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.
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
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.”