Associate Professor of New Testament Dr. Esau McCaulley Appointed Jonathan Blanchard Chair of New Testament and Public Theology

April 29, 2024

Wheaton College IL Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulleyWheaton College is pleased to announce that Associate Professor of New Testament Dr. Esau McCaulley will be appointed to the Jonathan Blanchard Chair of New Testament and Public Theology effective July 1, 2024. This honor recognizes McCaulley’s contributions to New Testament scholarship and his service to the church and wider society as a public theologian.

As a scholar, his research and writing focus on Pauline Exegesis and what he has characterized as Black Ecclesial Theology. Black Ecclesial Theology examines the interpretative practices and Scripture reading tendencies of Black churches, theologians, pastors, and denominations in America with particular attention to elements of the Black Church that combine traditional Christian belief with concern for the oppressed.

He has authored numerous books and articles, including Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance: Davidic Messianism and Paul’s Worldwide Interpretation of the Abrahamic Land Promise in Galatians (T&T Clark, 2019) and Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope (IVP Academic, 2020), which won numerous awards including Christianity Today’s Book of the Year. McCaulley also served as the editor of New Testament in Color: A Multi-Ethnic Commentary on the New Testament (IVP Academic, 2024). His forthcoming works include The Story of God Commentary New Testament: Colossians and Philemon (Zondervan) and How to Read the Book that Sets You Free: The Bible, Slavery, and Abolition (Yale University Press).

McCaulley’s work also extends beyond the academy. He is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Christianity Today.

On the popular level, McCaulley’s memoir, How Far to the Promised Land, explores his family’s multigenerational search for hope and faith in an often poverty-stricken and racially hostile American South. He also wrote a book on the season of Lent and penned works for children, including Josey Johnson’s Hair and the Holy Spirit (IVP, 2022) and Andy and the March for Justice (Penguin Random House, 2024). The Alabama State Senate honored him with a special commendation “for his influential work and achievements in the faith community.”

McCaulley is a nationally recognized lecturer who has spoken on multiple campuses in the Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities; at the nation’s top-ranked research institutions, including the University of Virginia, the University of Notre Dame, and Baylor University; and internationally at the University of Edinburgh, Oxford University, and the University of St. Andrews. In 2022, McCaulley was a featured speaker at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

McCaulley came to Wheaton College in 2019 and is currently a visiting Academic Scholar at Yarnton Manor and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University. At Wheaton, he regularly teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes and provides doctoral supervision to students in the Ph.D. program for biblical and theological studies.

“Receiving the Jonathan Blanchard Chair in New Testament and Public Theology is quite the honor given Blanchard’s own use of Scripture in the public square to battle issues of the day through his anti-slavery work,” McCaulley said. “I am thankful that Wheaton College continues to give me the privilege to walk with students as we explore the glory of God as it is revealed in the Scriptures and to examine the ways in which those Scriptures inspired believers to do good in his name.”

McCaulley holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of St. Andrews, a Master of Sacred Theology from Nashotah House, an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from the University of the South.