Dr. Philip Graham Ryken ’88 is the eighth president of Wheaton College.
During his presidency, the College 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; one-third are students of color), a new Welcome Center, and the state-of-the-art Armerding Center for Music and the Arts. Friends of Wheaton College have given more than $200 million for student scholarships and other priorities during Ryken’s tenure.
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, Kathryn, and Karoline.
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 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, Jeremiah, Luke, and other books of the Bible. He serves as a board member for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, the Lausanne Movement, and the National Association of Evangelicals.
How can we grasp the significance of what Jesus Christ did for us? Might literature help us as we seek further understanding of the Christian faith? Based on the inaugural Hansen Lectureship series delivered at the Marion E. Wade Center by Philip G. Ryken, The Messiah Comes to Middle-Earth mines the riches of Tolkien's theological imagination. In the characters of Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn, 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. Guided by both Tolkien and Ryken, things of first importance come alive in a tale of imaginary prophets, priests, and kings.
Whether we’re dealing with suffering, temptation, sin, grief, or persecution, it’s easy to feel alone in our troubles. But the reality is that 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. Though suffering is normal and affliction is to be expected, Christians can put their hope in God—our very present help in times of trouble.
When Trouble Comes is based on a series of chapel talks given by Dr. Ryken. Watch the chapel series
Ecclesiastes is for people who have their doubts about God, but can't stop thinking about him. The author of Ecclesiastes had his doubts, too, and these have enabled him to speak to skeptics as well as believers down through the centuries. Ecclesiastes is a book rich in literary artistry and multi-layered depths of spiritual meaning. Philip G. Ryken explores this wonderful Old Testament book, and reminds us again of the need to trust God with the questions, even when we do not have all the answers.