John L. Drury
Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry
Ministerial and Professional Background
John Drury’s teaching duties include the introductory course in theology required of all Seminary students, the theology portions of the M.Div. core praxis courses, and advanced electives in theology and ministry. His research focuses on the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection, movements in modern and contemporary theology, and the future of theological education.
“I count it a blessing to have been raised in a Christian home, where the foundation for my walk with Christ was established. My parents and local church were models of Christian faith and living, and I learned a lot about the Bible and was reasonably well behaved. However, I did not make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ until I was in Middle School, when, for the first time, I confessed Jesus as my Lord and Savior. This commitment was an important first step, but it was feeble step, since I soon got caught up in the common distractions and temptations of adolescence. As I look back, I am thankful that I had a family and a local congregation that supported and encouraged me through these times, and I can see the hand of God protecting me and setting a limit to my rebellion. As I began my college years, I recommitted my life to Christ and have been following after him ever since. In fact, my vocation to Christian Higher Education and the value I place on mentoring are intertwined with the very means God used to transform my life. A series of mentors, both students and professors, guided me into greater Christian maturity. Although I had lapses and failings during these years, I look back on my college years as a crucial time of development in Christian disciplines of worship, accountability, and daily devotion that remain the core of my Christian walk.
Towards the end of my college years I sensed a call to the ministry, and have since sought to bring my academic study of theology into the service of the church. And so I went to seminary and eventually began doctoral studies. During this time I entered a new phase of spiritual challenge and opportunity. I was no longer in the safe surroundings of a Christian college and its steady spiritual influence. Therefore, I had to distinguish between practices that would truly bring me closer to God and those that were merely habits or fads. Through this winnowing process, I discovered a deeper or more vibrant prayer life by combining the riches of the great Christian tradition in which I was steeped through my theological studies with the lively community of prayer at Spring Lake Wesleyan Church, where I did my seminary internship. Also, as I moved into roles of congregational leadership (especially as a solo pastor of a Wesleyan Church in Glassboro, NJ) I learned more about taking initiative in spiritual practices and community-building, even as I continued to rely on others as mentors and accountability partners.
In recent years God has lead me out of a time focused primarily on preparation and into a time focused primarily on service. So I am facing the new challenges of obedience to his calling in the midst of a new job and situation in life. I am grateful to be on the faculty of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Now is a time of opportunity to come along fellow ministers of Jesus Christ so that we can learn together how to more faithfully and effectively serve the world through the church.”
Before coming to Wesley Seminary at IWU, John developed his passion for teaching while serving as a teaching fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary and as an adjunct professor at both Somerset Christian College in Somerset, NJ and Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, PA. After serving in various pastoral roles at a variety of churches, John served for three years as a solo pastor at Olivet Wesleyan Church in Glassboro, NJ.
Awards and Honors
A. A. Hodge Prize in Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary
John is married to Amanda, who is a gifted preacher, pastor, and scholar in her own right. They have two young children, Sam and Clara. His hobbies include music (listening and playing), Frisbee (both ultimate and golf), and travel (both near and abroad). But his favorite pastime of all is sitting with friends, sipping coffee, and laughing really, really loud.
The Wesleyan Church, 2006, Indiana North
B.A., Religion & Philosophy, Biblical Literature, Indiana Wesleyan University, summa cum laude.
M.Div., Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, “The Resurrected God: Karl Barth’s Trinitarian Theology of Easter.”
- 19th and 20th Centuries, in A Canon of Christian Theology: The Methodist Tradition, ed. Jason E. Vickers (T & T Clark, forthcoming 2014).
- Judgment. Methodist Doctrine, Vol. 10 (Cascade, forthcoming 2014).
- Karl Barth and the Future of Evangelical Theology, ed. Christian T. Collins Winn and John L. Drury (Pickwick Publications, forthcoming).
- “Promise and Command: Wesley and Barth on Matthew 5:48,” in Karl Barth in Conversation, ed. W. Travis McMaken and David Congdon (Cascade Press, forthcoming).
- “Barth and Testimony,” in Karl Barth and the Future of Evangelical Theology, ed. Christian T. Collins Winn and John L. Drury (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, forthcoming).
- “The Paradox of the Evangelical Ecumenist: Reflections on Oberlin II,” Ecumenical Trends (June 2008).
- “Hell and Hope in Balthasar: The Substitutionary Character of Christ’s Decent into Hell and its Implications for the Extent of the Atonement,” Koinonia Journal 17 (2005) pp. 93-104.
- “The Sending of the Church: Toward an Emergent Ecclesiology,” Princeton Theological Review 11:3 (Autumn 2005) pp. 13-18.
- “Gregory of Nyssa’s Dialogue with Macrina: The Compatibility of Resurrection and Immortality,” Theology Today 62:2 (Jul 2005) pp. 210-222.
- “Luther and Wesley on Union and Impartation: Reopening the Dialogue in Light of Recent Finnish Luther Research,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 40:1 (Spring 2005) pp. 58-68.
