About the Author​

Drawing on the Edges is written and produced by Ken Burgard

A note to the reader:

All the content for Drawing on the Edges is written and produced by me, excepting any guest writers whom I hope to have in the future.  Studying and teaching the Bible has been a passion of mine for almost 25 years now. 

Before I talk about where I’ve been, I just want to express an acknowledgement and thanksgiving. I have traveled, and worked with people, enough to know that we do not all start in the same place, or with the same opportunities. I have been given much, by virtue of the country where I was born, the family that raised me, and the God I serve (who I believe blesses the work of faithful hands). I created this site in the hope of sharing what I have been given, and everyone deserves to know a bit about who they are reading… so here are the basics:

Life: I’m old enough to have read the Infinity Gauntlet stories in comic book form as they came out before watching them on the big screen. Those comics were diligently paid for with paper route and lawn mowing money. That’s probably enough to let you know which generation I’m in. I live in the Midwest with my amazing wife, our kids, and a fur-clad destroyer-of-all-things who we name Bandit (he’s at the top of the page wondering when I’ll let him eat the camera). I grew up in the church, and then left the Christian faith after leaving home to go to school. I returned to the faith about 3 years later and have been active in ministry in one form or another since then.

Education: I have a Masters in Divinity from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, and a Bachelors of Science in Zoology (Pre-med) from Eastern Illinois University.  At Eastern I jumped back and forth between Art, Science, and English (and stayed an extra unintended year because of it).

Other Studies: Unarguably the best investment I have ever made in education was to purchase Logos Bible Software (at one time called Libronix). It was 50% off for seminary students! Owning a digital library like that with a tool for searching, indexing, and note taking is invaluable. It has allowed me to have access to and collect a large amount of original documents. If possible, I always prefer reading the original instead of someone’s summary of it. I read church history extensively, thanks to a talented history professor in Seminary, who wrote a great book about prayer! I am especially moved by the story of the Methodist revival in England and its effect on America and have been blessed to study and tour many of the sites in that story.

Church Stuff: I served in the United Methodist Church for 23 years as Elder, Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Youth Pastor before stepping away in the summer of 2023.  Through the UMC I have served on the Board of Ordained Ministry (where I worked specifically with Bible Study), the Board of Church and Society, and on the faculty for the License to Preach school where I taught both Interpreting the Bible Through Teaching, and Pastoral Care.  In the course of my work in the church I wrote a guide for finding and reading the plot of the Bible, and pieces of that work will be showing up throughout this site. In the summer of 2023, I made the choice to disaffiliate with the United Methodist Church. The parting was something I chose myself. It was necessary, but not without sadness. Honestly, the denominational struggle the UMC is going through really broke my heart, and I may have lost some faith in the church (but certainly not in Christ). I am in a season of taking a break from professional ministry, but never plan to take a break from following Christ or studying scripture.

Non-Church Stuff: When I mentioned leaving the faith in college, I really did. I spent plenty of time exploring both Buddhist and Wiccan spiritualities, and in my time in Indonesia learned a great deal about Islam, and Southeast Asian spirituality. A large part of learning about all of this was simply getting to know people who see the world differently. I’m not at all sorry for leaving the faith when I left home, in fact, I think I needed to, in order to choose it again. As Chesterton says in The Everlasting Man “There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. The other is to walk ’round the whole world till we come back to the same place.”

Warp Cores, Time Lords, and Smoke Monsters: There is a huge collection of boardgames in my basement. I have watched every episode of Dr. Who, Star Trek (yes, all of them), Stargate, and Lost. At an early point in my marriage, my wife informed me that I needed to get my novels from the library or digitally because the sixth bookcase would be the last one we purchased. I have always considered time outdoors, in the wild, to be a deeply spiritual experience, and will always choose national parks over Disneyland.

Language and Travel: In the course of ministry I have had the opportunity to learn the Biblical languages of Greek and Hebrew well enough to do some rough translation work. I have also had the chance to travel to see the church in action in Indonesia, Liberia, with the Lakota Sioux, and in the Appalachian Mountains.  I truly loved and was inspired by the chance to observe the artwork and imagination stirred by scripture in other places and cultures. I also enjoyed every moment of meeting people in these new places.

I absolutely do not promise to know everything but will work hard to bring you solid content without errors.  I love a good conversation, and love to recommend a good resource.  We live on the edges, the places where the Word of God intersects with our world.  I hope that the work presented here can help you in any way to connect with the Bible, and the God who inspired it.