Faculty Profile

Rick Steele

Richard Steele

Professor Emeritus of Moral and Historical Theology

Email: rsteele@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2160
Office: 4 West Nickerson

Education: BA, Haverford College, 1974; MDiv, Yale Divinity School, 1978; PhD, Marquette University, 1990. At SPU since 1995.

Rick Steele came to SPU after serving for 17 years in the United Methodist pastorate in Wisconsin, and teaching at Marquette University and the Milwaukee Theological Institute.

Dr. Steele was chair of the Department of Theology from 2000 to 2009, interim co-dean of the School of Theology from 2002 to 2003 and again from 2005 to 2007. He has been associate dean of graduate theological studies since 2010. Dr. Steele was elected Professor of the Year in 2002, was named Weter Faculty Award Lecturer in 2004, and served as chair of the University faculty in 2004–05.

His great joys are classroom instruction and interacting with students.


Christian Ethics and Nursing Practice

Cascade Books , 2020

Christian Ethics and Nursing Practice shows how the religious and moral teachings of the Christian Bible compare, contrast, and correlate with the ethical standards of modern nursing, as stated in the Code of Ethics for Nurses. It describes four main strands of moral discourse in the Bible — law, holiness, wisdom, and prophecy — and shows the relevance of those strands for contemporary bedside and advanced practice nursing. The work could serve as a textbook for courses in nursing ethics at Christian colleges and universities or as a guidebook for practicing nurses, who have devoted their lives to caring for the sick, the injured, the elderly, the disabled, and the dying as a way of living out their commitment to Jesus Christ.

1 & 2 Timothy and Titus 

Eerdmans, 2012

This theological commentary powerfully demonstrates the ongoing relevance and authority of the Pastoral Epistles for the church today. This innovative yet reverent volume will help revive the interest of students, pastors, and other Christian leaders in the Pastoral Epistles.

I've Been Wondering: Conversations With Young Theologians

Paternoster Press, 2007

"[P]aradox cannot be resolved 'on paper,' that is on purely exegetical and dogmatic grounds. It can only be resolved in the living of the Christian life, where gratitude for undeserved mercies merge with a commitment to public service." (76)

"Heart Religion" in the Methodist Tradition and Related Movements

Scarecrow Press, 2001

"This volume defends the cogency of [Methodism’s conviction that 'authentic knowledge of God is both an ineffably delightful experience and a life-transfiguring process'], and argues that a better understanding of what it does and does not mean may help us to overcome some of the chilling fractiousness which it has spawned. We take it that our founder would approve, for he insisted that Methodism is the religion of the heart warmed by divine grace and employed in neighbor love." (xxxviii)

Gracious Affection and "True Virtue" According to Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley

Scarecrow Press, 1994

View Dr. Steele’s CV (PDF) for additional publications.

Richard Steele

Why I Teach at SPU

Richard Steele, Professor of Moral and Historical Theology; Associate Dean, Seminary

"I enjoy teaching at SPU because of the wonderful of balance I can strike here between teaching a wide array of subjects I love, interacting closely with both undergraduate and graduate students in and out of class, and doing research that is both intellectually stimulating and spiritually enriching."