For thousands of years religious communities have depended on scholars to read, interpret, and analyze faith and the scriptures it is based on. The field of theology is highly academic, but it also influences peoples’ lives on a deep, spiritual level, and the most respected theological scholars can have profound effects on the many faithful people that read their work. The idea of participating in theological research and scholarship is appealing for many seminary students. Becoming a professor and teaching the next generation of theological scholars is an attractive career choice both from a spiritual and an intellectual point of view. However, it is not necessarily an easy path. Any theology student considering becoming a teacher or professor should look to those who have come before them for guidance and inspiration.
The professors and scholars mentioned here have not only contributed to the body of theological knowledge with their research, but they have also contributed to the preparation of a new generation of theologians. Each of these individuals can serve as a remarkable role model for current theology students who aim to become educators. These are listed in no specific order, and are categorized by the general region of the most recent institution they taught at. This list focuses on theological scholars who work and teach in the United States, though many of them are known and respected internationally.
As one of the most prolific and highly recognizable names on our list, Dr. Cornel West has an esteemed career placing him as notable figure in popular culture. He’s taught at some of the top universities in the world and his works often provide unique perspective into some of the most pressing issues today through a philosophical lens.
Francis X Clooney is the Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, while also the Parkman Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. His specialties range multiple religions and his approaches increase students’ effectiveness at learning.
Leila Ahmed is the first professor of Women’s Studies at Harvard Divinity School and her books and research often look at feminist theory and women in the Middle East. She’s a highly regarded voice regarding Middle East feminism and provides some of the most interesting insight into the issues.
Gregory K. Beale teaches at Westminster Theological Seminary where the work he’s contributed on spans pages and his impressive resume displays how his career has advanced over the last three decades.
The Rev. Christopher A. Beeley is the Walter H. Gray Associate Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics at Yale Divinity School. He focuses teaching on early Christian theology, as well as the history of Anglican tradition. He’s written numerous books, one of which was awarded the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise.
Shane J. Wood specializes in eschatology, Jesus, the New Testament, among other areas that he’s thoroughly equipped to speak on. Although still pursuing his doctorate, he’s accomplished a great deal during his time at Ozark Christian College.
The Very Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock is the President, Dean, and Professor of Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School. Her exquisite work is only further emphasized by her commitments to social and sexual justice, along with active membership in some of the most prominent social rights organizations in the country.
Miriam Therese Winter joined Hartford Seminary with the explicit intention to establish a department of liturgy, worship, and spirituality. Her contributions to the institution have been incredibly worthwhile and her rich experience has properly equipped her for the role as the Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute.
Mariano Avila is the Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary and has served as Pastor of 6 different Presbyterian churches throughout his career. He’s also worked as an integral part of the Biblical Translation Committee that has produced a translation in contemporary Spanish.
Northern Seminary’s David Fitch is the Chair of Evangelical Theology and is also the founding pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community located outside Chicago, Illinois. His work has appeared in publications such as Christianity Today, The Other Journal, and Missiology.
Scot McKnight has worked at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary where he has become recognized across the globe for his work on early Christianity and, specifically, the New Testament. He frequents guest appearances in the media and is a renowned public speaker on contemporary Christian topics.
Lisa Sowle Cahill teaches at the Boston College School Theology Department where her interests are largely centered around the ethical application of theology, the New Testament, Sex and Gender, and many other areas. Her background in ethics is well-noted and she’s previously served as the President of the Society of Christian Ethics.
Edith M. Humphrey teaches at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and has built extensive renown in her time as a student and professor. Graduating from the prestigious McGill University, she was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal. In addition to various articles being published in the last two decades, she is also currently working on two distinct research projects.
Lee H. Butler, Jr. focuses on African-American identify formation and the role that religion plays, specifically concerning African indigenous religions. He also works to examine American slavocracy, religiosity and spirituality, Black and Womanist theologies, along with Black psychology, and health and healing.
Theodore Jennings was the local pastor of the Methodist Seminary in Mexico City, but has also served as a consultant for the United Methodist Church. During his time at Chicago Theological Seminary, he’s done exceptional work developing gay and lesbian studies.
Barbara Moore is the Director of the Program for the Study of Women and Gender in Church and Society at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. Her work has been integral in advancing how women are viewed in the largely patriarchal church system.
