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Jerry Root, Ph.D.

Wheaton College Graduate School

Wheaton College Professor Jerry Root

Professor of Evangelism
Director of Wheaton Evangelism Initiative, Billy Graham Center for Evangelism

On Faculty since 1996

Phone: (630)752-5912
Email: Jerry.Root@Wheaton.edu


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 came to Christ while a freshman at Whittier College through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. While in college he played football and wrestled earning seven varsity letters. He was mentored at Granada Heights Friends Church and in 1978 was Recorded (the Friend’s equivalent to ordination) with the California Yearly Meeting. Later he was also Ordained in 1980 by College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. Jerry was a college pastor for 19 years at Granada Heights Friends Church in California, and College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He served four years as senior pastor at Trinity Baptist Church in Santa Barbara, California. While in Santa Barbara he was the chaplain for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Jerry has been studying C. S. Lewis and a constellation of subjects related to Lewis since 1970. Both his M.Div. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation were about C. S. Lewis. He has taught college and university courses on C. S. Lewis continuously since 1980. He has lectured on Lewis at 59 Colleges and Universities in 9 different Countries and has preached or lectured in 24 different countries and 32 states.

Currently he is a professor of Evangelism and Leadership at Wheaton College and also teaches in the Christian Formation and Ministry Department at Wheaton College where he has taught since 1996. Jerry has also been a visiting professor at Biola University and Talbot Graduate School of Theology since 1990. He is married to Claudia since 1975 and has four married children and thirteen grandchildren.

Courses Taught

  • IDS 101 Freshman Experience
  • CE 111 Foundations of Ministry
  • CE 121 Introduction to Christianity
  • CE 211 Biblical Foundations
  • CE 231 Evangelism
  • CE 233 Discipleship
  • CE 434 Evangelism and Renewal
  • CE 457 Christian Proclamation
  • CE 459 Advanced Study: C. S. Lewis and Christianity
  • CE 459 Advanced Study: Pastoral Ministry
  • CE 459 Advanced Study: World Views
  • CE 459 Advanced Study: Frederick Buechner: The Apologetic of Story
  • CE 459 Advanced Study: Perennial Issues in Ministry
  • EVAN 516 Spiritual Formation and Witness [cross-listed as INTR 514]
  • EVAN 523 History and Theology of Revival
  • EVAN 531 Theology of Evangelism
  • EVAN 532 Apologetics
  • EVAN 542 Strategies for Contemporary Evangelism
  • EVAN 545 Evangelism in Contemporary Culture [Missions and Evangelism]
  • EVAN 546 Discipleship and Small Groups
  • EVAN 552 Sport Ministry
  • EVAN 694 C. S. Lewis: Apologist to the Head and the Heart
  • EVAN 695 Independent Study
  • EVAN 698 Thesis (Supervisor and Second Reader)

Courses Taught at Biola University and Talbot Graduate School of Theology, California

  • The Theology of C. S. Lewis [1990 to Present]

Courses Taught at College of DuPage, Illinois [1980 to 1990]

  • Philosophy: Introduction to Philosophy
  • Philosophy: Introduction to Ethics
  • Religious Studies: C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien

Courses Taught at Nashota House, Episcopal Seminary, Wisconsin

  • C. S. Lewis and Spiritual Formation

Courses Taught at Phoenix Seminary, Arizona

  • C. S. Lewis: Apologist of the Head and Heart

Courses Taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

  • Foundations of Cultural Engagement

Membership in Professional Societies

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


  • Advisory Board for the Marion Wade Center, Wheaton College (1986-Present)
  • Fellow of the Hill Country Institute for Contemporary Christianity: Austin, Texas. (2006-Present)
  • Faith Advisory Council for the Human Society United States (HSUS). (2010-Present)



2011 The Sacrament of Evangelism. Moody Press. Chicago, Illinois.

2010 Consulting editor (with Douglas Gresham) and author of the Introduction to The C. S. Lewis Study Bible. Harper Collins: San Francisco.

2010 The Soul of Lewis: A Meditative Journey through Twenty-six of His Best Loved Writings. Wayne Martindale, Jerry Root, and Linda Washington, editors and contributors. Tyndale House.

