Joel Willitts

Joel Willitts

Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Expertise: New Testament

At North Park since: 2006

Dr. Joel Willitts has found that North Park’s ability to give students a broad introduction to biblical and theological studies from the breadth of Christian tradition is rare among liberal arts colleges rooted in evangelical faith. “But more than this,” he says, “studying the Bible and theology in our urban, multicultural setting is unique and foundational.”

At North Park, says Dr. Willitts, “the Bible and theology is read in the context of God’s big world.” He is passionate about God’s vision for ethnic reconciliation, and about the fact that his students come from such diverse backgrounds. “For me, that involves not the eraser of distinction, but the harmony of distinctive ethnicities and gender.”

Dr. Willitts’s classes allow students to inform and live out their faith in a variety of ways. In his “Jesus of Nazareth” course, students follow Jesus’s life and teachings and serve in Chicago ministries. He has led others on study tours of Greece and Turkey to better understand the historical context of Scripture. “It’s a joy to walk alongside students for a time as they pursue their dreams,” Dr. Willitts says.


  • PhD, Cambridge University
  • Master of Philosophy, Cambridge University
  • Master of Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • BS, Liberty University

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • Joel Willitts, David J. Rudolph, eds. Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Its Ecclesial Context and Biblical Foundations Zondervan, 2013.
  • Joel Willitts and Michael Bird, eds. Paul and the Gospels: Christologies, Conflicts, and Convergences (LNTS 411) London: T & T Clark, 2011.
  • Joel Willitts, Daniel M. Gurtner, and Richard A. Burridge, eds. Jesus, Matthew and Early Christianity: Studies in Memory of Professor Graham N. Stanton (LNTS 435) London: T & T Clark, 2011.
  • Joel Willitts. The Dead Sea Scrolls. Essential Bible Reference Series. Kregel, 2010.

“It’s a joy to walk alongside students for a time as they pursue their dreams.”