Distinguished scholar, other opportunities add to the institution’s vibrancy, offerings

Holland, Mich. — Western Theological Seminary (WTS) continues its commitment to providing future pastors and Christian leaders formative education and learning experiences with the addition of a preeminent New Testament scholar to its faculty, Dr. Wesley Hill. In a season of growth, with a commitment to reflecting the changing times and needs, the Seminary has also experienced record enrollment and recently launched a new center for Christian imagination, bringing aboard another respected leader to serve as its director. 

Dr. Hill is a noted New Testament scholar. His book, “Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters” (2015) earned the commendations and praise of academic leaders such as N.T. Wright, Daniel Treier (Wheaton) and Douglas A. Campbell (Duke). Dr. Hill is a frequently invited guest speaker and has spoken at various Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) events, including the 2018 International Forum and the 2017 Presidents Conference in Washington D.C. Dr. Hill will be the new associate professor of New Testament at WTS.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Wesley Hill to the Western Theological Seminary community as an associate professor of New Testament,” said Dr. Kristen Deede Johnson, Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Dr. Hill comes to us with years of teaching experience, an exceptional record of publications, and a nationally-respected voice. But more importantly, Wes embodies a deep love of God and Scripture as well as profound commitments to the local church, the formation of students, and generous engagement across theological and biblical differences–commitments that are also central to Western. We believe his presence in our community will bear much Kingdom fruit and we are eager to support him in his callings as teacher, scholar, writer, and priest.” 

Hill is currently associate professor of biblical studies at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania and an Episcopal priest serving at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Pittsburgh. Dr. Hill holds his doctorate in New Testament from Durham University in the UK and has authored several books, including the two most recent: “The Lord’s Prayer: A Guide to Praying to Our Father” and “Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality.” He writes regularly for Christianity Today, The Living Church, and other publications, including SpiritualFriendship.org which he co-founded.

“The hardship and trials of the past year reminded us that the world needs the church now more than ever. Western Theological Seminary is committed to forming faithful graduates who will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Seminary President Dr. Felix Theonugraha. “Dr. Hill’s scholarship, perspective, presence and teaching will be a tremendous blessing to our learning community. He will help us form and equip the next generation of Christian leaders through times of challenge and change.” 

New Center, Director for Christian Imagination 

Dr. Winn Collier, Director of the Eugene Peterson Center for Christian Imagination

President Theonugraha also noted that the Seminary recently launched the Eugene Peterson Center for Christian Imagination, led by its first director Dr. Winn Collier, who is also serving as associate professor of pastoral theology and Christian imagination. This newly formed center will house Eugene Peterson’s papers and documents. The center will also foster public conversations and intimate circles where we will pursue friendship while contemplating questions that shaped Peterson’s fruitful work over a lifetime, questions like: “Why is an animated, Spirit-infused imagination essential if we are to persevere in living our faith amid the grit and beauty of ordinary life?” 

Dr. Collier, a pastor for 25 years, was the founding pastor of All Souls in Charlottesville, Virginia, and author of five books, including “A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson,” which will be released on March 23. He holds his doctorate in religion and literature from the University of Virginia.

WTS Prepares Students for Ministry Challenges in the Real World; Record Enrollment Reinforces Need

Group photo in front of WTS from the 2019 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability

The Seminary is also home to the Center for Disability and Ministry, led by Dr. Ben Conner, which exists to support ministry leaders of all abilities in nurturing and receiving the gifts and contributions of persons with disabilities through formational opportunities including theological education, consultation, forums, and publications.

Under the leadership of Dr. Alvin Padilla, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Director of Advanced Degrees, the Seminary has a thriving Hispanic Ministry Program (HMP). Dedicated to supporting leadership in the Hispanic church context, HMP serves students and pastors throughout the United States by offering certificate programs and Doctor of Ministry cohorts in Spanish. A Spanish language MA is also under development. 

The WTS faculty recently approved a new M.Div curriculum of 87 credit hours, strengthening the Seminary’s focus on formation and Biblical understanding and interpretation, along with the diverse and global reality of Christianity. 

With a stellar faculty and a range of academic degrees, including a thriving Doctor of Ministry program, the Seminary celebrated record enrollment this Spring with 382 total students. 

By God’s grace, Western Theological Seminary forms women and men for faithful Christian ministry and participation in the Triune God’s ongoing redemptive work in the world.