James Spencer, PhD

My desire is to see the whole body of Christ serving and glorifying God. I believe that while the church cannot abandon its historic doctrines, God’s people must begin to think differently and deeply about what it means to proclaim God and His gospel to a watching world. Thinking Christian, or developing a Christian mind, will be crucial if the church is to live strangely and wisely in a fallen world. In addition to Crazy Different, I am engaged in various research and writing projects related to discipleship and the development of the Christian mind.

I came to faith in 1998 through the ministry of Campus Crusade (now Cru) and the persistence of Kim, my high school sweetheart and wife. For over a decade, I served in academic leadership in biblical higher education. Currently, I am Vice President and COO of Moody Center, an independent non-profit organization in Northfield, MA.

I also serve on faculty at Right on Mission, as an adjunct instructor at various colleges and seminaries, and as a higher education consultant assisting colleges, universities, and seminaries in the areas of leadership development, online programming, and enrollment management.

I graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2000, a Master of Divinity from Moody Theological Seminary in 2004, an M.A. in Biblical Exegesis from Wheaton College in 2005, and a PhD in Theological Studies with an Old Testament emphasis in 2012. I also attended the Harvard Institute of Education Management and completed a year of executive coaching.

I research and write in the areas of theology and it’s contemporary application and Old Testament Studies. I published Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind in 2020. I also co-authored Trajectories: A Gospel-Centered Introduction to Old Testament Theology with Bryan C. Babcock and Russell Meek in 2018 and “Isaiah” with Michael Rydelnik in the Moody Bible Commentary. In addition, I contributed to Marriage: It’s Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World and The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy. In addition, I have published and presented in the areas of online curriculum design, higher education policy and strategy, and Christian leadership.

My wife and I live in the Chicagoland area with their three children. We are members of Valleybrook Community Church in Elburn, IL.

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