Gilbert Bilezikian, Th.D.
Professor of New Testament Emeritus
On Faculty since 1966, Retired 1992
Dr. Bilezikian was born in the Armenian community of France during one of Europe’s most tumultuous political eras. During the Algerian war of independence (1954-1962), he was drafted into the French army where he served as a medic. He studied at the University of Paris, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston University, and the University of Sorbonne in Paris. He is fluent in a number of foreign languages.
Gil came to Wheaton in 1966 as a professor of New Testament but then took a leave of absence to be the president of Haigazian College in Beirut, Lebanon for three years. After teaching two years at Trinity College, Deerfield, IL, he returned to Wheaton College for eighteen years winning numerous teaching awards.
Gil’s writing always provoked new thinking in his field. Beyond Sex Roles (1985) was one of the first academically compelling evangelical affirmations of women in ministry and leadership. It had wide influence. Christianity 101 (1993) and Community 101 (1997) have both received international acclaim and have been translated into multiple languages. The French translation of Community 101 was awarded the Prix Littéraire Evangélique 2001, an award similar to an American Book of the Year award.
He was also active in the founding of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative churches in the country. Today, he still consults at Willow and his name there is well-known. The café at Willow is called “Dr. B’s” in his honor.
Gil was far ahead of his time when he brought a truly global perspective to theology when few understood its importance. His Armenian history made him finely attuned to matters of suffering and injustice and many students have memories of hearing him speak of the world in ways never forgotten.
Today, he is a popular lecturer at churches, conferences, colleges and seminaries worldwide. He is also a speaker in the prestigious Staley Distinguished Scholars lectures and this brings him to colleges throughout America.
Gil lives in Wheaton, Il, with his wife Maria. They have four adult children and two grandchildren.