Dr. Peter Ajer

Peter Ajer

Lecturer in New Testament
S.T.B., Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, Italy
S.S.L., Licentiate, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome Italy
Ph.D., Biblical Studies (New Testament) Graduate Theological Union


Peter Claver Ajer was born and brought up in Uganda in Eastern Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from Pontifical Urbaniana University, a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from Pontifical Biblical Institute and a PhD in Biblical Studies (New Testament) from the Graduate Theological Union. The allied field in his doctoral studies is Political Science (Peace and Conflict Studies). Dr. Ajer has taught as guest lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies at University of California, Berkeley, and in New Testament at Holy Names University. He has been visiting lecturer at University of the Pacific, adjunct faculty at Saint Mary’s College of California and Pacific School of Religion. He is currently part of the adjunct faculty in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at University of San Francisco. His present research topics include the Gathering Motif in the Fourth Gospel, Social Construction of Space in Philemon, and a deconstruction/critique of the Rhetoric of War in Judeo-Christian Scriptures as used by the Holy Spirit Movement and the Lord’s Resistance Army of Uganda. Ajer is the author of The Death of Jesus and the Politics of Place in the Gospel of John, Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2016.

Why I Teach: 

Having grown up in an environment of war in northern Uganda, my thoughts are always about how to shape a better life for everyone and especially for people at the margins of society. This is reflected in my teaching, as I strive to inspire students to create more just and benevolent communities. Scripture is a great resource in working to realize social justice. I recognize myself as a companion to the students as they endeavor to learn and to achieve their life and ministry goals. As such I try to create an atmosphere conducive to dialogue about things that matter to the community and to the students. In the classroom this is often achieved through open-ended questions that ignite discussions about issues of value to them and to the different societies and institutions they will serve. I very much encourage interpretation of Scripture in both the context of the original ancient writing and the context(s) of the contemporary reader. This helps the message of Scriptures to be constantly brought in the freshest ways to current situations in our world, as we create a more humane community in new ways.

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Pauline Epistles: Exegesis
  • Paul’s Letters: Context and Theolog
  • Gospel of John
  • The Gospels (Continuing Education

Selected Publications:

  • “Tongues and Community Building in Corinth.” Asian American Theological Forum 4 no. 2 (2017).
  • The Death of Jesus and the Politics of Place in the Gospel of John. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2016.
  • Review of Postcolonial Perspectives in African Biblical Interpretations, edited by Dube, Musa W., Andrew M. Mbuvi, and Dora R. Mbuwayesango. Global Perspectives on Biblical Scholarship 13; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012. Pp. 529. Published in The Review of Biblical Literature 01/2015.

Recent Presentations:

  • “Social Construction of Space in Philemon.” Presented as part of the Bible, Theology, and Religion Lecture Series in Theology to the faculty and students at St. Mary’s College of California, Moraga, California on April 09, 2018.
  • “Philemon: Creating Transformative Spaces in Community.” Presented at Lynnewood United Methodist Church in Pleasanton, California on April 30, 2017. 
  • “The Rhetoric of War in Judeo-Christian Scriptures in the Political Theology of the Holy Spirit Movement and the Lord’s Resistance Movement of Uganda.” Presented in the African Biblical Hermeneutics Program Unit of the Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religions Meeting, San Antonio, Texas on November 19, 2016.
  • “The Death of Jesus and the Politics of Place in the Gospel of John.” Presented in the New Testament Section at Catholic Biblical Association of America Meeting, Santa Clara University, California on August 7, 2016.