President Ryken

Dr. Philip Graham Ryken ’88

Eighth president of Wheaton College.

Philip-Ryken-2023During his presidency, Wheaton has advanced the strategic priorities of Deepening Ethnic Diversity, Promoting Liberal Arts Excellence, Enhancing Music and the Performing Arts, and Globalizing a Wheaton Education. Positive results include a new general education curriculum (“Christ at the Core”), a more diverse campus community (with students representing nearly 100 countries; nearly one-third are students of color), the state-of-the-art Armerding Center for Music and the Arts, and more than $300 million in new giving for student scholarships and other priorities.

A Wheaton native and the son of longtime professor Dr. Leland Ryken and Mary Graham Ryken, President Ryken attended Wheaton as an undergraduate, majoring in English literature and philosophy. He met his wife Lisa during their first few days at the College, and they were married before their senior year. The Rykens have five children—Josh (’15), Kirsten (’18), Jack ('23), Kathryn ('24), Karoline—and one grandchild.

Dr. Ryken earned a master of divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and a doctorate in historical theology from the University of Oxford. He preached at Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church from 1995 until his appointment at Wheaton in 2010.

President Ryken has published more than 50 books, including The Message of Salvation (InterVarsity, 2001), Art for God’s Sake (P&R, 2006), When Trouble Comes (Crossway, 2016), and expository commentaries on Exodus, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Jeremiah, Luke, Galatians, and other books of the Bible. He serves as a board member for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, the Gospel Coalition, the Lausanne Movement, and the National Association of Evangelicals. 

Speaking Ministry

Dr. Ryken maintains a full schedule of speaking engagements on and off campus. To hear Dr. Ryken's Bible expositions, please visit Every Last Word, a broadcast ministry of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals; additional links to his sermons, talks, and interviews are available here.   

Recent Books

2 Kings

2 Kings Cover Despite the tragic events of 2 Kings, hope remains as God holds to his promise never to forsake David's line. This historical book has everyday relevance as it shows both the consequences of idolatry and God's concern for people in serious hardship. Most important, it prepares us to see our need for the true and greatest Prophet and King. Tracing the overarching narrative, Philip Graham Ryken connects it to Christ and explores its applications for ordinary Christians in today's world. Learn more on >




The Love of Loves in the Song of Songs
The Love of Loves in the Song of Songs Book Cover

How do the love poems in the Song of Songs fit in with the rest of God’s Word, and what do they mean for us today? Guiding readers verse by verse, this fresh, practical explanation of a fascinating yet often misunderstood portion of the Bible will reveal important insights into romance, marriage, singleness, friendship, and human sexuality. This book speaks not only to those navigating romantic relationships, but also to those seeking deeper intimacy with Jesus. Learn more on >




The Messiah Comes to Middle Earth
The Messiah Comes to Middle Earth by Philip G. Ryken

Based on the inaugural Hansen Lectureship series delivered at the Marion E. Wade Center, The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth mines the riches of Tolkien's theological imagination. In the characters of Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn, Philip Ryken hears echoes of the One who is the true prophet, priest, and king. Moreover, he considers what that threefold office means for his service as a college president as well as the calling of all Christians.  More >




When Trouble Comes
When Trouble Comes - Philip Ryken

Whether we’re dealing with suffering, temptation, sin, grief, or persecution, it’s easy to feel alone in our troubles. Everyone experiences trouble at some point, and we have a Father in heaven who promises to always be with us. In this honest and encouraging book, Phil Ryken offers hope and practical examples from his own life, the lives of major characters from the Bible, and Jesus himself to show us that we’re never alone in our pain. More >

When Trouble Comes is based on a series of chapel talks given by Dr. Ryken. Watch the chapel series.