Faculty


Stewart

Dr. Bryan Stewart
Professor of Religion and Chair of the Department 
Phone: 325-793-3899
Office: Old Main 205B
Email: stewart.bryan@mcm.edu

Ph.D., University of Virginia
M.Div., Covenant Theological Seminary
B.A., Grove City College

Bryan Stewart, Ph.D.


Bryan Stewart, Ph.D. is a professor in and head of McMurry’s Department of Religion and Philosophy. A high school soccer and baseball player, he understands how the discipline of athletics can translate into success in the classroom—set good habits, do the work, be committed and listen to your coach.

Dr. Stewart joined McMurry as an assistant professor in 2009 from Valparaiso University, where he was a Lily fellow and lecturer. Each semester, he makes sure to learn the name of every student and values the way McMurry fosters genuine relationships among faculty and students.

Dr. Stewart teaches a variety of introductory and advanced courses, including Introduction to Christianity and upper-level classes in church history, worship, liturgy and the Bible. He loves helping students understand the deep intellectual legacy of the Christian faith—that it’s OK to be a Christian and a thinker.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Stewart has a wide range of research interests, including understanding how early Christians read and understood the Bible. He has published two books, written dozens of articles and presentations, and is currently working on a manuscript exploring the development of Christianity in early Britain.

In recognition of his excellence as a teacher and scholar, Dr. Stewart received the E.E. Hall Memorial Scholar Award for 2016-2017 and the Gordon R. and Lola J. Bennett Award for Outstanding Teaching, Service and Leadership in 2016. In 2015, he secured a Lilly grant for McMurry faculty to explore the meaning and practice of teaching in a church-related institution of higher education.

Dr. Stewart earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Virginia. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary, where he graduated summa cum laude, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from Grove City College, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Dr. Stewart and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of three children: Eowyn, Fox and Micah. The Stewarts love spending time in nature—and Dr. Stewart is an avid fly fisherman. He’s also a diehard fan of his hometown teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins.


Dr. Stewart CV

Friday Devotional: www.facebook.com/mcmReligiousandspirituallife/videos/357878135175924

    LeMasters

Dr. Philip LeMasters
Professor of Religion and Director of the Honors Program
Phone: 325-793-3898
Office: Old Main 204B
Email: plemasters@mcm.edu

Ph.D., Duke University
M.A., Rice University
B.A., Baylor University

Philip LeMasters, Ph.D.


Philip LeMasters, Ph.D., is professor of religion in McMurry’s Department of Religion and Philosophy and director of the university’s Honors Program. He’s also an ordained archpriest in the Antiochian Orthodox Church and pastor of St. Luke Orthodox Christian Church in Abilene.

Dr. LeMasters joined McMurry as assistant professor in 1995 from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State), where he was assistant professor of philosophy and religion. Trusting that God is always working in ways we can’t fully understand, Dr. LeMasters’ motto is “Keep hope alive!”

Dr. LeMasters’ interest in Eastern Christianity brings a unique perspective to the classroom. He teaches introductory and advanced courses, including Introduction to Christianity, Global Christianity and Ethics. He helps students develop a greater sense of the depth, breadth and richness of the Christian faith beyond what they may have encountered in their lives.

In addition to teaching, Dr. LeMasters pursues a rich vein of research into moral theology and applied ethics in Eastern Christianity, including war and peace, sexuality, marriage and family, bioethics, politics, and poverty. He’s the author of six books and dozens of essays, chapters, reviews and presentations.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. LeMasters has been recognized for excellence in teaching and scholarship throughout his career. He’s the recipient of numerous awards, including McMurry’s E.E. Hall Memorial Scholar Award and the Gordon R. And Lola J. Bennett Award for Outstanding Teaching, Leadership, and Service. He’s been honored twice as the Turner Distinguished Associate Professor of Religion.

Dr. LeMasters holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Christian theology and ethics from Duke University. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in religious studies from Rice University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

Dr. LeMasters and his wife, Paige, who’s a pediatrician, are the parents of two daughters: Kate and Annie. Dr. LeMasters works out six days a week, makes a decadently delicious chocolate pecan pie and recently caught an 18-pound brown trout on Lake Michigan that qualified him as a Master Angler of the State of Michigan.

Dr. LeMasters CV

Friday Devotional: https://www.facebook.com/mcmReligiousandspirituallife/videos/2597881347125526

Kinlaw

Dr. Jeffery Kinlaw
Professor of Religion and Philosophy 
Phone: 325-793-3897
Office: Old Main 204C
Email: jkinlaw@mcm.edu

Ph.D., University of Virginia
M.Div., Southern Baptist Seminary
B.A., Wake Forest University

Jeffery Kinlaw, Ph.D.


Jeffery Kinlaw, Ph.D., is professor in McMurry’s Department of Religion and Philosophy. He loves the practice of philosophy and relishes those inspirational moments when a student offers a question or comment he hadn’t anticipated.

Dr. Kinlaw joined McMurry in 1999 from Wake Forest University. During more than three decades of teaching, he’s led a rich variety of courses in philosophy and religion.

In his classes, Dr. Kinlaw focuses almost exclusively on primary texts and guides students in how to understand and evaluate them. Reflection papers challenge students to develop and defend their ideas clearly and effectively. For Dr. Kinlaw, the greatest reward is helping students discover that they can achieve more than they ever imagined.

