Dr. Myles Werntz Begins Role as T.B. Maston Chair of Christian Ethics

 

Dr. Myles Werntz, the new T.B. Maston Chair of Christian Ethics at Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary, started his new position in January 2016.  

The Shreveport, Louisiana-native was drawn to the T.B. Maston Chair of Christian Ethics role because of his love of working in a seminary context and a desire to serve the Texas Baptist community.

“I wanted to be in a position where I could really contribute,” he said. “To help Baptists think faithfully about ethics and theology was really attractive to me.”

Werntz fills the Maston Chair previously held by Dr. Bill Tillman.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Werntz is responsible for planning and directing the annual T.B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics. He also oversees the "The Window", a semi-annual publication that provides ministers with information to aid them in sermon preparation, research and ministry to the local church.

Werntz earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 2000; his Master of Divinity from Truett Seminary at Baylor University in 2003; and his Doctor of Philosophy in Religion from Baylor University in 2011.

He served as a Temporary Lecturer in Theology at Truett Seminary from 2011 to 2012 then served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Truett from 2012 to 2014. In 2014, Werntz moved to a teaching position at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he served as an Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at the School of Ministry.

This semester, Werntz is teaching a doctorate level ministry seminar on Church and Culture, an Introduction to Christian Ethics for Masters of Divinity students, and a New Testament survey class for undergraduates at HSU. In the fall semester, he plans to teach a Foundations in Biblical Ethics course, among others.

Werntz said he’s glad to be reaching students at such a formative time in their lives.

“I think in particular confessional universities have an opportunity to be formative in a really powerful way,” he said. “I’ve always been attracted to working in those environments.”

While Werntz began his education in English Literature, he had a change of heart while visiting a theology class at Baylor before entering graduate school. He realized the big picture questions that he gravitated to in literature were taking place at a deeper level in theology.

“Theology is really where you are addressing these things more openly and directly,” he said. “So that for me was the a-ha moment.”

Werntz is the author of "Bodies of Peace: Nonviolence, Ecclesiology, and Witness," published in 2014.One reviewer calls the book, “a valuable contribution for ongoing ecumenical peacemaking efforts into the twenty-first century." He is also working on a new book exploring theological and ethical issues.

Werntz has written several other chapters and articles on ecclesiology, war and peace, and Christian witness. He also edited several posthumous volumes of work by the Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder.

The position has brought Werntz closer to his family. His sister lives in Austin and his parents live in Shreveport, Louisiana. He and his wife, Sarah Martin-Werntz, also welcome a slower pace after living in West Palm Beach, Florida. The couple has a nearly 2-year-old son, Eliot.

“Everyone has been very welcoming,” he said. “We love the pace of Abilene and we’re really enjoying being back in Texas.”  

 

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