I have earbuds in my ears a lot. I love reclaiming time, or multiplying my time, by listening to something while doing something that doesn't require my ear attention. Yard work, driving, watching my kids play soccer, walking to work, exercising – all of these are times when I can listen to podcasts without affecting whatever else I am busy with. Before I list the podcasts that fill my time, I'll also mention that you need to find the correct times for listening to podcasts, and when to turn them off. For instance, I started writing this blog post with a podcast on. Two sentences in and I realized that I hadn't really heard anything on the podcast. When you need to be paying attention and focused on what you're doing, don't distract yourself.
Biblical Studies (and other Academic)
Probably no surprise tha biblical studies podcasts are the ones I gravitate to the most. And there are some great ones out there that I can heartily recommend to you. There are probably more than this, and if you have a suggestion, please leave them in the comments.
Kingdom Roots Podcast: The Kingdom Roots podcast is a podcast by Scot McKnight. I find McKnight to be a great communicator, I actually find him most clear in speech over against writing. The podcast genre, with a host that asks him questions, really puts McKnight in his element.
Naked Bible Podcast: Michael Heiser is a force of nature in my opinion – in fact I'd love to sit down with this man at some point to understand how he manages to produce so much. He works at Logos, he has a busy blog, a great podcast, and is publishing books and articles. The first dozen or so episodes are a little slower as it is strictly a monologue. But it becomes a little more casual and natural once the new format of having a host comes into play. Many of these podcasts are like audio commentaries on chapters of the Bible, and Michael is unapologetic in his desire to understand what the text meant. He eschews any theological or practical considerations. In short, he's my kind of guy!
The PaulCast: This is a new podcast but has already had some stellar episodes and I have no doubt the quality will continue. Kurt Willems is a pastor and a pauline scholar who really knows his stuff. The early episodes called "Entering the Convo" will help many to understand the state of discussion on Paul in scholarship today.
NT Pod: Mark Goodacre, as usual, was at the forefront of the new technology and has one of the first (perhaps the first?) podcast for academic Biblical studies. While I don't ultimately agree with Goodacre on all issues, he is a bright and articulate scholar whom I highly respect. A minor annoyance with the podcast feed is that the episodes are listed out of order (not sure why).
Reasonable Faith Podcast: WL Craig is the main apologist of our time and I appreciate that he covers a range of issues. This podcast also helps me stay somewhat current on apologetics in general, and the intersection of faith and science in particular.
I subscribe and listen to every episode of the above podcasts. Here are some other biblical studies and academically related podcasts I cherry-pick from.
Theology in the Raw: A little shorter and a little less in-depth by nature, I nonetheless really enjoy Preston Sprinkle's podcast. His multi-part podcast on the issue of homosexuality (stemming from his book People to Be Loved) is quite good. However, and this is most unfortunate, the early episodes (including the ones I just mentioned) don't seem to be on the feed anymore. This kind of goes against the whole point of podcasts, but my guess is that the radio program that then publishes the podcasts doesn't want to pay for the storage space, which is very unfortunate.
History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps: A student turned me on to this one and I've enjoyed a few episodes of it so far and look forward to listening to more of them.
History of Christian Theology: This is a brand new one I've stumbled upon and so far I'm enjoying it. It may move soon to the "listen to every episode" list.
Church Leadership / Sermons
All of these podcasts sit in the "occasional listening" category for me, as I don't listen to every single episode of any of them.
Meeting House Sermon Podcast: Bruxy Cavey is a great speaker/preacher that is quite rich in content. I've listened to quite a few sermon podcasts, including all of the big names, and Cavey in my opinion seems to be the best read in the academic arena on the topics he preaches on. This is a breath of fresh air and I would love to see more preachers like this. He doesn't water down the content for his people, he provides a buffet and challenges them to go deeper.
Woodland Hills Sermon Podcast: Greg Boyd is another preacher who reads widely in academia and doesn't water things down in the sermon. I appreciate people like Boyd who stands in the old-school tradition of being a serious theologian/academic while also being active in ministry.
Leadership Momentum Podcast: I am not one who follows any one mega-church pastor religiously, but I'm also not one to bash these people and think they don't have anything worthwhile to say. The podcasts interacting with these people is enormous. So I've chosen one to subscribe to that has these big-named pastors on as guests.
Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast: Similar to the above podcast, but longer and published more frequently. I really respect Nieuwhof and I cherry-pick episodes on this podcast.
There aren't a ton of parenting podcasts from a Christian perspective. The first one is newer and I listen to all of them, the second one I cherry-pick.
Growing Leaders Podcast: I've called Tim Elmore at times my at-a-distance parental mentor. I really enjoy his blog and his podcast. This is a bit of a blend between leadership, youth, and parenting. I cherry-pick the episodes more related to parenting and teens.
Productivity (and Business-type-stuff)
Readers know I'm a bit of a productivity and lifestyle junky. I've learned a lot from these podcasts, been inspired, learned skills, and have received tips on blogging and advertising (for things like my courses).
This Is Your Life: I'm not sure how I stumbled upon Michael Hyatt, but I've enjoyed his blog and podcast for a long time. A mix of business, leadership, and productivity, I'm subscribed to this one.
EntreLeadership Podcast: This is a lot like the above in that it has a wide range of topics, but mixed in with this is talk on stewardship that I enjoy (It is under the David Ramsey brand after all). I'm subscribed to this one as well.
Related more directly to online business-type stuff, I also cherry-pick from the Freedom Fast Lane podcast as well as the Smart Passive Income podcast. Related more to life-coaching and productivity, I cherry-pick from the Tim Ferris podcast and the School of Greatness podcast.
By way of conclusion, I want to mention that if you use an iOS device for podcasts, I'd recommend Overcast as your podcast app. While I love apple, the apple podcast app doesn't hold a candle to Overcast (which is free, but is happy to take a donation as payment if you want to). Lastly, you see that I listen to a lot. One way I get through a lot of listening is by speeding up the podcast, usually to about 1.75x speed. Your brain can process listening faster than most people speak. And with Overcast, you can set a speed for each podcast (if a speaker is especially slow or fast). It also has a setting that analyses the podcast and skips dead-air space.
There's my list! Let me know if I'm missing any stellar podcasts, particularly in the Biblical studies area.
photo credit: iPhone Headphones via photopin (license)