Wilsey and Wittman to join Southern Seminary faculty

Communications Staff — May 24, 2017

John David Wilsey, associate professor of church history

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — A renowned church historian with expertise in foundational American ideas and a medieval theology scholar will be joining the faculty at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. John David Wilsey and Tyler R. Wittman will begin their professorships in the fall semester.

“John Wilsey is a wonderful scholar of American Christianity,” said SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “John Wilsey’s expertise, especially in issues of church and state and religious liberty in the United States, and his concern for accuracy and appreciation in terms of history, all of these are great gifts that he brings to this new position at Southern Seminary.”

Tyler Wittman, assistant professor of Christian theology

“Tyler Wittman is an outstanding young theologian,” Mohler continued. “He served in times pasts as one of my interns. I’m now old enough to be able to hire professors that I knew as college students, and we really look forward to Tyler Wittman joining Southern Seminary’s theology faculty. His background in research at the University of St. Andrews is stellar, and he represents a new generation of evangelical theologians who demonstrated great love for both the academy and the church.”

Wilsey, who has worked as an educator and pastor since 1992, will serve as associate professor of church history. Princeton University recently announced Wilsey as the William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life for 2017-18, during which he will conduct research for a new biography of John Foster Dulles for Eerdmans’ Library of Religious Biography series. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wilsey served as assistant professor of history and Christian apologetics and associate director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“John Wilsey has already earned a reputation as a leading historian of American Christianity. Knowing the enthusiasm and commitment to the classroom he possesses, I am eager to put John before our students,” said Randy L. Stinson, senior vice president for academic administration and provost at SBTS.

He is the author of One Nation Under God: An Evangelical Critique of Christian America and American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea. He is also editor of an abridged edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, entitled Democracy in America: A New Abridgment for Students. Wilsey served as pastor and interim pastor at churches in Virginia and Texas, most recently serving at Grace Family Church in Pearland, Texas. Wilsey and his wife of 20 years, Miranda, have two daughters: Caroline and Sally.

“Having the opportunity to train pastors, teachers, and missionaries through the teaching of history at Southern Seminary is one of the greatest privileges God has bestowed on me,” Wilsey said. “I’m deeply excited to join the community at Southern in the act of thinking both historically and Christianly as we approach the meaning of the church’s existence here on the earth.”

Wittman is returning to Southern as assistant professor of Christian theology, having recently completed his Ph.D. in Divinity at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He previously earned his M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from SBTS.

“Tyler Wittman stands out as one of the brightest minds in a new generation of Baptist theologians,” Stinson said. “I am delighted to see him return to Southern to serve our students.”

Wittman was named an Earhart Scholar at Oxford University in 2014. He has lectured at churches and universities in both Scotland and the United States. Wittman is also a member in the American Academy of Religion and the Evangelical Theological Society. In addition to his itinerant preaching, Wittman recently served as resident theologian at Trinity Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. Wittman and his wife, Jessie, have three children: Ambrose, Clement, and Basil.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the faculty and community at Southern, especially at such an exciting time in the institution’s history,” Wittman said. “I look forward to helping extend its legacy of equipping pastors, missionaries, and others to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God.”

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