Dwight N Hopkins has worked extensively in contemporary theology, specifically in liberation theologies and their various cultural implications. He has an impressive array of recent publications and is also ordained as an American Baptist minister.
Ken Cleaver is an Associate Professor at Liberty University and focuses on Church History, History of Christian Doctrine, Systematic Theory, and the Use of the Bible in Christian Rhetoric. With this knowledge on hand, he’s aptly equipped to address some of the most unique issues in theology today.
For nearly 20 years, Catherine Vincie has been a Professor of Liturgical and Sacramental Theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology. Her background as a musician led her to a renewed interest in Theology and she has published articles recently detailing liturgy.
Rev. Robert A. Pesarchick has been involved with Saint Charles Morromeo Seminary since 1983, when beginning his Bachelors Degree. He currently works as the Professor of Systematic Theology and serves as the Chair, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Speaker Approval Commission.
Professor of Moral and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Mark S. Latkovic has taught a variety of courses concerning Philosophy and Morality pertaining to Theology. His resume details the various theological ventures he embarked on previous to being a professor, including being the Vice-Chair of Adam Cardinal Maida’s Detroit Archdiocesan Medical-Moral Committee.
Jennifer Herdt is a part of the Yale Divinity School after spending a decade in the Theology department at the University of Notre Dame. Her impressive display of work has been featured in countless publications from across the country.
Ron Sider is a Distinguished Professor of Theology at Palmer Theological Seminary and received his Doctorate at Yale University. Christianity Today regarded his book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger as one of the top 100 books in religion in the 20th century.
James W. Voelz is based out of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, where he is the Chair and Professor of Exegetical Theology. He’s led an impressive number of conference discussions and has published a number of articles on the New Testament. Voelz is also a member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (The International New Testament Society).
Rev. Msgr. Michel Kevin Magee is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Systematic Theology department at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary. He teaches Fundamental Theology, along with Theology of Grace, Ecclesiology, and many other courses.
Mary Elizabeth Moore has an impressive list of books she’s worked on, such as Teaching as a Sacramental Act, Ministering with the Earth, Teaching from the Heart, and other books that emphasize conveying Christian values through education.
Jill Y. Crainshaw teaches on liturgical theology, vocational formation in ministry, and provides great feminist perspective concerning church leadership. She’s written numerous books and currently serves as Co-Editor of the Encyclopedia of Religious Controversies in the United States.
As Director of the PhD Program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Stephen J. Andrew is a highly credible figure within the school and is also the Professor of Old Testament, Hebrew, and Archaeology. Additionally, he works as Executive Editor of the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament.
The Rev. Joyce Mercer works at the Virginia Theological Seminary where she focuses on gender, faith, and violence against adolescent girls. She’s worked at other seminaries across the country and serves on the editorial board for multiple publications.
Dr. Dean Blevins is the Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship at Nazarene Theological Seminary. He also works as the Director of the Master of Arts in Christian Formation and Discipleship at the school.
Bruce L. Fields is the Chair of the Biblical and Systematic Theology Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He’s previously worked with Campus Crusade for Christ and has also taught on the New Testament and theology at Trinity College.
Sathianathan Clarke is a Professor of Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary and is a member of the Episcopal Church of South India. Dr. Clarke specializes in contextual theology, constructive global theology, and the theology of religions.
Denise Dombkowski Hopkins is a Professor of Hebrew Bible and also the Woodrow W. and Mildred B. Miller Professor of Biblical Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary. She’s received research awards, as well as an award for exemplary teaching.
Yahya Michot is the Professor of Islamic Thought and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary. As the Co-Editor of the Muslim World Journal, he’s an esteemed figure for getting credible views on Arabic philosophy, language, history, and more.
James H. Railey Jr. is the Chair of the Bible and Theology Department at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. As the Professor of Theology, he also has extensive experience as a Senior and Associate Pastor, which contributes to his wealth of knowledge in the area.
Chip Dobbs-Allsopp is the Associate Professor of Old Testament in the Department of Biblical Studies at Princeton Theological Review. He’s incredibly well versed in Hebrew poetry, along with Semitic languages.
Ellen T. Charry is the Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and has written numerous publications. She’s fascinated with the human development through a Christian lens and has served on the editorial boards of various Christian journals and publications.
Katie Geneva Cannon is the first ordained African American woman in the United Presbyterian Church and has an emphasis on ethics and womanism, particularly as it relates to African Americans.