Presentations at National Conferences:
- w/ Jason E. Vickers, “Resurrection and Reform: Christological Eschatology in the Wesleyan Tradition,” Wesleyan Studies Group, American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting, 2011 (proposal accepted; presentation forthcoming).
- “Scripture as Testimony: A Critical Reconstruction of the Concept of Testimony in the Wesley/Holiness Tradition for the Doctrine of Scripture,” Wesleyan Theological Society Annual Meeting 2010.
- "The Direction of the Son: Resurrection in Karl Barth's Mature Christology and its Significance for Wesleyan Theology," Wesleyan Theological Society Annual Meeting 2009.
- “The Paradox of the Evangelical Ecumenist: Reflections on Oberlin II,” Panel Presentation, Mid-Atlantic American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting 2008.
- “Toward a Wesleyan Theology of Resurrection: Wesley’s Sermons on Romans 8 in Light of His Letter to Conyers Middleton,” Wesleyan Theological Society, Annual Meeting 2008.
- “God Tasted Death for us: Nestorius and Cyril on the Suffering of Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews,” Wesleyan Theological Society, Annual Meeting 2007.
- “The Church as Sanctified Community of the Triune God,” Wesleyan Doctrinal Symposium, June 2007.
- “What Wesleyans Can Learn from Karl Barth,” Wesleyan/Free Methodist Graduate Students’ Theological Fellowship, Annual Meeting 2006.
- “The Priest Sacrificed in our Place: Karl Barth’s Exegesis of Hebrews in CD IV/1 §59.2,” Annual Barth Conference, Center for Barth Studies, May 2006.
- “Newman’s Challenge to a Holiness Ecclesiology,” Wesleyan Theological Society, Annual Meeting 2005.
- “Luther and Wesley on Union and Impartation,” Wesleyan Theological Society, Annual Meeting 2004.
- “Christus totus and Testimonies,” Wesleyan Theological Society, Annual Meeting 2004.
- “Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias: An Introduction,” Plenary Lecture, Liberal Learning and Life Calling Tutorial, John Wesley Honors College, Indiana Wesleyan University, October 5, 2011.
- “The Christological Eschatology of William Burt Pope,” Theological Research Seminar, Wesley Seminary and the School of Theology and Ministry, Indiana Wesleyan University, September 12, 2011.
- “The Role of Divine Simplicity in Thomas Aquinas,” Theological Research Seminar, Wesley Seminary and the School of Theology and Ministry, Indiana Wesleyan University, March 21, 2011.
- “Promise and Command: Wesley and Barth on Matthew 5:48,” Theological Research Seminar, Wesley Seminary and the School of Theology and Ministry, Indiana Wesleyan University, February 14, 2011.
- “The Resurrected God,” Theological Research Seminar, Wesley Seminary and the School of Theology and Ministry, Indiana Wesleyan University, October 4, 2011.
- “Mind the Gap: A Response to Shannon Smythe’s ‘Exposing a Metaphysical Gap: The Doctrine of the Word in Thomas Aquinas’s Theology,” Theology Department Colloquium, Princeton Theological Seminary, May 18, 2009.
- “The Tenses of Salvation and the Meaning of Faith,” Fall Colloquium, Division of Religion and Philosophy, Indiana Wesleyan University, April 2000.
- Incarnation and Resurrection: Toward a Contemporary Understanding by Paul D. Molnar, Scottish Journal of Theology 65 (2012), forthcoming.
- Light in Darkness: Hans Urs Von Balthasar and the Catholic Doctrine of Christ's Descent into Hell by Alyssa Lyra Pitstick, Reviews in Religion and Theology 15:3 (2008).
- From the Margins: A Celebration of the Theological Work of Donald W. Dayton edited by Christian Collins Winn, Reviews in Religion and Theology 15:3 (2008).
- The Resurrection in Karl Barth by R. Dale Dawson, Koinonia Journal 19 (2007).
- The Gravity of Sin: Augustine, Luther and Barth on homo incurvatus in se by Matt Jenson, Koinonia Journal 19 (2007).
- Karl Barth’s Trinitarian Theology: A Study in Karl Barth’s Analogical Use of the Trinitarian Relation by Peter S. Oh, Reviews in Religion and Theology 15:1 (2007).
- Charles Wesley: A Biography by Gary Best, Reviews in Religion and Theology 14:4 (2007) pp. 502-504.
- Barth for Armchair Theologians by John R. Franke, Reviews in Religions and Theology 14:3 (2007) pp. 409-410.
- Authority in the Church by R. Keelan Downton, Reviews in Religion and Theology 14:3 (2007) pp. 371-373.
- Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities by Roger E. Olson, Koinonia Journal 18 (2006) pp. 162-164.
- Passion and Paradise: Divine and Human Emotion in the Thought of Gregory of Nyssa by J. Warren Smith, Theology Today 63:1 (Apr 2006) pp. 113-115.