2009 C. S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil: An Investigation of a Pervasive Theme. Princeton Theological Monograph Series 96. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, a Division of Wipf and Stock. Also published in Cambridge, United Kingdom by James Clarke & Co. 2010. (Reviewed by Bruce R. Johnson in Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal. Volume 3, 2009; and by Mikel Burley in Cambridge Journals Cambridge University Press, May 2011). 

1990 The Quotable C. S. Lewis. Ed. with Wayne Martindale. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House. (Book of the Year Award: Jesus People USA, 1990; Book of the Year Finalist: Christianity Today 1990). Over 100,000 copies sold.

Currently under contract with Abingdon Press: C. S. Lewis and the Uses of the Imagination. Publication Date: Summer 2015.

Journal Articles and Periodicals:

2013 “Staying Power: Four Reasons Why Lewis’ Legacy Endures.Biola Magazine. Jason Newell, editor.

2012 “C. S. Lewis, Scripture and Spiritual Formation.” Christian Education Journal, Series 3, Volume 9, Special Supplement. Spring 2012. Pp. S-157-171.

2011 Evangelism and the Early Church. Lausanne World Pulse. December.

2011 “Evangelism: Joining the God Who is Already at Work.” Jerry Root, with Stan Guthrie. Outreach Magazine, Volume 10, Number 6. November-December. Pp. 58-62.

2011 “When All the World Hears.” Decision Magazine. November.

2009 “Christianity and World Views” Lausanne World Pulse, July. The article was co-written with a former student, Justin Conrad.

2009 “C. S. Lewis and the Case Against Subjectivism.” Knowing and Doing a publication of the C. S. Lewis Institute. Summer edition.

2009 “The Deep Significance of Telling Others of the Love of God.” The Billy Graham Center Scholarship Program News. Spring 2009. Volume 2, Issue 1. 

2008 “The Strategic Importance of Student Ministry: What are you Living For?” Lausanne World Pulse, August.

2008 “Evelyn Underhill: The Path Towards Spiritual Maturity.” Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Transformation. Vol. 6:1; Spring 2008.

2007 “What Christians Believe: The Death of Death—The Apostle’s Creed.” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith. Nov-Dec 2007.

2007 “What Christians Believe: The Cure for Loneliness—The Apostle’s Creed.” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith. June-July.

2007 “Why Must Evangelism and Discipleship Go Hand in Hand?” Lausanne World Pulse, May.

2007 “What Christians Believe: Your Invisible Friend “I Believe in the Holy Spirit”—The Apostles’ Creed.” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith. March-April.

2007 “What Christians Believe: Judge Jesus.” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith, January-February.

2006 “What Christians Believe: Jesus in Hell?” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith. November-December.

2006 “What Makes Christianity Fundamentally Different from Other Great World Religions?” Lausanne World Pulse, December.

2006 “What Christian’s Believe: He’s Dead. Game Over?” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith. September-October.

2006 “What I Tell My Students About Evangelism.” Lausanne World Pulse. July 2006.

2006 “What Christian’s Believe: Believing the Unbelievable.” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite Your Faith. June-July.

2006 “What Christians Believe: Common Name, Uncommon Savior.” With Grady Root. Campus Life’s Ignite your Faith. March-April.

2006 The Transcendent Story Wheaton Alumni Magazine.

2006 “What Christians Believe: Who is God Anyway?” With Chris Lutes. Ignite Your Faith (formerly Campus Life Magazine). Jan/Feb Volume 64, Number 6. First article in a nine part series.

2005 “Mind in Motion: The Intellectual Pilgrimage of C. S. Lewis.” With J. I. Packer, Christian History Magazine. December Issue.

2005 “The Great Iconoclast.” With Jennifer Trafton, Christian History Magazine. December Issue.

2005 “The Seminarian Balancing Act.” Ministry Mentor January Issue.

2004 “The Desire Myth.” Ministry Mentor October Issue.

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

1998 “The Man Who Created Narnia. Focus on the Family Magazine.” Vol. 22, No. 12. December (Lead article published by request).

