Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst

Richard C. Oudersluys Associate Professor of World Christianity

B.Ed Linguistics and TESL, Lenguas Vivas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
Ph.D. Theology, Missiology and Social Ethics. Boston University, Boston, MA
"Following Jesus as whole life disciples means engaging in God’s life-giving purposes far outside the bounds of religious language, church buildings, and evangelistic programs. The good news of God’s good and just reign propels God’s children beyond, sent as Jesus was, as agents of God’s preposterous reconciliation."
Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst

Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst

About Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst

Dr Padilla DeBorst yearns to see peace and justice embrace in the beautiful and broken world we call home. A wife of one and mother of many, theologian, missiologist, educator, and storyteller, she has been involved in leadership development and theological education for integral mission in her native Latin America for several decades. 

In addition to teaching at WTS, she serves with the Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios (CETI, a learning community with students across Latin America), and the Networking Team of INFEMIT (International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation). 

She currently contributes to the boards of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies and the American Society of Missiology. Past board service includes A Rocha International and the International Justice Mission. 

She lives with her husband, James, in Costa Rica as a member of Casa Adobe, an intentional Christian Community with deep concern for right living in relation to the whole of creation.

Areas of Expertise 

Dr. Padilla DeBorst is passionate about justice, both social and ecological. and has written numerous articles and chapters in these realms. As a narrative theologian, she seeks to creatively bring together Word and World for the integral witness of the Good News in diverse contexts.


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Videos, online courses and more

More from Dr. Padilla DeBorst

  • Seminary Now

  • Video Resource

  • 2022 Kuyper Prize

  • Sermon on Blessing

Integral Mission: History, Theology, and Relevance

In this course you will learn about this important theological-missiological paradigm that focuses on bringing together what never should have been separated: reconciliation with God and reconciliation with neighbor, concern for life after death and concern for life before death, Jesus and justice. You will gain new insights into this generative missional paradigm and be better equipped to live out your faith in community in your context.

Ruth Padilla Deborst: Jesus and Colonialism

Ruth has been involved in leadership development and theological education in Latin America and beyond for several decades. A narrative theologian, speaker and teacher, she serves on the board of the Latin American Theological Fellowship and as coordinator of the Networking Team of International Fellowship of Mission as Transformation. As a missionary with Christian Reformed World Missions she has served with a variety of local ministries. She lives in Costa Rica where she shares parenting of their blended, multi-cultural family with her husband, James Padilla DeBorst, and community life with the members of Casa Adobe.

2022 Kuyper Prize Ruth Padilla DeBorst

Kuyper Conference Wednesday, April 6, 2022 “From Top or Bottom? Reorienting Public Narrative" Ruth Padilla DeBorst Kuyper Prize 2022

Sermon on Blessed Are the Peacemakers by Ruth Padilla DeBorst

A sermon from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.