Jerry Root, Ph.D.

Missional Church Movements

Associate Professor, Associate Director, Billy Graham Institute for Strategic Evangelism, Director of Wheaton Evangelism Institute
On Faculty since 1996

Phone: (630)752-5912


Ph.D., British Open University. Thesis: C. S. Lewis and the Problem of Evil: A Pervasive Theme. Supervisors: Basil Mitchell. Lyle Dorsett. Sponsoring Agency: Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. 2004 

M.Div., Talbot Graduate School of Theology. La Mirada, California. 1978 

B.A., Whittier College. Whittier, California. 1973

About Jerry Root

Jerry was born and raised in Southern California. He grew up in a Christian family but did not become a Christian until his freshman year at Whittier College. He was deeply influenced by the ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ and Granada Heights Friends Church in La Mirada, California. Jerry's sister Kathy introduced him to the writings of C. S. Lewis while he was still an undergraduate. Upon graduation from college he selected Lewis as an author who would take him to other authors and has made of him a life study. The concept that graduation from college is "Commencement" has meant that only a foundation for learning is established through formal education after which one commences his/her liberal arts education.

He pastored three different churches over twenty-three years. Nineteen of those years were invested in student ministry, and for four years he served as a senior pastor. While pastoring he taught courses in Philosophy and on C. S. Lewis for ten years at the College of Du Page in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. He has served on the Adjunct Faculty at Biola University since 1991, teaching courses on Lewis. He has been teaching at Wheaton College full time since 1996.

Jerry has lectured or preached in 14 countries: Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Ireland, Mexico, Romania, Slovakia, Sudan, Switzerland, Uganda, Ukraine. He has also lectured or preached in 19 States: California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin. Jerry has traveled to 31 countries and 3 continents.

Courses Taught

  • EVAN 516- Spiritual Formation & Witness
  • EVAN 545- Evangelism in Contemporary Culture

Membership in Professional Societies

  • NAPCE North American Professors of Christian Education
  • ETS (Evangelical Theological Society)- past member


  • C.S. Lewis Topics
  • Evangelism and Spiritual Formation (Including Christian Mysticism)

Papers Published and/or Presented

The Quotable C.S. Lewis, Ed. with Wayne Martindale. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House. 1990 Friendship Evangelism. With Claudia Root. Wheaton, Illinois: Harold Shaw.1990

Leader's Guide for How to Help a Friend. With Claudia Root. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House.1983

"Bearings on the Bright Blur: The Theology of C. S. Lewis" Narnia Beckons. Ted & JamesBaehr, ed. Nashville, Tennesse: Broadman Holman. 2005

"Barchester Towers" by Anthony Trollope and "The Pensees" by Blaise Pascal. Contributed to Reading for Life. Jeffry Davis, Leland Ryken, Tom Martin, Editors. New York: Xlibris/Random House. Fall 2001.

"Evangelism and Discipleship" Christian Education in the New Millennium. Michael Anthony, ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. 2001

"C. S. Lewis", "The Resurrection". Baker Dictionary of Christian Education. Warren Benson and Michael Anthony, ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. 2001

“The Cloud of Unknowing”, “Justin Martyr”, “The Theology of Marriage”, “Universalism”. The New Baker Dictionary of Theology. Walter Elwell, ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books. 2001

“Tools Inadequate and Incomplete: C. S. Lewis and the Great Religions”. The Pilgrim’s Guide: C. S. Lewis and the Art of Witness. David Mills ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.1998 [Reprinted in The Anglican Digest. Vol. 41, No. 2. Easter 1999].

“Jane Austen”, “Ancius Boethius”, “Geoffrey Chaucer”, George Herbert”. The C. S. Lewis Reader’s Encyclopedia. Jeffrey D. Schultz and John G. West Jr. ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. 1998.

C. S. Lewis and the Problem of Evil”. C. S. Lewis Lightbearer in the Shadowlands: TheEvangelistic Vision of C. S. Lewis. Angus Menuge ed. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books. 1997.

Letter published (pp. 111-113), in A Mother’s Grief Observed. Rebecca Faber. Wheaton, Illinois:Tyndale House. 1997.

“How do I find Healing?” Revolutionary: The Magazine of Camp Eagle. Summer 2003.

Biola University/Talbot School of Theology. Lecture June 5. An Apologetic for the Heart, the Imagination and the Head: Ideas Implicit in the Work of C. S. Lewis. 2003

C. S. Lewis Foundation Regional Retreat Discovering Reality With C. S. Lewis The Cove Asheville, North Carolina. February 21-23 (Three Lectures: Aslan, You’re Bigger! Reality is Iconoclastic; Big Ideas in C. S. Lewis’s Apologetics; The Idea of Longing in C. S. Lewis). 2003