and His Word within the life of a believer. Furthermore, I was raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and taught from an early age to value the weekly worship of God’s people together in community. I attended a local public school through the fifth grade, and two different private Christian schools for junior high and high school. In 2001 I began attending New St Andrews College, in Moscow, ID, with two friends from my home church. In 2003, before we began our junior year at NSA, one of those friends (Jen) and I were married. We finished college together, and then moved back home after graduation in 2005. We returned to minister at our home church however we could. For the next two years I was the general manager of a local coffee shop; for the five years after that, I was the director of operations for the company, of which that shop was one. After my wife experienced a significant health crisis in 2012, I quit my job to take care of her full time. We sold our condo, and moved in with my folks. I took over her job at our church (she was the office admin) as she was in bed for over a year and could no longer work outside the home. God used that situation to lead me into vocational ministry at our church, where I then served as one of the pastors for seven years. During this time we were able to adopt our son, Joseph Benaiah (2017), as well as complete a MA in Humanities. In 2021, we followed the Lord’s very clear leading to move to Irving, TX to pursue my PhD in Literature at the University of Dallas. While here I have translated and published Dante's Inferno, along with a Reader's Guide. Translations and Guides for Purgatory and Paradiso are forthcoming.

Teaching Philosophy

The purpose of education is downstream from the purpose of man. This means that if the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, education, in an ultimate sense, serves that end. It is the duty of teachers to orient their students in that direction, no matter the subject. Augustine said that we reflect the image of God in that we remember, understand, and love. When our memory and understanding lead to the ultimate, orienting love of anything other than Christ as King, the education involved has led the student into foolishness. But when our education trains and equips students to remember, understand, and love Him by whom we were made, then those same students have been led into wisdom. Augustine calls this worship. And this is my philosophy of education in a nutshell, that education is a species of worship. It is also necessary to recognize the inescapable nature of this reality. Students will be taught to love something, be it God or not-God. There is no third, neutral option. The posture of their hearts will be oriented, no matter what. Therefore teachers must be proactive in creating atmospheres of learning that foster love for God, environments that work with the grain of reality and that encourage and bolster a student’s allegiance to Christ.

Statement of Faith

I know that I am a sinner saved by grace through faith. This has been my reality in the kind decrees of the Triune God from before the world was made; and in my life at the moment the Spirit gave new life to my whole person, heart, mind and soul. He did this by identifying me with Christ on the cross, in such a way that His obedience before the Father is accounted to me, just as my sin was given to Him. As a result of this, I am a new creation, freed from the penalty of sin, filled with the Spirit, given His Word, and placed within His body to fight against the sin that remains, rehabituating me in holiness, as the Spirit works His new life in me, equipping me to seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.

In short, I believe that Jesus is the risen Lord, that His Word is infallible, inerrant, and true, that His Spirit is alive in me and in this world to accomplish His good purposes, which is to present the nations to His Father, those nations having been redeemed by the power of His blood, which He will do when He comes again.

Even shorter, I believe that Jesus loves me, and I know this because the Bible tells me so, and that to trust and obey is the only way to be happy in Jesus.

Raised by loving Christian parents, I have actively known Jesus since I was 5 years old.

In terms of confessions, I would align myself with the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. We are currently attending Colleyville Presbyterian Church (Pastor Josh Anderson) in Colleyville, TX.

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Book One of Dante's Divine Comedy
A new blank verse translation by Joe Carlson
Inferno: Reader's Guide
A Reader's Guide to Dante's Inferno by Joe Carlson
Book Two of Dante's Divine Comedy
A new blank verse translation by Joe Carlson
Book Three of Dante's Divine Comedy
A new blank verse translation by Joe Carlson
Purgatorio: Reader's Guide
A Reader's Guide to Dante's Purgatorio by Joe Carlson
Paradiso: Reader's Guide
A Reader's Guide to Dante's Paradiso by Joe Carlson


University of Dallas - (in process - 2025)
University of Dallas - 2021
New Saint Andrews College - 2005
Liberal Arts and Culture