Dr. Robert T. Wall, Walls Professor 2006-2021
A Seattle native, Dr. Robert T. Wall was educated at Valparaiso University (BA), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM, ThD), and Perkins School of Theology (additional graduate study). He is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church and enjoys an active ecumenical ministry of preaching and teaching adult Bible studies in congregations of various faith traditions.
Dr. Wall has worked out his calling through decades of teaching, research, and service at SPU. He centered his calling on teaching which he describes as "introducing theological reading of the Bible as a sacred and holy text."
His theological interpretation of scripture emanates from a distinctively Wesleyan lens. This ecclesial approach to theological interpretation animates his research agenda, his service to the university, and his detailed focus on student learning in the classroom.
A self-confessed "intuitive" teacher, Dr. Wall constantly monitored and adjusted lectures and assignments in his courses. He mentored many undergraduate and seminary students, preparing them for further graduate studies. Most of this close work with students occurred quietly, and without fanfare.
The body of Dr. Wall's published work is astounding, in the range of subjects covered, in the depth of research devoted to each subject, and in the principle that energizes all of it - namely that biblical interpretation and theological reflection be in service of the classroom and the church, not only the professional guild.
In fact, while Dr. Wall is a leading New Testament scholar (as evidenced by his membership in the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas [SNTS] and his presidency of the Wesleyan Theological Society), he is one of just a few biblical professors who is as known for his commitment to his Christian faith as he is for his contributions to the academy. Nonetheless, he is the author of 15 books and dozens of articles.
As the Paul T. Walls chairholder, Dr. Wall's service extended to the larger community of Seattle, providing a rich resource of understanding of Wesleyan approaches to theology, the church, and the scripture, through the annual Walls Lectures, and through his writing.
Dr. Randy Maddox, Walls Professor 1998–2005
Dr. Randy Maddox earned a BA from Northwest Nazarene College, an MDiv from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Emory University. His scholarly interests focus on the theology of John and Charles Wesley and theological developments in the later Methodist/Wesleyan tradition. In addition to numerous articles he is author of Responsible Grace: John Wesley’s Practical Theology, a contributor to Wesley and the Quadrilateral, and editor of Aldersgate Reconsidered, Rethinking Wesley’s Theology for Contemporary Methodism, The Cambridge Companion to John Wesley, and Volume 12 of The Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley. He serves as general editor of the Wesley Works Editorial Project, and heads a project that makes available all of the verse of Charles Wesley online at the website for the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School.
Maddox is currently the institute secretary of the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. He served previously as president of the Wesleyan Theological Society, co-chair of the Wesley Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, and general editor of the Kingswood Books Imprint of Abingdon Press.
Maddox is an ordained elder in the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church, and has served as a theological consultant to the Council of Bishops on several projects.
Dr. Bill Lane, Walls Professor 1993–97
William L. Lane (1931–1999) was a New Testament theologian and professor of biblical studies who began his academic career as professor of New Testament and Judaic studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He then served for 15 years as professor of religious studies at Western Kentucky University. During this time, he became a mentor to Christian singer and songwriter Michael Card.
In 1989, Lane joined the faculty of Seattle Pacific as dean of what was then called the School of Religion. He was named Professor of the Year by the student body in 1992, and served as the Paul T. Walls Chair in Wesleyan and Biblical Studies from 1993 until his retirement in 1997.
Dr. Lane earned a BA from Wesleyan University, an MDiv from Gordon Divinity School, a ThM from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a ThD from Harvard Divinity School.
Dr. Lane also served as one of the translators of both the New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version.