Ryan K. Bolger

Fuller Theological Seminary
Ph.D., School of World Mission (Intercultural Studies)
M.A., School of Theology (Theology)
M.A., School of World Mission (Cross-Cultural Studies)
University of California, Davis
B.A., Linguistics

awards, fellowships, and scholarships

Yale Center for Faith and Culture: Theological Education Renewal Award
Finalist for Course offered in American Culture, Fall 2005 (with Mark Lau Branson)

Contextualization Award
For outstanding scholarship in Contextualization, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2002

Pastoral Leadership Project Fellowship/Duke Divinity School
Dissertation Fellowship, funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc., as part of the Pulpit and Pew Project. Project administered by the JM Ormond Center, Duke Divinity School, 2001-2002.

Donald A. McGavran Award
For outstanding scholarship in Church Growth, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2001.

James Morton Reid/Sally Samuelson Scholarship
Doctoral scholarship, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1999-2000.

Graduate Online Course of the Year from ACCESS and Christianity Today
For developing and teaching the web-based course “Evangelizing Nominal Christians”, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1999.


seminary teaching experience
Fuller Theological Seminary

Asst. Professor

The Spirituality of U2, Spring 2006 (with Barry Taylor)
Jesus the Missionary, Spring 2006
Emerging Churches, Winter 2006 (with Eddie Gibbs)
Transforming Contemporary Culture, Fall 2005
Cross-Cultural Apologetics, Fall 2005
Mission Strategy, Summer 2005
Global Leadership: Implications, Spring 2005
Global Leadership: Implications, Winter 2005
Jesus the Missionary, Winter 2005 (with Wilbert Shenk)
Global Leadership: Implications, Fall 2004
Global Leadership in Context, Fall 2003
Global Leadership in Context, Summer 2004
Global Leadership in Context, Summer 2003
Developing Your Learning Plan, Summer 2003 (with Bob Freeman)
Developing Your Learning Plan, Spring 2003 (with Bob Freeman)
Global Leadership in Context, Spring 2003
Developing Your Learning Plan, Winter 2003 (with Bob Freeman)
Mission in Modern Culture, Fall 2002 (online)


Modern Culture and Evangelism, Spring 2002 (Seattle)
Emerging Church, Winter 2002 (with Mark Lau Branson).
Reshaping the Church for Mission, Summer 2001 (with Eddie Gibbs).
Thinking Missiologically, Fall 2000 (with Wilbert Shenk)

Instructor/Web developer

Developing Your Learning Plan (Internet Course), Winter 2003 (with Bob Freeman)
Foundations of Church Growth (Internet course), Winter 2001.
Evangelizing Nominal Christians (Internet course), Fall 1999 (with Eddie Gibbs).


Doctor of Ministry reader, postmodern churches, 2002.
Contemporary Culture and Mission Integration (For master’s theses and independent course work), 2001.

Teaching Assistant

Apologetics (PH510),
Church Growth (MC520, MC532, MC533, MC535, MC542),
Contemporary Culture (MP520, MP521, MP522),
Evangelism (EV511) (EV525),
Missiology (MI510),
Mission Theology (MT520),
Urban Mission (MN520),


“Emerging Churches and Emergent Synagogues” co-authoried by J. Shawn Landres, for the Czech periodical (incomplete) “Postmodern Forms of the Church”, co-authored by Eddie Gibbs, in Evangelical, Ecumenical, and Anabaptist Missiologies in Conversation: Essays in Honor of Wilbert R. Shenk, James Krabill, Walter Sawatsky, and Charles Van Engen, editors (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2006).

Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures, co-authored with Eddie Gibbs (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2005).
“The Local Church In Mission: Becoming A Missional Congregation In The Twenty-First Century Global Context , editor, Track 10A, Lausanne Conference for World Evangeliization, Pattaya Thailand, Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2004.
“The Evangelical Strategy of MTV,” Strategies for Today’s Leader, Fourth Quarter, 2001. Vol. 38, No.4.
“Dwelling, Distinctiveness, and Dialogue: The Missiological Triad of John Howard Yoder,” Mission Focus: Annual Review, 1998, Volume 6.


“Why Emerging Churches are Nonviolent”, in Next Wave February 2006.

“Please No More Doing Church for Them”, in Next Wave November 2005.

“Brian McLaren is the Real Thing” in Next Wave, September 2005.

“On Emergent”, in Next Wave, in August 2005.


“Jesus For And Against Modernity: Practice-Redemption As Missiological Response To The Rules Of The Modern Powers”
Mentor: Wilbert R. Shenk Committee Members: William Dyrness, Eddie Gibbs

I create two methods for missiological inquiry. In the first, that of powers-practice inquiry, I present the emerging discipline of practice theory as the most comprehensive social-theoretical framework for the Pauline notion of the powers, thereby stating that all social activity relates to the spiritual powers at the level of their shared understandings, rules, and ends. In the second, that of practice-redemption, I introduce the missio Dei, as modeled by the life of Jesus and the early church, as the redemptive answer to the fallen nature of powers-practices, thereby calling those practices back to God’s creative intent. These two methodologies enable the researcher to map any type of social grouping as well as initiate a redemptive response to that grouping. With these tools, I explore the social nature of modernity (looking at differentiation, the pursuit of order, and dedifferentiation/aesthetic reflexivity) and begin to sketch out how the practices of modernity might be redeemed.


“A History of Emerging Churches” a presentation made to S3K/Emergent Dialog, hosted by Synagogue 3000, January 16, 2006.
“Donald McGavran and the Emerging Church”, Paper, American Society of Church Growth, Annual Meeting (2004).
“Making the Transition: The English Church In Postmodernity”, Paper, Association for the Sociology of Religion, Annual Meeting (2001).


“Local Church and the Great Commission”, Track 10A, Pattaya Thailand, Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2004. Lausanne Conference for World Evangeliization.

research interests

Mission in a post-Christendom context.
Modern and postmodern culture/social theory.
Emerging churches in the US and UK.


3 Responses to “CV”

  1. 2 Will Whitaker November 13, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    Let’s speak up for the positive things in life done by Mr. Whitesel!

  2. 3 Fundraiser January 18, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    A few questions from a blog idiot

    How do you keep the spammers from eating you alive? i\’ve seen blogs with nothing but spam postings.

    How do you keep some left wing extremist from posting racist or defamatory rhetoric? and if you cant stop them, what are you legally liabel when they do?

    can viruses be posted to blogs?

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