Dr. Roger Olson guides our “Disciplinary Concentration Seminar” in Carroll’s DMin program. This is a course which allows students to address “critical and relevant issues in contemporary ministry related to the student’s area of academic concentration.” As the last general seminar before the Professional Project stage, this course allows students to dive into their specialty. With students coming from such diverse fields of ministry and possessing manifold interests, it would take a very gifted professor to handle the course.
Dr. Olson is that person.
He recently retired from, and was granted emeritus status at, George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. Dr. Olson held the Foy Valentine Chair in Christian Ethics. Not only did he teach there for almost twenty-five years, he also previously taught at Rice University, Oral Roberts University, Bethel College, and Bethel Theological Seminary.
His curriculum vitae includes twenty-three pages and a plethora of academic papers and presentations. Most notable, I believe, are his twenty-three books, including the just released Against Liberal Theology: Putting the Brakes on Progressive Christianity. He has a first-rate mind which makes him one of the most prolific authors and voices in the mainstream evangelical community and beyond. He proudly self-identifies as a theologian.
I first met Dr. Olson due to his book, Against Calvinism. In spite the name, neither Dr. Olson nor the book are caustic or pugnacious. I invited Dr. Olson to lead a full day’s seminar for a group of pastors. He fairly explained the Young, Restless, and Reformed movement, its theology and practice, and gave point/counterpoints for both sides. It’s our best-rated continuing education event to date. He was animated, fun, thorough, deep, and kind—all at the same time.
Since then, I’ve become a follower of Dr. Olson’s regular blogs on the Patheos website. He’s not afraid to chase unusual news reports, or to delve into challenging theologies, or to face the common challenges of everyday life.
A professor at another institution graciously told Carroll’s President Dr. Gene Wilkes we had pulled off a “coup” in hiring Roger Olson. I agree. If you want to experience excellence in a DMin education, Dr. Roger Olson is a great example of what you can expect from our professors.