Kinlaw Dr. Jeffery Kinlaw
Professor of Religion and Philosophy and Chair of the Department
Phone: 325-793-3897
Office: Old Main 204C

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

McMurry’s philosophy program is anchored by Dr. Jeffery Kinlaw. His expertise is wide-ranging, for he has taught classes from ancient to modern philosophy, from Socrates to Heidegger.  He regularly teaches courses on political philosophy and free will. Kinlaw is particularly interested in German philosophy of the late 18th and early 19th centuries — Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Schleiermacher.  His active scholarship is demonstrated in his numerous articles and conference papers. Most recently, he co-edited The State of Schleiermacher Scholarship Today: Selected Essays.

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

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

A scholar of Christian ethics primarily within Eastern Orthodoxy, Dr. LeMasters has presented papers on topics such as war and peace, interfaith dialogue, marriage, poverty, and the plight of Middle Eastern Christians at national and international conferences, including several in Canada, the Netherlands, Romania, Greece, and Syria. His books, essays, and reviews address a variety of topics in moral theology, including biomedical, political, and sexual ethics. His sixth book, The Forgotten Faith:  Ancient Insights for Contemporary Believers from Eastern Christianity, was published in 2013.  It and one of his earlier books have been translated into Romanian.  Dr. LeMasters joined the McMurry faculty in 1995 after teaching at Wake Forest University and Northeast Missouri State University. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Christian Ethics, the Orthodox Theological Society in America, and the International Orthodox Theological Association, Dr. LeMasters sits on the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York, where he chairs the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board.  During 2016-17, he taught hybrid classes for St. Vladimir’s as an adjunct professor. He received the Bennett Award for Excellence in Teaching, Service, and Leadership in 2001 and has held the Turner Distinguished Chair in Religion. An Orthodox priest, he is also the pastor of St. Luke Orthodox Church.

“Unitive, Sacrificial, and Eschatological Love: The Virtues of Marriage in a Eucharistic Context”, presented at the IOTA Conference, Iasi, Romania, January 10, 2019.


Dr. John B. Miller
Professor of Religion
Phone: 325-793-3896
Office: Old Main 205C

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

Dr. Miller’s teaching focuses on biblical studies and Koiné Greek. His courses introduce students to critical analysis of the Bible and to the realm of Biblical theology, in which questions of “dogma” and “doctrine” give way to an appreciation of the remarkable diversity of the biblical witness and the implications of this diversity for theological reflection.

Dr. Miller’s current research focuses on dreams and visions in the Bible and in other ancient literature, including considerations of religious experience and the rhetoric of revelation. His first monograph, Convinced That God Called Us: Dreams, Visions, and the Perception of God’s Will in Luke-Acts was published in 2007. Dr. Miller joined the McMurry faculty in 2004 after teaching at Princeton Theological Seminary.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Fulbright recipient, Dr. Miller participates actively in the Society of Biblical Literature and the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies. He is the advisor for the McMurry pre-ministerial program.

Dr. Bryan Stewart
Associate Professor of Religion
Phone: 325-793-3899
Office: Old Main 205B

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

Dr. Stewart joined the McMurry faculty in 2009. He teaches courses on the history of Christian thought, with an emphasis on the beliefs and practices of Christians in the patristic and early medieval eras. Dr. Stewart is also interested in the ways early Christians have appropriated and interpreted the Biblical canon and has offered several courses on this subject. All of Dr. Stewart’s classes emphasize the importance of students engaging first-hand with the primary sources of the Christian tradition.

Dr. Stewart is currently engaged in two writing projects. He is finishing a monograph on the emergence of a Christian “priesthood” in the early church, exploring the reasons why early Christians began designating bishops and presbyters as “priests” (using the equivalent Greek and Latin terms sacerdos and hiereus). This project, entitled Priests of My People: Levitical Paradigms for Christian Ministers in the Third and Fourth Century, will be published by Peter Lang in the fall of 2015. Dr. Stewart’s second project focuses on the Gospel of John in the ancient Christian interpretive tradition, and he is the editor of a volume on the Gospel of John in The Church’s Bible series (published by Eerdmans). This forthcoming volume will provide editorial remarks and freshly translated selections of patristic and early medieval commentaries and homilies on the fourth gospel. An active member of the North American Patristics Society, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society of Biblical Literature, Dr. Stewart has presented a number of conference papers and has published several scholarly articles.

Dr. Stewart is also the faculty representative for McMurry University’s membership in the Lilly Fellows National Network of Church-Related Colleges and University’s and serves as the faculty advisor for McMurry’s local chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology.

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

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

A native of Lubbock, Texas, Mark graduated from Texas Tech University in 1980 and later completed M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees in theology, homiletics, and pastoral care at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He completed additional graduate study in church history and world religions at Baylor University. He served as pastor of churches in Texas and Kentucky for 17 years and for another seven years was the executive director of Just People, Inc., an Abilene nonprofit agency that provided empowerment services for youth and adults in poverty. Mark has additional training in servant leadership learning communities through Ann McGee-Cooper and Associates in Dallas, leadership and organizational learning through the Society for Organizational Learning in Cambridge, MA, and interfaith leadership through Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago. Mark’s research interests include religious studies, theologies of religion, interfaith dialogue, intercultural peacemaking, and sociology of religion. His perspective on religious pluralism can be found here. Mark currently serves as Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for International Education at McMurry University. 
Libby Rev. Bill Libby
Adjunct Professor of Religion and History
Phone: 325-793-4637
Old Main 205A

M.A., Kansas State University
M.Div., Drew University
B.A., Texas A&M University

Mr. Libby teaches Old Testament and is especially interested in its relevance and application in the modern world. After graduation from Texas A&M and Drew Theological School, Libby was ordained in the United Methodist Church and served as a Chaplain in the US Army. His service included assignments in Europe, Asia, and the United States. During those years he also completed a degree in American Diplomatic History (Kansas State) and was admitted to the doctoral program in American Studies at the University of Maryland. Later he completed the US Army’s program in Organizational Behavior and the Executive Program in Human Resources Management at Columbia University. He concluded his military service by serving on the faculty of the National Defense University.

Mr. Libby has been at McMurry University since 1996. He began and coached the cross-country teams (1996-2003) and currently co-hosts the KWKC Talk Radio program “The Professors.”  When he’s not in the classroom or on the radio, he’s involved in ongoing summer archaeological work in Jordan.

For More Information Contact

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

Office: Old Main 204C
Phone: 325-793-3897