Lead Faculty for Worldview and Faith Formation
Christian Ministries (B.A.), College of Adult and Professional Studies
Started at Bethel
- Wheaton College - B.A. in Christian Education ,
- Beijing Institute for Nationalities - Certificate in Mandarin I and Chinese Culture,
- Shanghai Teachers College - Diploma in Mandarin II and III and Chinese History,
- Talbot School of Theology, Biola University - M.A.T.S, Ph.D.,
Areas of expertise
Spiritual formation and spiritual awakening, discipleship and mentoring, Jonathan Edwards and spiritual leadership, nonprofit leadership, team development
Gary David Stratton is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and University Professor of Worldview and Spiritual Formation at Johnson University (TN). Gary's unique commitment to integrate the life of the mind, the life of the Spirit, and the life of the arts has propelled him to an unusual career of developing cultural leaders from Hollywood to the Ivy League. He holds a Ph.D. on the impact of Jonathan Edwards’ theology/spirituality in American higher education, and has served as VP, Dean, Director, and Professor at eight colleges and universities in the U.S. and China. In 2007 he was named Senior Fellow by the Association of Biblical Higher Education. Gary is the former Executive Director of Act One Training for Hollywood, founder of the Hollywood Bezalel Initiative, and currently serves on the board of Compass College of Cinematic Arts, and Senior Editor at TwoHandedWarriors.com. Recent speaking engagements include: Princeton Theological Seminary, the Columbia University Film Festival, the Institute for Campus Renewal at Yale University, Regent University, Messiah, Geneva, and Tabor Colleges.
Stratton's passion for transforming culture propelled him to a career of developing cultural leaders from Hollywood to the Ivy League. In Hollywood, Stratton served as a story consultant and executive director of Act One, a nonprofit organization training Christians for careers in mainstream media. In higher education, Stratton serves on the faculty of the Institute for Campus Revival and Awakening at Yale University and has worked in leadership and teaching positions at Christian colleges. He has also served in youth ministry, campus ministry, teaching, and senior leadership roles in the local church.
Theology in Film, Johnson University (2015)
Senior Capstone, Johnson University (2015)
Personal Spiritual Formation, Bethel University (2012-2015)
Discipleship for Spiritual Formation, Bethel University (2012-2015)
Leadership for Ministry, Bethel University (2012-2015)
Apologetics, Bethel University (2010-2015)
Understanding Worldviews in Organizational Leadership, Business Management, Human Services, Nursing and Healthcare Professionals, Communications, Bethel University, Face-to-face, online, and hybrid sections (2008-2015)
Introduction to Christian Thought and Ministry, Bethel University (2012-2014)
Theology of Ministry, Bethel University (2012-2013)
Christian Theology, Bethel University (2012-2013)
Communication in Ministry, Bethel University (2012)
Understanding the Bible, Bethel University (2008-2009)
Plenary Speaker, Canadian Higher Education Canada (CHEC) National Forum, Winnipeg, Manitoba (2015)
Plenary Speaker, Morality and the Media Conference, Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ (2013)
Panelist, Columbia University School of the Arts, 2009 Film Festival, New York, NY
Plenary Speaker, Institute for Campus Renewal, Jonathan Edwards Center, New Haven, CT (2008-2009)
Program Consultant, Wedgwood Hollywood Symposium, Santa Monica, CA (2009)
Senior Fellow, ABHE, Orlando, FL (2007)
Featured Campus Speaker, Compassion International, Colorado Spring, CO (2007-2010)
Delegate, Intercultural Competencies Consortium, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Memphis, TN (2004)
Templeton Award for Character-Building Colleges, The John Templeton Foundation, granted to Gordon College for experiential education and outreach programs I directed (1999)
Who’s Who Among America’s Professors 1994
Faculty Member of the Year, Biola University Class of 1994
“Revivalism and Christian Education,” The Encyclopedia of Christian Education, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014.
“The College Chapel,” The Encyclopedia of Christian Education, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014.
“Jonathan Edwards and American Celebrity Culture.” Biblical Higher Education Journal, Vol. VII, 2012.
“Paparazzi in the Hands of an Angry God: Jonathan Edwards and the Birth of American Celebrity Culture.” The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. The Other Journal, Vol. 3, 2011.
“Jonathan Edwards’ (1703-1758) theology of spiritual awakening and spiritual formation leadership in American higher education.” Ph.D. Dissertation, 2009. Biola University, 2009. Committee: Klaus Issler (Chair), Professor of Theology and Spiritual Formation; Kevin Lawson, Professor of Christian Education; and Richard Langer, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies. External Readers: Kenneth Minkema, Director, The Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale Divinity School; and Garth Rosell, Professor of Church History, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
“The Work of Salvation Arduous (c. 1812),” Timothy Dwight, Editor in “Jonathan Edwards’ Theology of Spiritual Awakening and American Higher Education Leadership,” Ph.D. dissertation. Biola University, 2009.