1998 “Narnia: What Must God Be Like?” Focus on the Family Magazine. Vol. 22, No. 12. December.

1998 “Tools Inadequate and Incomplete: C. S. Lewis and the Great Religions.” Mission and Ministry. Volume XI, Number 4 and Volume XII, Number 1. (Reprinted from The Pilgrim’s Guide).

1998 “Reading C. S. Lewis is a Liberal Arts Education.” The Wheaton Record. Vol. 124, No. 4. September.

1998 “NACIE Affirmations: Inner Life Development.” Equipping Evangelists. Volume 10. July.

1985 “Following that Bright Blur.” Christian History Magazine. Volume IV, Number 3.

1981 “From the Catacombs.” Harvest Rock Magazine. Vol. I, Issue 4. October-November.

1981 “Donkeys, Stones and C. S. Lewis.” Harvest Rock Magazine. Vol. I, Issue 3. September.

Chapters in Books:

2013 “C. S. Lewis Objectivity and Beauty” C. S. Lewis and the Arts: Creativity in the Shadowlands Rod Miller, ed. Baltimore, Maryland: Square Halo Books.

2009 Contributor to Ignite Your Faith: 365 Devotions to Set Your Faith on Fire, Chris Lutes, editor. Baker Publishing Group

2009 “A Vocabulary for My Soul” in Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C. S. Lewis. Mary Anne Phemister and Andrew Lazo, Editors. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. Pp. 186-88.

2008 “Our Global Task of Evangelism—Proclamation: Restoring People from the Inside Out” Chapter 14, Introduction to Christian Education and Formation. Ronald T. Habermas. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.

2007 Day 23 “Is Your God Too Puny?” and Day 28 “The Thin Place” in Be Still and Know that I am God:31 Days to a Deeper Meditative Prayer Life. Amy and Judge Reinhold. New York: Howard Books/Simon and Schuster.

2005 “Bearings on the Bright Blur: The Theology of C. S. Lewis” Narnia Beckons. Edited by Ted & James Baehr. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Holman.

2001 “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.

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.

1998 “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 “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. [Reprinted in The Anglican Digest. Vol. 41, No. 2. Easter 1999].

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

Book Introductions and Forewords:

2002 “Foreword” to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Protestant Reformation. Indianapolis, Indiana: Alpha, A Pearson Education Company.

2002 “Foreword” to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Book of Revelation. Indianapolis, Indiana: Alpha, A Pearson Education Company.

2000 “Introduction” to The Golden Sequence by Evelyn Underhill. Eagle, Inter Publishing Service: Surrey, England.

2000 “Introduction” to The Light of Christ: Abba: The Fruits of the Spirit: Retreat Messages of Evelyn Underhill by Evelyn Underhill. Eagle, Inter-Publishing Service: Surrey, England.

Distinguished Lectureships:

2013 Distinguished Lecturer Series, Bethel Seminary San Diego, California.

Three Lectures: The Logical C. S. Lewis: Apologist of Mere Christianity. The Imaginative   C. S. Lewis: Using Fiction in Christian Apologetics. C. S. Lewis and the Creative Power of Friendship. November 15-16.

2011 The Sixteenth Annual John A. Hamrick Lectureship, Charleston South Carolina. Two Lectures: C. S. Lewis’s Big Themes Applied and C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy. January 16-17.

2010 Paper delivered on behalf of The Clapham Group and The Humane Society United States. Washington D. C. C. S. Lewis as Advocate for the Animals. November 5. (Published on the Humane Society US website.) December 2010.

2010 . The James Legge Memorial Lecture at Union Church, Hong Kong. Reality is Iconoclastic: C. S. Lewis and the Path to Spiritual Formation. May 22.

2009 Moody Bible Institute Missions Conference. Opening Night Speaker: Making Missions Personal: Proclaiming Christ in Your World. October 13.

2008 C. S. Lewis and the Inklings Society Annual Conference. Grove City College; Grove City, Pennsylvania. Two Key note presentations: C. S. Lewis’s Rhetorical Point: Reality is Iconoclastic and C. S. Lewis and the Rhetoric of Spiritual Pilgrimage. April 5.