Dr. Erika Moore is the Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Trinity School for Ministry. Her research interests cover many areas, including the Old Testament, Biblical Theology, and Hermeneutics.
Anthony L. Blair is the President of Evangelical Seminary and also Professor of Church History. He has wide-ranging experience as a co-founder of the MidAtlantic Foundation for Church Multiplication, as an adjunct professor, Senior Pastor, and Professor of Leadership studies.
Katie Day is the Charles A. Schieren Chair in Church and Society at The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Her coursework draws heavily on social sciences and ethics, but also has interest in African American Congregations, cross-cultural volunteerism, and more.
Dr. Arthur A. Just Jr. has been a part of the Concordia Theological Seminary since 1984 and currently serves as Professor and Chairman of Exegetical Theology. He’s incredibly active in creating content on various mediums, from books to videos that elaborate on a complex understanding of liturgy and other subjects.
Paul A. Hartog is a professor at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary is well-known for his work in a collegiate setting, as well as in a local church setting. His education includes a doctorate from Loyola University and an impressive number of certificates.
The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary features numerous notable professors, including President and Professor of Homiletics, Rev. Dr. William J. Carl III. Previous to joining the seminary, he worked as a pastor for a 1,700-member church in Dallas, Texas for 22 years.
Dr. R. Todd Mangum has been met with regard since pursuing his PhD in which he was awarded the John F. Walvoord Award for Outstanding Work in Eschatology from the Dallas Theological Seminary. As a Professor of Theology at Biblical Theological Seminary, he’s gained an extensive amount of renown for his book, The Dispensational-Covenantal Rift.
Marilyn Salmon is the Professor of New Testament Theology at the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She’s taught courses on everything from New Testament Greek to Preaching the Gospels.
At Christian Theological Seminary, Dr. Wilma Bailey is the Minnie Vautrin Professor of Christian Witness and also Professor of Hebrew and Aramaic Scripture. She’s won numerous awards and was designated a Regional Scholar by the Society of Biblical Literature.
Jean deBlois is a Professor of Systematic Theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology and the story of how she came into studying theology is very interesting. She has a significant background in ethics as a result, which informs her in a unique way on theological issues.
Elaine A. Robinson is the Academic Dean of Saint Paul at Oklahoma City University and is also the Professor of Methodist Studies and Christian Theology. She specializes in United Methodist Studies and has written a handful of publications that faith and ethics in theology.
Dr. Brenda B. Colijn is the Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Theology at Ashland Theological Seminary and often researches New Testament Theology, salvation, and Anabaptist theology.
As Director of the MA Program and Professor of Systematic Theology at Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Dr. Anneliese Sinnott also served as the Vice-President of Academic Affairs and Dean from 1996 to 2010. Over the years, she’s established herself as one of the most important components in the seminary and has done exceptional work over her time there.
Dr. Ann Fritschel has been ordained for over 25 years and focuses her research extensively on rural ministry. She also has a large background in researching the Hebrew Bible. Interestingly as well, she is a descendant of one of the founders of Wartburg Seminary.
Andrew H. Bartelt focuses on “First Testament” Theology, specifically prophetic literature and poetry. He’s also very experienced in discussing theological education, pastoral formation, and issues pertaining to church and ministry work.
Dr. Robert Fastiggi is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and has served as the Executive Editor of the New Catholic Encyclopedia since 2009. His books have touched on everything from personal happiness to analyzing the Virgin Mary.
Tracy L. Hartman teaches at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond where she’s a Professor of Homiletics and Practical Theology. She teaches preaching and directs the seminary’s Supervised Ministry and Doctor of Ministry programs.
Calyton J. Williams is the Professor of Old Testament Studies at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary where students affectionately refer to him as “rabbi” due to his impressive knowledge of the subject matter. As the youngest full-time faculty member in the history of the school, he has proven himself many times over to be a leader in the field.
Dr. Maria E. Erling teaches at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and often discusses the current state of religion in America, along with the history of Lutheranism, and much more. The information on her page makes for a great referential guide for Lutherans.
Elizabeth Newman is the Professor of Theology and Ethics where she’s written numerous articles on theology and ethics. She worked for 12 years at the esteemed St. Mary’s College before making the move to the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. In 2009, she was named the Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology.
