As a pastor, professor and theologian, I work at the intersection of local church leadership and Christian higher education. I’m interested in bringing together both the contemplative and prophetic dimensions of the Christian tradition and holding them in tension so as to never separate faithful living and critical thinking. This especially means asking questions about how Christians inhabit and relate to society — economically, politically and culturally.
Of course, it takes the whole body of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to do this well, and even then we sometimes feel lost. There is a form of trust in the gospel, however, that can seem scandalous and foolish even to Christians, but that is able to nonetheless offer guidance, comfort and courage in even the most uncertain of times. It is this kind of faith in God’s love and reign of peace, mercy and justice that I hope to explore and articulate here.
I have recently transitioned to a new position as the Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary where I help to oversee the practical theology and small group curriculum for students. I will be teaching theology classes and am one of the leaders of a spiritual direction training program that has just started up at Truett as well. Beyond this, I’m working on my first book, which is a political theology that draws on the work of several seminal 20th Century theologians and philosophers ranging from Hans Urs von Balthasar to Enrique Dussel. It will be published sometime in 2018 with Fortress Press.
In addition to teaching two leadership and spirituality classes online through William Jessup University this Fall, I will be co-teaching an interdisciplinary course in the Honors College at Baylor called “The Examined Life.” Socrates famously said that the unexamined life is not worth living, and I think the same can be said of unexamined faith. Whether leading in the Church or the University, I’m interested in examining the Christian faith in light of not only Scripture, tradition and reason, but also what has been called a “post-Christendom” age. This contemporary context includes other related shifts (globalization, postmodernity, postcolonialism, etc.), all of which have had profound effects on how we live out, understand and pass on the faith.
I realized in seminary that much of how I was getting trained was not necessarily preparing me for this new situation. And yet, there are so many implications for theology, worship, ethics and spirituality that need to be explored as a result of these changes. It is my hope that, in response to this new reality, my work can be part of an effort to integrate theological reflection and education with discipleship and the Church’s engagement with the world.
Before coming back to Truett Seminary, I was the associate pastor at Saint Peter’s Church in Charleston, SC. Previously, I was an adjunct professor of Christian ethics at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. I’ve worked as a youth minister and college chaplain along the way too. I earned my bachelors and masters degrees from Baylor University and received my PhD in religion from Claremont Graduate University with a focus in philosophy of religion and theology.
During several summers throughout my many years in school, my wife Whitney and I embarked on a number of study abroad and immersion trips in Spain, Mexico and Argentina. These experiences were some of the most memorable and formative of my life. They also served as the inspiration for many of my academic interests.
I have a son named Liam, born October of 2016. I’m an enneagram nerd, a wannabe musician and fluent Spanish-speaker, and my favorite hobby while living in South Carolina was paddle surfing. Now that I’m in Waco, I’m continuing to work on my disc golf game and discover new running trails in Cameron Park. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter at @bwalkeriii.