2008 Lecture delivered at the 20th Annual Communication Week. Sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. “The Communication Genius of C. S. Lewis” March 4. 

2007 Manthei Speaker Series North Central Michigan College. Petoskey, Michigan. C. S. Lewis and the Question of God. October 26th.

2006 Annual Christian Formation Lectures. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Deerfield, Illinois. Lecture One: Abide in Christ; Lecture Two: Be Fruitful. October 3 & 5.

2006 Department of Communication Studies Pearsol Lecture Series. Texas State University. C. S. Lewis’s Big Ideas: Chronicles of a Master Communicator. March 30.

2006 The Robert Saucy Lectures. Talbot Graduate School of Theology; Biola University. Lecture One: Developing Dialectically Safe Communities: Bullets, Guns and Targets; Lecture Two: Developing Dialectically Safe Communities: Reality is Iconoclastic. February 28-March 2.

2005 Center for Constructive Alternatives (CCA) Hillsdale College, Michigan. Plenary Session Lecture delivered at the C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and the Inklings Conference. C. S. Lewis’s Apologetics. September 13.

2001 Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Sponsored by The Institute for Christian Thought and Laval University. C. S. Lewis as Literary Critic. April 7.

1998 King College Colloquium. Bristol, Tennessee. Plenary Speaker. March 16-17.

1997 The Frances White Ewbank Colloquium On C. S. Lewis and Friends. Taylor University. Upland, Indiana. Plenary Speaker. November 14-15.   

1997 Staley Lectures. Biola University. La Mirada, California. April 7-9.

1993 Torrey Conference. Biola University. La Mirada, California. Plenary Speaker.

Papers Read at Academic Societies and Gatherings

2013 Lanier Theological Library Symposium on C. S. Lewis. Paper presented: C. S. Lewis’s Big Ideas Applied in Reconsideration of Pride as the Great Sin. Houston, Texas. March 23.

2012/2011 Spiritual Struggle: Understanding Ourselves So We Can Be in Honest Community with Others, Spiritual Formation, The Church’s Response to Homosexuality. Three lectures given at the European Leadership Forum. May 21-25. These lectures were repeated, by request, at the 2012 European Leadership Forum May 19-24.

2011 C. S. Lewis and the Apologetic of Story and C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Vision of Story. The European Leadership Forum. Eger, Hungary May 21-25.

2011 C. S. Lewis: Character in and Age of Image. Trinity Forum. Zurich, Switzerland. May 18.

2011 Encouraging the Church to be More Fruitful Evangelistically. Pre-forum Seminar at The European Leadership Forum. Eger, Hungary. May 21.

2011 C. S. Lewis on Scripture and Spiritual Formation. Paper read at the North American Professors of Christian Education (N.A.P.C.E.) annual conference in Seattle, Washington. October 21.

2007 European Leadership Forum. 1. Lecture in the Apologetics Network: C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity—The Most Influential Apologetic Argument of the Twentieth Century. 2. Lecture in the Arts Network: C. S. Lewis: Subjectivism and Literary Criticism. 3. Lecture in Communications Network: Communication Strategies of C. S. Lewis: Lessons for the Twentieth Century. Eger, Hungary June 16-21.

2007 European Leadership Forum. Lecture, Leader’s Network: Spiritual Authenticity: Unhealthy and Healthy Leadership Patterns. Eger, Hungary June 17.

2007 European Leadership Forum. Pre-Forum 1. Lecture: Why is the Western Church Evangelistically Unfruitful And How Can This Change? 2. Lecture: How Can the Gospel Be Brought into Everyday Conversations Unobtrusively? 3. Lecture: What are the Essentials of the Gospel Message and How Can They be Communicated? 4. Lecture: How Can New Believers in Christ be Mentored to Become Disciples of Christ? June 15-16.

2006 European Leadership Forum, Hungry. Three seminars: 1. C. S. Lewis’s Path to Faith; 2. C. S. Lewis’s Approach  to Apologetics; 3. C. S. Lewis’s Approach to Art and Literature and Morality. May 20-22.