Daniel Lowell Akin was elected as President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously and has gained a reputation for his advocacy pertaining to international missions and expository preaching.
Bruce Riley Ashford is the Dean of Faculty and Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his resume features impressive credentials, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Constantin Brancusi in Romania. Additionally, he’s also very active on Twitter concerning pressing theological issues and how we can promote connectedness through discussing the pertinent issues of today.
The Rev. Dr. Lamontte M. Luker teaches at Lenoir Rhyne University and has worked as a pastor and professor in a variety of contexts during his career. Additionally, he works as the faculty leader for Holy Land Study Tours for seminary students.
Dr. Gerald Bray is a Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology at Knox Theological Seminary and he has authored a book on biblical exegesis. He is also the Director of Research for an evangelical think tank in London.
Dr. Michael Allen is the Dean of Faculty and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Knox Theological Seminary. His primary focuses are theological commentary on the Bible and systematic theology shaped by exegesis and engagement with historical theology.
Columbia Theological Seminary Professor Dr. Pamela Cooper-White does impressive work looking at the ways that theology, psychoanalysis, and postmodern theory come together. Interestingly, she also studies violence against women and the church’s response to these issues.
Michael Jinkins is the President of Louisville Seminary and was ordained over 30 years ago. He’s worked in a number of leading institutions and has published numerous books over the past few decades.
Dr. Matt Mathews is a Professor of Theology at Memphis Theological Seminary and has written numerous publications, including Dust and Breath: Faith, Health, and Why the Church Should Care About Both. His research emphasis looks at how faith and health intersect.
Gregg R. Allison has been teaching for nearly 20 years and has 18 years of ministry experience. He’s worked as a missionary in Italy and Switzerland, while also co-pastoring a church in Switzerland. He currently serves as the book review editor for theologically, historical, and philosophical studies for the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.
Dr. Carol Newsom is the highly regarded Charles Howard Professor of Old Testament, while also serving as the Director of the Graduate Division of Religion at the Candler School of Theology. Her research endeavors earned her an honorary doctorate in 2006 from Birmingham-Southern College.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. is the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is regarded as one of the largest seminaries in the world, while also being the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention. He’s published a number of books covering an array of subjects, while also having previously served as the associate editor of a journal for evangelical preachers.
E. Frank Tupper is a Professor of Theology and is also one of the founding member of the School of Divinity at Wake Forest University. He is highly renown for the books he’s written and is an ordained Baptist minister.
Dr. Meesaeng Lee Choi is the Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Asbury Theological Seminary where she specializes in Church History, Historical Theology, Early Christianity, Wesleyan Holiness Studies, and World Revitalization Movements.
Dr. Art McPhee is the Sundo Kim Professor of Evangelism and Practical Theology at Asbury Theological Seminary and has spent a large part of his career as a pastor. He’s hosted radio programs and was even the radio voice of the hit programs “Mennonite Hour” and “Art McPhee in Touch”.
Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas works at the Reformed Theological Seminary and previously was a pastor in Belfast, Northern Ireland for 17 tears. Since 1991, he’s written well over a dozen articles that largely look at reformation in the church.
Amy Plantinga Pauw is a Professor of Doctrinal Theology at Louisville Seminary and has been a part of the staff since 1990. She provides interesting insight into theology, often advocating for a relationship and thorough studying of God, while also encouraging students to be theologians themselves.
Dr. Emily Askew sees theology as a multi-disciplinary subject, due to the ways that theology works with other disciplines. She also has worked as a Fulbright scholar, helping deal with the challenges often faced by Muslim individuals attempting to immigrate to France and Germany.
Dr. Carey Vinzant is the Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Wesley Biblical Seminary where his interests include subjects such as Medieval and Byzantine Studies, Hermeneutics, the Christian mystical tradition, and many other areas.
Samuel K. Elolia applies his background growing up in Africa to Christian ideals and often discusses how religion, conflict, and political views come together in different environments. His current focus is on Christian identity in Africa, which is the focus of the book he’s currently working on.
Miriam Y. Perkins is the Assistant Professor of Theology and Society in Christian Theology. Her work at Emmanuel Christian Seminary focuses on how Christian tradition influences identity and American culture overall.
Daniel J. Earheart-Brown is the President of Memphis Theological Seminary and has been since 2005. He’s served as Pastor of two different churches and has served as a Youth Director, Stated Supply, and Interim Pastor in three states.
