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Paul Ferris

Job Titles

  • Professor
    Master of Divinity, Bethel Seminary
    Doctor of Ministry, Bethel Seminary
    Ministry (M.A.), Bethel Seminary

Started at Bethel

1998

Education

  • Dropsie College of Hebrew & Cognate Learning - Ph.D.,
  • Trinity Evangelical Divinity School - M.Div.,
  • Trinity Evangelical Divinity School / Jerusalem University College - M.A.,

Biography

I was raised in a family who were devoted to knowing God and making Him known among the nations. My Dad's Dad was our pastor and he spent time teaching me how to study Scripture and apply it to my own life.

In my early teens I felts God's calling me to devote my life to Gospel ministry and started preaching when I was 14.

As a young pastor embarking on my seminary degree I was struck by N.T. claims about the O.T. on the one hand and by my avoidance of it. As a pastor committed to the inspiration and authority of Scripture I realized I needed to do some remedial work in the OT to equip me to preach the "whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). So, I put my M.Div. "on hold" and pursued an M.A. degree in O.T. which involved doing half my course work in the Middle East. This turned out to be a marvelous gift to me and my congregation as I continued to serve as pastor as I pursued further studies. It opened up for me both models of Spirit-directed leaders who sought to be catalysts of transformation for the glory of God, and models for my own formation and ministry as a pastor-teacher such as Ezra who prioritized his own study to deepen his understanding of Scripture so that he could put it into practice personally before he'd be prepared to expound the Scripture for others.

When Lois and I were married, we had made a commitment that we'd not let ourselves get so settled into parish ministry in North America that we'd shut out any possibility of pursuing the Great Commission cross-culturally. And it took being approached by a couple of mission agencies to consider helping to train pastors in Asia to cause us to consider resigning our pastorate to engage in theological education. But the Lord clearly closed the door to Asia and opened a door to pursue my calling as pastor-teacher in the setting of a globally-oriented seminary in North America.

While serving in graduate theological education, Lois and I have had the privilege of planting a church, numerous interim pastorates, hospital chaplaincy and leading an educational institution.

At heart I think I have a fairly healthy curiosity which impacts not only my professional, academic pursuits but my recreational pursuits as well. I've been privileged to travel so some 30 countries.  I enjoy discovering things and learning how to do things I've never done before. But my primary "hobby" and recreational pursuit is my family.

Courses Taught

Hebrew Grammar & Syntax

Hebrew Exegesis

Introduction to Homiletics

Expository Preaching

Baptist Polity

Church Administration

Ministering to Terminally Ill & Their Families

Aramaic

The Promise & Covenant (Gen. - Ruth)

The Glory of the Kingdom (Sam.-Song)

Prophecy & Renewal

Old Testament Survey

Exposition of Genesis

Exposition of Isaiah

Exposition of Jeremiah

Exposition of Hosea

Exposition of Amos

Old Testament Theology

Historical Geography & Archaeology

Publications

The Genre of Communal Lament in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, Scholars' Press

"Commentary on Lamentations" in Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, Zondervan

"Commentary on Lamentations" in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Zondervan

The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia (contributed a number of signed and unsigned articles), Moody Press

The Anchor Bible Dictionary (contributed a number of signed and unsigned articles) Doubleday

Lexham Bible Dictionary, Lexham Press

The Portable Seminary, Bethany House

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets, IVP

and published numerous journal and periodical articles.

Presentations

Numerous expository series in churches

Policy governance consulting & training

Strategic Planning consulting & training

Certificates and Licenses

Ordained to Gospel Ministry

Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards

Institute for Biblical Research, Fellow

Kern Fellow,

Society of Biblical Literature, Served as Vice-Chairperson of the Evangelical Theological Society: Midwest Region, 2008-2009 and as Chairperson, 2009-2010.

the Evangelical Theological Society,

the National Association of Professors of Hebrew.

IGOWorldwide Board of Directors, Chair (2009-present)

Hobbies and Interests

My research interests cover much of the First Testament including historical and cultural backgrounds. After spending a number of years working in biblical laments, and prophets I am presently working on Jeremiah.

As indicated, my primary recreational interest is my family--we have three married children and five grandchildren. But I also like to discover things (e.g travel, photography, etc.) learn how things work (rebuild cars, etc) and how to make things (construction, woodowrking, etc.)