James Wilhoit

James Wilhoit Faculty Profile Variant

James Wilhoit, Ph.D.

Professor of Core Studies and Professor of Christian Education Emeritus

On Faculty since 1981, Retired in 2019

I was born in Seattle, Washington, and when I was four, my family moved to Clatskanie, Oregon, a small town in Northwest Oregon. We lived there for nine years, and I came to love the woods and water of Oregon. I have fond memories of hours spent exploring the woods near our home. We later moved across the Columbia River to Longview, Washington.

It was in my late high school and early college years that I grew in my faith. College was a time of spiritual and intellectual growth for me. I graduated with a B.A. from the University of Washington with a degree in history and an emphasis in ancient and medieval history. I am grateful to the ministers from my home church, Longview Community Church, to the wonderful InterVarsity program and Christian students at the University of Washington, and especially to one of my major professors for the nurture she provided. This professor taught me to read texts well and held out the possibility that we could actually come to deeply understand and learn from ancient leaders and writers. Her faith in what a careful and contextually informed reading of a text could tell us spurred me on to read the Gospels with greater care.

After some years of graduate study, I began my teaching career at Wheaton College in 1981(PhD from Northwestern University). I initially taught courses on teaching the Bible and the History and Philosophy of Christian Education. Over the years, my teaching load has shifted to focus on Christian Formation and Spirituality. I have taught at Wheaton College since 1981 and hold the Scripture Press Chair in Christian Education. For my first thirty-five years, I taught in the Christian Formation and Ministry Department and, beginning in 2016, my appointment was changed to Core Studies. My current research and writing concerns teaching the Bible and the role of mindfulness in Christian Formation. In my time away from school, I enjoy doing things with my family, gardening, and service in my church.

University of Washington
B.A., History

Covenant Theological Seminary

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Northwestern University
Ph.D., Religion

  • History of Christian Education
  • Spiritual Formation

My current research and writing is divided between the areas of teaching the Bible, foundational concerns in community-based Christian formation, and examining the biblical and early church teachings on mindfulness.

  • CE 321 The Bible and Ministry
  • CE 323 Dynamics of Spiritual Growth
  • CE 471 Prayer
  • CE 494 Senior Seminar
  • CFM 620 Spirituality

Personal Formation and the Understanding Heart Liberal Arts for the Christian Life. Wilhoit, James C. 2012

Soul Projects: Class-Related Spiritual Practices in Higher Education Building a Culture of Faith. Wilhoit, James, David P. Setran, Daniel T. Haase, and Linda Rozema. 2012

SPCE Report of the Core Curriculum Task Force: Expanded Executive Summary Christian Education Journal. Lawson, Kevin and James C. Wilhoit. 2014

Contemplative and Centering Prayer Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. 2014


My office is located in the Billy Graham Center (BGC) 234.

My Wheaton College email address is james.wilhoit@wheaton.edu.

Please contact me to schedule an office hour appointment.