I probably have too many things on my plate. And too many interests.
I am a husband of almost 10 years to Sarah, a gal I met volunteering for a fundraiser at a crisis pregnancy center in college. We have a daughter and a son, both still in diapers. It is a blast learning and growing with them. A very time-consuming blast. Easily one of the best ideas ever. If you have the means, I highly recommend it. I know my kids aren’t the cutest in the world, but they are in the top 1% and you can’t convince me otherwise.
I am a pastoral intern at Christ Central Buffalo (christcentralbuffalo.com). My role is largely assisting pastor Chris Jhu and getting experience in discipleship, teaching and managing ministries to serve those in Buffalo-Amherst area. I began my internship September 2022. I am under care in the Presbyterian Church of America. I completed my seminary training at Westminster Theological Seminary, in Philly. If you aren’t familiar with the PCA, check the Westminster Confession of Faith. You can see most of my expository preaching here. If you are considering reading the Bible in a year, consider the M’Cheyne reading track.
I am a philosopher. Well, more accurately, I am a doctoral student in philosophy at University at Buffalo (SUNY). My doctoral research focuses on early modern philosophy (typically 1625-1750 Anglo-folk), especially metaphysics. My dissertation under progress focuses on John Sergeant and George Berkeley’s attempts to solve the problems of universals and individuation (see my publication on the medieval dilemma). In general I’m not a hardcore skeptic, but I don’t think it is possible to know when my dissertation will be done. Over the last decade I’ve been in higher education and pursuing specialization in teaching philosophy and religion (see my teaching page). I hold an MA in philosophy from Western Michigan University (2017), and an MA in religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (2014). I also hold a BA in philosophy and in psychology from Central Michigan University (2010). I love teaching.
I am an ontologist. Not oncologist, ontologist. I have experience in creating, improving, and maintaining machine-readable models of what exists in a domain (called an ‘ontology’), conformant with the design principles and import structure from Basic Formal Ontology. I am employed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a large company that has major contracts with the government, especially Department of Homeland Security. In the past I’ve worked on an ontology of commercial exchange (finance), an ontology of representation (aboutness, information, etc.), an ontology of informed consent (biomedical), and an ontology of mental functioning that extends representation of unconscious and automatic processing (social psychology).
I love learning languages. I’ve been formally trained in German, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and informally I’ve been trying to teach myself the basics in Korean and Russian. Follow me on DuoLingo? I think it is less efficient for for learning languages than memorizing paradigms, but it gameifies the process. Historical linguistics is fun too. No, I am not related to Edward Vajda, who does academic research on the nearly-extinct Ket language. Yes, it is interesting what he’s attempted to show about common parentage (or language family link) between some Native American languages and with some Eurasian languages. I sometimes read the Bible in German (thanks to my sister Kate buying me a Luther Bibel), and sometimes translate portions into English from Hebrew or Greek (I don’t have the Aramaic chops to translate portions of Daniel and Ezra competently).
I have always been into computers, tinkering with electronics, and managing information technology. I used to work in IT support for Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. Lately my computer savviness been expressed primarily in terms of web development and consultation work, or in providing live-recording and streaming services with OBS for my local church. As for personal video production, I have a YouTube channel, PhilosophyVajda, with over 800 subscribers. If and when I get the time, I will be adding more videos. But I have too much to do, to build this out pro bono.
I play the drums, but not very well. I’m a glorified metronome. Even so, I am thankful for my uncle Randy, who gave me my drum kit. I know my music I posted online is garbage techno, but here it is anyway: soundcloud.com/jonathan-vajda. If you are looking for a Vajda similar to me in interests and competency and earnestness, but also musically-talented, you should look for my brother, Josh Vajda. He even updates his blog, too!
In lieu of posting my email address (which is simply my first and last name at gmail), feel free to contact me through this form if it is more convenient for you: