Noted Preaching Scholar Abraham Kuruvilla Joining SBTS Faculty

Communications Staff — April 26, 2021

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced the appointment of noted preaching professor Abraham Kuruvilla as its newest faculty member.

Kuruvilla formerly served as senior research professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also a practicing medical doctor who has specialized in dermatology.

Kuruvilla holds an MD, a PhD in immunology, and a PhD in hermeneutics and is the author of numerous books including A Manual for Preaching: The Journey from Text to Sermon (Baker, 2019) and several volumes on Genesis, Judges, Psalms (forthcoming), Mark, Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy/Titus (forthcoming) in a series of theological commentaries for preachers. His book, A Vision for Preaching: Understanding the Heart of Pastoral Ministry (Baker, 2015), was a 2016 Preaching Today book award recipient. He has also contributed widely to various medical journals over the past two decades.

“He brings a wealth of his own personal experience from his remarkable background in both theology and medicine,” SBTS President Albert Mohler said. “He is a stellar professor and we are extremely glad to make this announcement.”

Kuruvilla is ethnically Indian, but was born in Kuwait and has studied and ministered across the globe—earning degrees from the University of Kerala in India, Baylor College of Medicine, and most recently, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He has served in professorships in India, Singapore, Australia, and Sri Lanka. Kuruvilla served as president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society in 2010-2011 and was book review editor for the Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society from 2009-2019.

In addition to serving the academy, Kuruvilla has been intimately involved in local church ministry since the mid-1990s. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 2005 at Plano Bible Chapel, in Plano, Texas, and has served in several interim preaching roles and as a teaching elder in two local churches.

Most fundamentally, he is a faithful expositor of God’s Word.

“Abraham Kuruvilla is one of the most important homileticians and professors of preaching in the world today, and the reason for that is quite simple: He is himself a gifted and committed preacher. He is a scholar of preaching,” Mohler said.

“He is a teacher of preachers. He is one who exults in preaching Christ and finds great joy in teaching others so that they may teach more powerfully and faithfully. He is thoroughly committed to biblical, expository preaching, and he has already shaped a generation of those who are preaching in pulpits all over the world today. Abraham Kuruvilla joins the most outstanding preaching department found in any institution of theological education. You cannot find a preaching faculty like this anywhere but at Southern Seminary.”

Kuruvilla is not new to SBTS. He has served as an adjunct professor at the seminary since 2020, so the move is natural for both the seminary and Kuruvilla. Students will benefit from his rigorous scholarship and passion to convey the importance of biblical preaching.

“Through his groundbreaking textbooks on preaching, insightful biblical commentaries, and engaging expositions of Scripture, Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla has become the preeminent homiletician among evangelicals.” said Hershael York, dean of Southern’s School of Theology.

“His deep commitment to the church and his proven track record in the academy makes him a perfect fit for Southern Seminary. Not only is he one of the most disciplined and productive scholars I have ever known, but his classroom is ablaze with his passion for preaching the Word. I could not be more thrilled for the students of Southern Seminary who will be privileged to sit under his teaching.”

Kuruvilla is thrilled to serve both SBTS and the Southern Baptist Convention.

“I am excited to become part of the community at Southern Seminary, a premier school for the training of tomorrow’s church leaders, and to getting involved in the activities of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Kuruvilla said.

“It will be a privilege to join Southern’s team of exemplary faculty members in the training of preachers of Scripture for the exaltation of God’s name, the extension of his Son’s kingdom, and the edification of his people!”

Provost Matthew Hall said Kuruvilla is a joyful and devoted follower of Christ in addition to being a profoundly gifted scholar.

“I am absolutely delighted by the addition of Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla to the faculty,” Hall said.

“Dr. Kuruvilla is among the most respected and prolific scholars in evangelical homiletics, widely known for his prolific writings and preaching ministry. In this process, I have also come to know and appreciate his devotion to Christ and his contagious joy in the Word of God. For those called to preach, I can think of no better place to prepare than Southern Seminary at this particular moment in time.”

Mohler believes the hire of Kuruvilla is helping Southern fulfill its historic mission of equipping biblical preachers.

“Southern Seminary has been on the front lines of teaching faithful preaching since our founding in 1859,” he said. “Our commitment in the present is even more critical than our commitment in the beginning. The great need of the hour is for God’s people to be fed by Scripture, and the vehicle for that feeding is expository preaching. This is good news for the church, good news for Southern Seminary, good news for the Southern Baptist Convention, and extremely good news for our students.”

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