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Joel Willitts

Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies

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, the Bible and theology is read in the context of God’s big world,” he says. Willitts 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.”


Recent Publications

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.

Popular Courses

Jesus of Nazareth is a popular course because it invites us to examine what matters most to Christian faith. Jesus’ life and suffering and vindication are also deeply significant for they invite us into openhearted human life made possible by Jesus.

Inspirations & Interests

“I’m a huge Yankees fan (and baseball generally), a marathon runner (4 completed so far), and I love to travel in Europe; I’m what they call a Europhile. Favorite movie of all time: Top Gun (’86). I love to read Baseball biography. Historical figures of the recent past who inspire me are Dietrich Bonhoeffer and MLK. I have boy-girl twins, Zion and Mary, and an awesome wife Karla.”