Faculty Profile

Benjamin Hartley

Benjamin Hartley

Associate Professor of Mission and World Christianity

Email: hartleyb@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2715
Office: Alexander & Adelaide Hall 413

Education: BS, Wheaton College (1992); MS, Michigan State University (1997); MDiv, Boston University (2000); ThD, Boston University (2005). At SPU since 2021.

Ben Hartley joined the faculty of SPU in the fall of 2021 after previously serving at George Fox University (2016-2020) where he was a faculty fellow in the William Penn Honors Program. He was also on the faculty at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2016. He received tenure in 2010. In addition to teaching courses in the history of Christianity and mission at Palmer, he also served as Director of United Methodist Studies.  His most fun project during those years was designing with students a 22-stop walking tour of Philadelphia Methodism within an eight-block radius of the Liberty Bell in downtown Philadelphia.

At Seattle Pacific University, he teaches courses in the University Foundations sequence and continues his scholarship in the history of the Protestant missionary movement, especially for the ways it intersects with the history of Methodism.  In 2018, he received a $20,000 grant from the Louisville Institute to support his many archival research trips for a new biography of Nobel Peace Prize laureate John R. Mott.  Mott received the Nobel Peace Prize for his decades-long work organizing Christian student movements on five continents and for coordinating refugee relief efforts after World War 1. He has sometimes been called the “father” of the World Council of Churches, a global ecumenical network of over 300 denominations. 

Ben Hartley is an ordained deacon in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is an occasional blogger at http://missionandmethodism.net.

Please view Dr. Hartley’s CV (PDF) for additional information. 


Transforming Teaching for Mission: Educational Theory and Practice

First Fruits Press, 2014

Co-edited with Robert A. Danielson, this book contains the proceedings of the 2014 annual meeting of the Association of Professors of Mission, an organization for which Ben Hartley served as president in 2013-14. It contains over a dozen essays on the teaching of missiology by new as well as seasoned scholars.

Evangelicals at a Crossroads: Revivalism and Social Reform in Boston, 1860-1910

University of New Hampshire Press, 2011

Recipient, in 2007, of the Wesleyan Theological Society's "outstanding dissertation" award and the Jesse Lee Prize awarded once every four years by the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church.

In this book, Ben Hartley sheds light on the history of Methodist, Salvation Army, Baptist, and nondenominational Christians for the ways they led social reform and evangelistic efforts in the late nineteenth century. Immigrant evangelical leaders from Italy, Sweden, and elsewhere are also highlighted in this book. Examining the contested nature of revivalism and social reform in a particular city like Boston helps provide a basis for understanding the current divisions in American Christianity today.

The Deacon: Ministry through Words of Faith and Acts of Love

UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 2000

Co-authored with Paul E. Van Buren, Ben Hartley wrote this book while still a seminary student at Boston University School of Theology. It was the first book-length examination of the Order of Deacon as it was re-conceptualized as an ordained office in the United Methodist Church at the 1996 General Conference.

Selected Publications

“Early Evangelical Mission in the Long Eighteenth Century,” in The Oxford Handbook of Early Evangelicalism, edited by Jonathan Yeager. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2022.

“Methodist Missionary Self-Understanding in the Pacific Northwest, 1838-1844,” Methodist History 58(4), 2020: 215-230.

“Saving Students: European Student Relief in the Aftermath of WWI,” International Bulletin of Mission Research, 42(4), 2018, 295-315.