As a complement to his teaching, Dr. Kinlaw pursues a wide range of research interests, including late 18th- and early 19th-century German philosophy—with a primary focus on epistemology, political philosophy, free will, ethics and the philosophy of religion. He has written and edited dozens of books, articles, chapters and reviews. He lectures frequently at conferences and universities in the U.S. and Europe.

Dr. Kinlaw holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Virginia. He also earned a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

Dr. Kinlaw’s wife, Jean, spent her career in public school education, holding virtually every position except superintendent. Dr. Kinlaw grew up in Southeastern North Carolina, and the beaches of his youth still hold a magical appeal. He travels widely in Europe, plays a respectable game of golf and loves live music—especially the blues.


Dr. Kinlaw CV

Miller

Dr. John B. Miller
Professor of Religion
Phone: 325-793-3896
Office: Old Main 205C
Email: jbmiller@mcm.edu

M.Div., Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary
B.A., University of California, Berkeley

John B. Faulkenberry Miller, Ph.D.


John Miller, Ph.D. is professor of religion in McMurry’s Department of Religion and Philosophy. He’s also an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church and treasures helping students experience how learning and faith can enrich one another.

Dr. Miller joined McMurry in 2004 from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was an instructor in the New Testament. Having graduated from a large state institution, he values McMurry’s supportive environment, where faculty help students find their own individual paths to success.

Growing up in Las Vegas, Dr. Miller became fascinated with the Bible and ancient languages as a boy—and that passion shines in his teaching at McMurry. In addition to beginning and advanced Greek, Dr. Miller helps students explore the Christian scriptures in a variety of biblical studies courses.

Dr. Miller is engaged in ongoing biblical scholarship and has published a monograph and several articles exploring dreams and visions in the ancient world. His primary specialty is Luke-Acts, but his other research interests include 1 Maccabees and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Dr. Miller is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Fulbright fellow (Israel, 1997 – 1998). In 2014, he received McMurry’s E.E. Hall Memorial Scholar Award.

Dr. Miller holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in biblical studies and a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in classical languages from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with highest honors.

Dr. Miller and his wife, Bonnie, are the parents of two children: Kate and Jack. He’s a great lover of music—especially the Grateful Dead and the improvisational jazz of the 1950s—and believes that worship, like jazz, is at its best when it’s an interactive, co-creative experience.


Dr. Miller CV

Friday Devotional: https://youtu.be/57GaLxPds_0

Sermon Link 1: https://youtu.be/UaY-CAyzVII

Tag Information: Sermon: Luke 24:44-53 (Ascension Sunday, 5-24-2020, St. Paul UMC [Abilene, TX])

Sermon Link 2: https://youtu.be/scAfny37U9E

Tag Information: Sermon: Phil 2:17-18 (August 23, 2020, St. Paul UMC [Abilene, TX])

Mark Waters

Dr. Mark Waters
Professor of Religion and Director of International Education
Phone: 325-793-4997
Office: Old Main 110
Email: mwaters@mcm.edu

M.Div., Ph.D., Southern Seminary
B.A., Texas Tech University

Mark Waters, Ph.D.


Mark Waters, Ph.D., is professor of religion and servant leadership in McMurry’s Department of Religion and Philosophy and director of the Center for International Education.

Dr. Waters joined McMurry in 2007 as assistant professor from Just People, a non-profit support service organization in Abilene, where he was executive director. The first half of his career was dedicated to service as pastor for Baptist churches in Kentucky and Texas.

Dr. Waters teaches introductory and advanced courses that help students understand world religions and prepare for the Christian ministry. He loves “seeing the lightbulb come on” as students gain new insights and broaden their perspectives about the human family. He values the freedom McMurry affords to share ideas in an open-minded, caring community.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Waters is an inspired researcher and writer, exploring topics that include religious pluralism, theologies of religion, practical theology and servant leadership. He’s the author of numerous publications, papers and presentations and is currently developing a chapter on “Interfaith Cooperation and the Entrepreneurial Enterprise.”

Dr. Waters has served as faculty sponsor for many student organizations and as a member of dozens of university committees. He’s the recipient of numerous awards, including Outstanding Sponsor for a Student Organization in 2019 and 2012, Heartbeat of the Campus Award in 2017, the Gordon R. and Lola J. Bennett Award for outstanding teaching, service and leadership in 2015, and Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year in 2014.

Dr. Waters earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in homiletics and theology and a Master of Divinity degree in pastoral care and counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and psychology from Texas Tech University.

An avid runner and walker, Dr. Waters enjoys spending time with his daughters, Krista and Becca, and their families. He’s an accomplished world traveler who has helped McMurray students spread their wings on trips to Australia, Canada, England, Haiti, India, Israel/Palestine, Italy, South Korea and Zimbabwe.


Dr. Waters CV

Friday Devotional: https://www.facebook.com/mcmReligiousandspirituallife/videos/245990726481310


For More Information Contact

Dr. Bryan Stewart, Chair
Department of Religion and Philosophy
1 McMurry University #1028
Abilene, TX 79697

Office: Old Main 205B
Phone: 325-793-3899