“Jonathan Edwards’ Treatise Concerning Religious Affections and Gerald McDermott’s Seeing God,” Christian Education Journal, 2006.
“Unfunding Our Future: A Historical Synopsis of the Financial Relationship between Denominations and their Colleges and the Spiritual Vitality of Both.” White paper, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, 2003.
"Worked Up or Prayed Down? Spiritual Awakening in the Theologies of Jonathan Edwards and Charles G. Finney,” Council of Conservative Congregational Churches, 1998.
“Study Questions,” in Wilkins, Michael J., Following the Master: A Biblical Theology of Discipleship. Grand Rapids, Mitch: Zondervan, 1992.
“The Great Awakening,” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. (Under contract).
“The Second Great Awakening,” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. (Under contract).
“Revivalism,” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. (Under contract).
“Timothy Dwight (1752–1817),” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. (Under contract).
“Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875),” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. (Under contract).
“Northfield Conference,” Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015. (Under contract).
The Holy Spirit and the Liberal Arts: Spiritual Formation and Future of Christian Higher Education. [Working Title]. (Proposal under development at invitation of InterVarsity Academic.)
The Story of Your Life: How Worldview Shape Who You Are and Who You Become. (Online textbook project under discussion with McGraw Hill.)
“The Holy Spirit and the Liberal Arts: The Future of Two Handed Higher Education,” 2011-2014.
“The Greco-Roman Liberal Arts: Education with Friendship and Heart,” 2011-2014.
“With Prayer in the School of Christ: The Liberal Arts and the Knowledge of God,” 2010-2014. Named a top post of 2010 by Patheos Evangelical (Scot McKnight).”
“Saint Patrick and the Celtic Liberal Arts: The Missional Future of Christian Higher Education,” 2011-2014.
“Casablanca and the Four Levels of Worldview: Why Everyone Meets at Rick’s,” 2011-2013
“The Bible and Women in Church Leadership,” Co-authored with Esther Junia, 2012
“διαλεγόμενος and the Holy Spirit: Christian Higher Education as a Lecture Hall of Tyrannus for the 21st Century,” (2 lectures) Christian Higher Education Canada National (CHEC) Forum, Winnipeg, MB (2015)
“Bezalel Rising: Hollywood, Storytelling, and Culture Making Communities of Faith." Plenary lecture, Princeton Theological Seminary, “For Such A Time As This: Saving a Generation through Reviving Morality in Media.” (2013)
“Spiritual Formation and Awakening in Higher Education Leadership.” Association of Biblical Higher Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2013)
“Transforming Leadership: Targeting Student Life, Campus Ministry, and Academic Programs for Personal Spiritual Formation and Campus-wide Awakening.” (Three Sessions.) ABHE Chief Student Development Officers, Orlando, FL (2012)
“The Holy Spirit and the Liberal Arts.” (Three sessions.) Johnson University Faculty Retreat, Knoxville, TN. (2011)
“Biblical Foundations of Spirit-Empowered Leadership.” The Institute for Campus Revival and Awakening, The Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2008)
“Jonathan Edwards, Timothy Dwight and Charles Finney and College Spiritual Awakening Leadership.” Workshop (2 sessions), The Institute for Campus Revival and Awakening, The Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2008)
“Spiritual Formation in Higher Education.” (Four lectures). Emmaus College Faculty Retreat (2008)
“Spiritually Transformational Communities and the History of Higher Education, Plenary Address.” Pleanary, The Annual Meeting of the Association of Biblical Higher Education, Orlando, FL (2008)
“An Unintentionally Convenient Truth: The Role of Leadership Development in Fostering a Campus-wide Culture of Spiritual Formation, Enrollment and Retention, Workshop.” The Annual Meeting of the Association of Biblical Higher Education (2008)
“The Josiah Factor: The Life of the Mind in Spiritual Awakening.” Plenary Session, The Institute for Campus Revival and Awakening, The Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2008)
“The Life of the Mind, the Life of the Spirit and the History of Higher Education,” Faculty Workshop, Geneva College, PA (2007)
“The History of Spirituality in Higher Education.” Plenary Address, The Institute for Campus Revival and Awakening, The Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2007)
Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards
Compass School of Cinematic Arts, Board
Bethany College of Mission, Board (Vice-Chair),
Association of Biblical Higher Education, Senior Fellow
Compassion International, Featured Speaker
Evangelical Theological Society
Jonathan Edwards Society
Association of Christians in Student Development
Hobbies and Interests
Sea Kayaking, Hiking, Indy Films, Long talks over coffeee