Jason E. Vickers

Associate Professor of Theology and Wesleyan Studies
President’s Associate for Mission Advancement

Teaching and Research
Jason teaches in the areas of Systematic Theology, Wesley Studies, Methodist Doctrine, and Philosophy of Religion.

Jason is currently conducting research on transitions in Methodist Christology. He is especially interested in the relationship between Christological transitions and changes in political vision and commitments within the Methodist tradition.

Education
B.A., Trevecca Nazarene University (1996)

M.Div., Nazarene Theological Seminary (1999

Ph.D., Southern Methodist University (2004)

Professional
Member of the Editorial Board for Kingswood Books

Program Coordinator for the The Charles Wesley Society

Commissioned as an elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church

Member of the American Academy of Religion

Member of the Wesleyan Theological Society

Publications
Book(s):
Minding the Good Ground: A Theology for Church Renewal. Baylor University Press, 2011.

Declining memberships. Pastoral scandals. A fear of secularism and the New Atheism. Christians are worried about the church’s future. Despite such despair, Jason Vickers believes the church also sits upon the cusp of renewal. Some emerging voices promise to lead the church out of decay but focus only upon its structure, while others encourage the Spirit’s work to the exclusion of all else. Minding the Good Ground organizes the multitude of voices and proposes a new way forward—rooting these renewal movements in a robust historical theology. Moving beyond quick-fix solutions, this new theological vision grounds renewal in the good and life-giving work of the Holy Spirit.

Methodist and Pietist: Retrieving the Evangelical United Brethren Tradition. Kingswood Books, 2011.
In 1968, the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) churches merged to form The United Methodist Church. More than forty years later, many United Methodists know very little about the history, doctrine, and polity of the EUB. To be sure, there are vestiges of the EUB, most notably the Confession of Faith, in the United Methodist Book of Discipline, but there is much more to be profitably explored. For example, the EUB represents a strand of German Pietism that developed an emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church that, with the exception of Wesley, Fletcher and the early Methodists, was unparalleled in the history of Protestantism. This book makes accessible to clergy and laity alike the considerable riches of the EUB tradition with a view toward the renewal of United Methodism today.

(Editor). The Cambridge Companion to John Wesley. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
A leading figure in the Evangelical Revival in eighteenth-century England, John Wesley (1703 – 1791) is the founding father of Methodism and, by extension, of the holiness and Pentecostal movements. This Cambridge Companion offers a general, comprehensive introduction to Wesley’s life and work, and to his theological and ecclesiastical legacy. Written from various disciplinary perspectives, including history, literature, theology, and religious studies, this volume will be an invaluable aid to scholars and students, including those encountering the work and thought of Wesley for the first time.

Wesley: A Guide for the Perplexed. T&T Clark International, 2009.
As anyone familiar with both the stereotypes and the scholarship related to Wesley knows, tricky interpretive questions abound: was Wesley a conservative, high church Tory or a revolutionary protodemocrat or proto-Marxist? Was he a modern rationalist obsessed with the epistemology of religious belief or a late medieval style thinker who believed in demonic possession and supernatural healing? Was Wesley primarily a pragmatic evangelist or a serious theologian committed to the long-haul work of catechesis, initiation, and formation? Wesley: A Guide for the Perplexed sheds new light on Wesley’s life and teaching, and aims to help students understand this enigmatic figure.

Immersed in the Life of God: The Healing Resources of the Christian Faith –Essays in Honor of William J. Abraham. Co-Editor. Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing, 2008.

In this volume honoring William J. Abraham, noted theologians, philosophers, and historians offer erudite analysis of various aspects of the faith – Scripture, conversion, initiation, liturgy, confession, reconciliation, and more – and explore how those elements can serve to effect healing in broken lives. Brilliantly highlighting the therapeutic function of the means of grace available in Christian tradition, Immersed in the Life of God opens a conversation concerning an important theme too often neglected in the church today.

Invocation and Assent: The Making and Remaking of Trinitarian Theology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008.

This insightful, engaging study of English Protestant theology in the seventeenth century helps us to account for the neglect of the doctrine of the Trinity in modern theology – something from which most Protestant Christians today are still trying to recover. By carefully recounting this largely unknown story, Jason Vickers has filled an important gap in the history of Trinitarian doctrine and made an important contribution to the current Trinitarian renaissance. Yet Invocation and Assent is much more than a historical study. Its greatest value lies in clearly and forcefully reminding us what the ultimate purpose of the doctrine of the Trinity is: not to offer a rational explanation of how God can be three in one, but to enable us – in baptism, worship, formation, and mission – to personally encounter, know, and love the triune God. That’s why this book needs to be read not only by academics but by pastors and Christian leaders everywhere.

– From Stephen A. Seamands, author of Ministry in the Image of God

Canonical Theism: A Proposal for Theology and Church. Co-editor. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008.
Canonical Theism is a post-Protestant vision for the renewal of both theology and church. The editors call for the retrieval and redeployment of the full range of materials, persons, and practices that make up the canonical heritage of the church, including scripture, doctrine, sacred image, saints, sacraments, and more. The central thesis of the work is that the good and life-giving Holy Spirit has equipped the church with not only a canon of scripture but also with a rich canonical heritage of materials, persons, and practices. However, much of the latter has been ignored or cast aside. This unplumbed resource of canonical heritage waits for the church to rediscover its wealth. With a bold set of thirty theses, the authors chart and defend that mine of opportunity. They then invite the entire church to explore the benefits of their discoveries. This ambitious book offers insights to be integrated into the church body, renewing the faith that nourished converts, created saints, and upheld martyrs across the years.

Article(s):
“Christology,” in The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies, edited by William J. Abraham and James Kirby (Oxford University Press, 2010), 554-72.

“The Making of a Trinitarian Theologian: The Holy Spirit in Charles Wesley’s Sermons,” Pneuma 31 (2009): 213-24.

“Albert Outler and the Future of Wesleyan Theology: Retrospect and Prospect,” in Wesleyan Theological Journal 42:2 (Fall 2008), 56-67.

“The Confession of Faith and the Twenty-Five Articles of Religion Compared: Assessing the EUB Contribution to Methodist Standards of Doctrine,” Methodist History 46:4 (July 2008) 223-240.

PDF LINK GOES HERE

“And We the Life of God Shall Know: Appreciating Charles Wesley as Theologian” Anglican Theological Review 90:2 (Spring 2008): 329-44.

PDF LINK GOES HERE

“On Friendship: John Wesley’s Advice to the People
Called Methodists,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 42:1
(Spring 2007), 32 – 49.

“Charles Wesley and the Revival of the Doctrine of the Trinity: A Methodist Contribution to Modern Theology” in Charles Wesley: Life, Literature & Legacy, edited by Kenneth G. C. Newport and Ted A. Campbell (Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2007), 278 – 298.

“Charles Wesley’s Doctrine of the Holy Spirit: A Vital Resource for the Renewal of Methodism,” Asbury Journal 61:1
(Spring 2006), 47 – 60.

“Begotten from Everlasting of the Father: Inadvertent Omission
or Sabellian Trajectory in Early American Methodism?” Methodist History (July 2006), 251 – 261.

“John Wesley’s Doctrine of Sanctification: A Key to the Renewal of Methodism Today,” African Methodist Episcopal Zion Quarterly Review 117:4 (January 2006).

Personal Life
Jason’s interests include hiking, sports, casual reading, and travel.

Jason is married to Lacey, and they have two children (Garrett Reid and McKenna Eve) along with two Boston Terriers (Cooper and Sadie).