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William P. McDonald

Professor of Religion; Department Chair Religion and Philosophy; Associate Dean Humanities & Fine Arts

wmcdonald@tnwesleyan.edu (423) 746-5283

Better-known on campus as “Rev.”–a moniker that stuck from his days as the college chaplain–William McDonald chairs the Religion, History and Philosophy Department at Tennessee Wesleyan College, teaching a variety of classes from Bible to historical theology and world religions. McDonald holds the Ph.D. in History of Christian Thought from Vanderbilt University, where he wrote a dissertation exploring how converts to Christianity in the church’s early centuries were taught the basics of the faith and initiated into the church through baptism. He is editor of Christian Catechetical Texts (2011), a three-volume anthology of catechisms—documents used in teaching young people at least since the Protestant Reformation. His Gracious Voices: Shouts and Whispers for God Seekers (1997) is a collection of passages from a wide variety of theologians and writers arranged around the Apostles’ Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, and Holy Communion, and designed for use with new Christians entering the United Methodist Church using the ancient pattern of initiation he explored in his dissertation. He is currently working with both a Canadian and an American scholar on a book about “Ecumenical Shared Ministries” in the United States and Canada. These are local congregations sponsored by more than one denomination, and the three authors are considering how this model might prove valuable for the 21st century church. Professor McDonald has authored 31 book reviews and 21 articles, encyclopedia entries, and paper presentations.

A native of DeLand, Florida, Dr. McDonald is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and holds an M.T.S. from Duke University Divinity School and an A.B. from Lenoir-Rhyne College. He also serves as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vonore, Tennessee, and is on the Board of Directors of the North American Academy of Ecumenists.

  • Office Location Sherman Hall