1990 C. S. Lewis on Ethics and Sanctification. Paper presented at the Evangelical Theological Society. (E.T.S.). November 16.

1989 C. S. Lewis’s ‘Mere Christianity’ and the Religions of the World. Paper presented at the Evangelical Theological Society (E.T.S.). November 18.

1988 C. S. Lewis as Communicator of the Gospel. Paper presented at the Evangelical Theological Society. (E.T.S.). November 18.

Film, Broadcast Journalism, and Interviews:

2013 Presentation: “It is Finished” at the Performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ, Op. 51 (Hob III: 50-56). By the Vermeer String Quartet. With Martin Marty. Recorded at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James in Chicago March 26 for broadcast on WFMT.

2012 Christ and the City with Christopher Brooks. WLQV Faith Talk 1500 Interview with Jerry Root on C. S. Lewis and His Importance as an Historical Figure. June 28, 4:00-6:00 PM.

2011 The Morning Ride with Mark Elfstrand . Moody Radio. Interview, with Stan Guthrie about The Sacrament of Evangelism. Thursday September 22.

2011 Chris Fabry Live! Moody Radio. One hour interview about The Sacrament of Evangelism. Thursday June 16

2011 Inside Look with Greg Wheatley. Moody Radio. One hour interview about The Sacrament of Evangelism May 21.

2011 “C. S. Lewis Writings Added to New NRSV Edition” Written responses by Jerry Root for an interview about The C. S. Lewis Bible in Church Executive April Pp. 34-36.

2011”Jerry Root on Sacramental Evangelism: Velcrowed to a High-felt Need” Interview in Christianity Today. April. P. 67.

2010 Interviewed by Georgene Rice for the Georgene Rice Show on KPDQ Radio for Portland, Oregon. Topic: The C. S. Lewis Bible. December 20.

2010 Interviewed by Marty Davis for Congregational Resource Guide. Topic: C. S. Lewis as Advocate for the Animals. http://www.humanesociety.org/about/departments/faith/cs_lewis_narnia_gerald_root.html. December 20.

2010 “The Screwtape Letters: A Six Part Video Study Guide of One of the Most Popular and Profound Works of C. S. Lewis” DVD Produced by the C. S. Lewis Institute of  Washington D.C.

2010 Interviewed by Don Rupp of KTIS (Skylight Satellite Network, out of Minneapolis, Minnesota). Topic: The release of the C. S. Lewis Bible. November 2.

2010 Interviewed by Mark Moring for Christianity Today in: Will The Dawn Treader Float? Christian leaders get sneak peek of next Narnia movie, like what they see; filmmakers admit "mistakes" on Prince Caspian, vow to get it right this time. Posted 3/02/2010.

2009 Interviewed for BBC 1 UK Documentary: The Narnia Code Produced by Norman Stone (who produced Shadowlands for the BBC). Broadcast April 2009.

2008 WMBI Five Days of Interviews on C. S. Lewis and Subjectivism (relative to the publication of C. S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil: An Investigation of a Pervasive Theme) Broadcast December 1-5.

2008 WYLL Radio, Chicago. Sandy Rios Talk Show. Interview about C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters. October 2.

2007 Live at The Kindlings Muse Podcast from The C. S. Lewis Centre, Seattle, Washington. C. S. Lewis: Encountering Reality. Dick Staub with Jerry Root. May 16.

2006 Documentary Film Be Still. Interview. Produced by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (A Unit of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation), and directed by Judge Reinhold. Released: April.

2005 Listen Up TV. A Division of Media Voice Generation. Lorna Dueck, Executive Producer. Interview with Lon Allison.

2001 Interviewed by David Crumm. The Spirit of Fantasy. Detroit Free Press, Section E, Pp. 1E and 5E. Monday May 14.

2001 Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Quebec City Affiliate. Interview about C. S. Lewis. April 5. Prior to Laval University Lectures.

1999 WYLL Radio, Chicago. Sandy Rios Talk Show. Interview about C. S. Lewis. May 14.

1998 National Public Radio Talk of the Nation with Ray Suarez (Host). "C. S. Lewis 100 Years: A Tribute" November 30, 1998. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1009938.