Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, I attended Southwestern College in Winfield Kansas for undergraduate studies. There I majored in music with emphases in vocal performance and composition. After graduating in 1999, I got married to my wife (Jennifer) and immediately started studies at Perkins School of Theology. In 2002 I graduated with a Master of Theological Studies Degree from Perkins, and entered the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University to pursue a PhD with an emphasis in Ethics.
During my time at SMU I was shaped by arguing with William (Billy) Abraham, studying Aquinas with Charles (Charlie) Curran, exploring practical ethics with Rebekah Miles, and, of course, learning about Reinhold Niebuhr from Robin Lovin. During my studies, I was honored to be the recipient of a Dempster Graduate Fellowship from the United Methodist Church and The Schubert Ogden Fellowship for Academic Excellence in Theology. Prior to graduating, I taught at Eastfield College, in the undergraduate program at Southern Methodist University, and at Perkins. During the school year in which I graduated, I accepted a position as IFD Scholar back at Southwestern College in Kansas. With Lovin as my director, I completed a dissertation comparing and contrasting the work of Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey. I was lucky enough to have Charles Curran, Richard B. Miller, and Joseph (Joe) Allen on my dissertation committee. I defended my dissertation in February of 2007, and graduated in May of that year with my PhD.
After working at Southwestern for one year, I was able to gain an appointment in a visiting position at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. One could not ask for a better faculty or school community with which to begin one’s career. I was at Hendrix when my first daughter (Kathleen) was born in 2007.
After my second year as a Visiting Professor at Hendrix, I moved to a tenure track position at Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO. Again, I have been lucky to find a place where I have excellent colleagues. During my first year at Central Methodist there were two significant arrivals in my life. My first book Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Ramsey: Idealist and Pragmatic Christians on Politics, Philosophy, Religion, and War was published by Lexington Books. More significantly, my second daughter (Lucy) was born. My second year at CMU, I took the reins over the Philosophy Department. In that capacity I oversaw a successful program review in the 2011-2012 school year.
I have written articles that have been published in The Journal of Religious Ethics, The Journal of Law and Religion, Political Theology, and for PBS’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. I have also presented papers at numerous conferences. In 2011, with D. Stephen Long (Marquette University) I was a Fondren Lecturer for Perkins School of Theology’s Minister’s Week focusing on war and peace. In 2012, with Eric Anderson (Furman University) I was invited to present for a plenary session on the work of Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff at a meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers. It was an honor to have Drs. Audi and Wolterstorf respond to our papers. I have become a relatively regular contributor to the Blog for Political Theology. In November of 2011, I was elected President of the The Niebuhr Society. I am also currently the Book Review Editor for the International Journal of Public Theology.