Barry teaches at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he is a professor of religion. He is also the college's Director of Academic Computing.
His teaching focuses on the Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew. He also regularly teaches a section of First Year Seminar and a capstone Senior Seminar within the college's interdisciplinary studies program. He is a past chair of the Religion Department. His Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (4th edition, Cengage 2009) is an introductory university text designed to draw students into the biblical text and draw appropriate meanings out of it. The rtot dot com website supports the textbook by providing free content quizzes and other resources to students. And teachers can set up course sites that aggregate student scores.
His professional interests include the application of computing technology to teaching and learning. As the director of academic computing, he is involved in giving direction to the college's course management system (currently Moodle), faculty training in technology and nurturing innovation in pedagogy, and in developing the college's program of summer online courses.
He is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature, was past program chair of the Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew section and is currently on the steering committee. Before that he was a chair of the Ugaritic and Northwest Semitics section. His interest in the linguistic definition of the biblical text has recently come to expression in Genesis 1-11, a volume in Baylor's Handbook on the Hebrew Bible series. In it he applies a linguistic approach called systemic functional grammar to the Hebrew text.
His extra-curricular interests revolve around family (one wonderful wife, three sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grandsons) and motorcycling, most of the time in that order.