Top 20 Most Influential Divinity Professors

Published by Madison on Mon January 31, 2011

We culled this list of the top 20 most influential divinity professors from some of the top divinity schools. Their accomplishments, publications and teaching methods all have earned them awards and prestigious standings at their various universities. The individuals are listed in alphabetical order by first name.

  1. Amy-Jill LevineAmy-Jill Levine: Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences. Her recent books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus as well as the fourteen-volume series, Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings.
  2. Bishop MinorBishop Ruediger Rainer Minor: Minor, a retired bishop, has a long history of service to The United Methodist Church in the former East Germany, the former Soviet Union and Russia. He also has been a leader in the practice of evangelism, on occasion with the World Methodist Evangelism Institute. He holds the Hankey Chair in World Evangelism at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.
  3. Carole MyscofskiCarole Myscofski: Illinois Wesleyan University’s Professor of Religion Carole Myscofski recently was named the McFee Professor of Religion. Outside her numerous memberships and service, she was honored in 2001 with the University’s top award for teaching excellence. Myscofski’s research interests include women’s religious lives in colonial Brazil, for which she has traveled to Brazil and El Salvador. Her studies have resulted in publications on various topics including women’s confessions to the Brazilian Inquisition.
  4. David FordDavid Frank Ford: Ford is an Anglican theologian, and the present Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, where he has taught since 1991. He is a Fellow of Selwyn College. His election to the Regius Professorship is notable, as he is the first to hold that position who is not in Anglican orders. His present interests include the interpretation of scripture in the context of interfaith engagement.
  5. David NienhuisDavid Nienhuis: Dr. Nienhuis teaches University Foundations courses, upper-division undergraduate New Testament courses, and the Introduction to New Testament course for the SOT graduate studies program at the School of Theology, Seattle Pacific University. He is the author of Not by Paul Alone: The Formation of the Catholic Epistle Collection and the Christian Canon (Baylor University Press, 2007).
  6. Dr. FleerDr. David Fleer: For the past few years Fleer has served as advisory board chair for the Christian Scholars’ Conference, which is currently hosted at Lipscomb University. He preaches and teaches in congregations in Michigan and Tennessee and across the country. During the last calendar year he preached for churches in 30 different communities and he regularly presents at conferences, seminars, and lectureships in the Churches of Christ.
  7. Dean ODayGail R. O’Day: Dr. O’Day recently was named dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She previously served as Senior Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs and Almar H. Shatford Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Emory Candler School of Theology. She has written a number of books and articles, most recently, Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: A Guide (Abingdon Press, 2007).
  8. Wayne JohnsonH. Wayne Johnson: Formerly Dean of Students for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) and Trinity Graduate School (TGS), Johnson currently serves as the director of the MDiv Program. He has been at Trinity since 2000. As director of the MDiv program, he is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the program including curriculum assessment and development. He has served as Dean of the Chapel and Dean of Students before being appointed to his current position.
  9. Harold AttridgeHarold W. Attridge: Attridge is the Reverend Henry L. Slack Dean of Yale Divinity School and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament. Dean Attridge has made scholarly contributions to New Testament exegesis and to the study of Hellenistic Judaism and the history of the early Church. His publications include Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews as well as numerous book chapters and articles in scholarly journals.
  10. Harvey CoxHarvey Cox: Cox is Hollis Research Professor of Divinity at Harvard, where he began teaching in 1965. His most recent book is The Future of Faith (HarperCollins, 2009). His Secular City, published in 1965, became an international bestseller and was selected by the University of Marburg as one of the most influential books of Protestant theology in the twentieth century. His research and teaching interests focus on the interaction of religion, culture, and politics.
  11. Jean Bethke ElshtainJean Bethke Elshtain: Regularly named as one of America’s foremost public intellectuals, Jean Bethke Elshtain is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, Divinity School, The University of Chicago, with appointments in Political Science and the Committee on International Relations and holder of the Leavey Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom, Georgetown University. She is the recipient of nine honorary degrees.
  12. Jeremy BegbieJeremy Begbie: Begbie teaches systematic theology, and specializes in the interface between theology and the arts. He has also been Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews, where he directed the research project, “Theology Through the Arts at the Institute for Theology, Imagination and the Arts.” He is a senior member of Wolfson College and an affiliated lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge.
  13. John BerthrongJohn H. Berthrong: Along with his normal administrative and academic duties at the Boston University School of Theology, Dr. Berthrong is a founding member of the North American Interfaith Network, a member of the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ, and the Forum on Religion and Ecology. He is active in many societies and organizations concerned with interfaith relations and the ecology and has published numerous books and articles in all of these areas.
  14. Kenda DeanKenda Creasy Dean: Dean is an ordained elder in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference (United Methodist) and professor of youth, church, and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry. A graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, she served as pastor in suburban Washington DC and as Wesley foundation director at the University of Maryland-College Park before coming to Princeton Seminary.
  15. Kimberly PattonKimberley C. Patton: Patton, professor of the comparative and historical study of religion at Harvard Divinity School, is among the recipients of the awards given out annually by the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Patton’s book, Religion of the Gods: Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity, received the award for excellence in religion for analytical-descriptive studies.
  16. Melissa RogersMelissa Rogers: Rogers serves as director of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs and as a nonresident senior fellow within the Governance Program of The Brookings Institution. Rogers has co-authored a case book on religion and law for Baylor University Press, Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court, and she has testified before the Judiciary Committee to the U.S. Senate.
  17. Miroslav VolfMiroslav Volf: Volf is director for the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School. His recent publications include Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (2006), Archbishop of Canterbury Lenten book for 2006; Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (1996), a winner of the 2002 Grawemeyer Award; and After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (1998), winner of the Christianity Today book award.
  18. Peter GomesPeter J. Gomes: Gomes is Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, and an American Baptist minister. He is the recipient of 39 honorary degrees, and is an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, England, where the Gomes Lectureship is established in his name. His New York Times best-selling books include The Good Life: Truths That Last in Times of Need.
  19. Stephanie SauveStephanie Sauvé: Sauvé is an ordained Presbyterian minister, pastor of the United Church of Mount Morris for thirteen years and of the First Presbyterian Church of Tuscarora. She currently is Dean of the Program for the Study of Women and Gender, Director of Supervised Ministry and Associate Professor of Practical Theology at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
  20. Timothy GeorgeTimothy George: George has been the dean of Beeson Divinity School since its inception in 1988. As founding dean, George has been instrumental in shaping its character and mission. He teaches church history and doctrine. He serves as executive editor for Christianity Today, and on the editorial advisory boards of The Harvard Theological Review, Christian History and Books & Culture.

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