Dr. Andrew Root works at Luther Seminary and has experience at teaching at Wesley Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary. He’s worked as a gang prevention counselor in Los Angeles, worked on youth outreach as part of a congregation, and more.
Dr. Anne Joh sees theological reflection as the vehicle through which we apply meaning to our lives and believes that it gives us the ability to look at the future with a clearer vision as to how to approach problems. Her insight as a professor is incredibly apparent and she’s an incredibly valuable part of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Nathan Hitchcock is the Assistant Professor of Church History and Theology at Sioux Falls Seminary and works to educate students on theology, biblical hermeneutics, and aims to take these subjects and incorporate them into a ministry context.
J Lanier Burns is a Research Professor of Theological Studies and a Senior Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. He’s been featured in Who’s Who multiple times and previously served 40 years as President of the Asian Christian Academy in India.
Friedhelm Jung is a Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Master of Arts in the Theology Program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s published dozens of papers and nearly 10 books on subjects ranging across Theology.
Colin Brown is a Senior Professor of Systematic Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and has taught there for over 25 years. Having been ordained as a priest in 1959, his experience in the field dates back over 5 decades.
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen has been credited with working on over 20 books and actively engages in talks on religious plurality. He currently works at Fuller Theological Seminary, but also teachers at the University of Helsinki.
Roger E. Olson has been featured in Christian Century and Christianity today, while his books have twice resulted in gold medallions from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Additionally, Dr. Olson has served as the President of the Midwest division of the American Theological Society.
Dr. Paul Hahn teaches at the University of St. Thomas where he teaches theology courses on scripture, world religions, and even works with honors students. As an expert on world religions, he’s a foremost source on comparative aspects between various religions.
With emphasizes in moral theology, historical theology, sexual ethics, and more, Dr. Randall Smith has grown into an integral part of the University of St. Thomas’ School of Theology. He’s well-versed on the most pressing subjects of our time and is aptly equipped to discuss sin as part of the human condition.
Wayne A. Grundem has an impressive resume that details his work over the past 20 years in various capacities throughout the religious field. He’s written over 100 articles and countless books on subjects spanning the field of theology, so has worked his way into a position of esteemed regard during his time at Phoenix Seminary.
Elizabeth A. Leahy works at Azusa Pacific University School of Theology where she works as Professor of Theological Research and Bibliography, while also Special Assistant the Dean.
The Reverend Kathleen Sams Russell joined the Seminary of the Southwest in 2005 and has taught in a number of varying settings to prepare her for the position at the school. She recently earned a Doctorate of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, with an emphasis on Christian nature.
Adrian Trygve Smith is a Professor of New Testament at Redeemer Seminary and often discusses the “meta-narrative” of the Bible. He has been ordained as minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Rigby is a well-regarded professor at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and was even noted as one of the greatest theologians of our time by the Dallas Morning News. She’s authored over 30 articles and book chapters, while also penning a number of complete books.
Carson E. Reed is the Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Director of the Ministry Program at Abilene Christian University. He often looks at congregations, spiritual music, ministerial callings, as well as theology and practice.
Charles A. Pitts is the Acting Academic Dean and Professor of Old Testament at the Houston Graduate School of Theology. He’s been on the staff since 1999 and helps with curriculum development, student advisement, and even policy development at the school.
As a Professor of Theology, Church, and Public Life at Briercrest College and Seminary, Dr. David Guretzki has an accomplished list of publications he’s contributed, while also having been awarded various research fellowships. His work has focused on the theological theories of Karl Barth, Pneumatology, and Modern Theology.
Dr. David Deane is currently working on a book tentatively titled “Viral Ecclesiology”, while a professor at the Atlantic School of Theology. The concept of the book is profoundly enticing, as it delves into non-static accounts of the self in contemporary neuroscience, while analyzing postmodern feminist thought.
Briercrest College and Seminary faculty member Calum MacFarlane is the Associate Professor of Spiritual Theology. While working as an Associate Professor, he’s also been ordained as an Anglican Priest.
Dr. Alyda Faber is the professor of systematic theology and ethics at the Atlantic School of Theology and is well versed in areas such as religion, ethics and film, literature and religious subjectivity, feminist theory, and many other areas. She has an impressive number of publications that she’s worked on and continues to remain very active.