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Karen FinchKaren Petersen Finch

Associate Professor
300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: 509.777.3891
Fax: 509.777.3274
Office Location: Westminster Hall 106


  • Ph.D., Gonzaga University
  • M.Div. Princeton Theological Seminary
  • B.A. Pomona College

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty


Areas of Specialization / Expertise

Reformed theology (Calvin); Roman Catholic theology (Lonergan); ecumenical dialogue; apologetics; Western worldview studies; theology of the modern period; Christianity and postmodernity. 

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors

July 2016: Selected to present at the Rome Seminar of the College Theological Society (and Foyer Unitas): “Full, Conscious and Active: Lay Participation in the Church’s Dialogue with the World.”

September-December, 2014 and June, 2014:  Research Fellow at the Lonergan Institute at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.  Studying the encounter between Calvinism and Catholic theology with particular reference to the doctrine of the church.

Completed dissertation through Gonzaga University, titled, "Knowledge that Divides: Reformed-Catholic Dialogue and the Challenge of Epistemology" (2009).

Publications include:

  • “Ten Disciples for a Deeper Theological Life,” Whitworth Today (Spring/Summer 2015)
  • “Calvin for Postmoderns: Humility as Method and Message” in Pro Ecclesia (23.4 Fall 2014);
  • "The Image of God, Servant Leadership and Forgiveness," International Journal of Servant Leadership (3.1 2007);
  • "A Calvinist Learns from Lonergan: Reflections on the Sovereignty-Freedom Debate,” METHOD: Journal of Lonergan Studies (23.1, Spring 2005);
  • “Key Orthodoxies: The Doctrine of Salvation,” reNEWS  (Spring 2002)
  • "Jesus Christ our Only Comfort: The Christology of the Heidelberg Catechism," pfr reFORM (Spring 1999).

Presentations include: 

“Christ Alone: What Can We Learn from Calvin’s Response to Christological Heresies,” Presbyterian Scholars Conference, Wheaton College (September 2015); “Where the Seams Show: The Task of Irenic Theology,” Whitworth Faculty Scholarship Forum (April 2014); “Catholic and Reformed: In Search of a Common Understanding (of Understanding),” Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (November 2014); “Reflections from Luke's Gospel: Jesus and the Religiously Respectable, Financially Secure, and Fashionably Skeptical,”  Whitworth Institute of Ministry (July 2013); “‘Love, Power and a Sound Mind’: Strategies for Contemporary Apologetics,"  Whitworth Institute of Ministry (July 2013); Podcast Interview with Dr. Timothy George, Dean, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama (November 1, 2012);  “John Calvin, Postmodernism and Power (three lectures),” 25th Annual Reformation Heritage Lectures, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama (October 2012); "That Darned Predestination, In a New Light," Annual Conference of Presbyterian Women, Glacier Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Lakeside, Montana (August 2012);“Jesus Christ as Prophet, Priest and King” and “The Definition of Chalcedon: Why it Matters Today,” Mountain States Wee Kirk Conference, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Albuquerque, New Mexico (May 2012); "Evangelism in a Postmodern Context," Transitional Ministries Education, Synod of Alaska- Northwest, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)(August 2011); "Calvin for Congregations (three lectures)," Whitworth Institute of Ministry (July 2011); "Ecumenism and Epistemology," at the Northwest Lonergan Symposium, Seattle (2010).


Member of the Editorial Review Board for The International Journal of Servant-Leadership (2011-present).

Member, preaching team, Whitworth Chapel, 2011-2012.

Member, drafting committee, "A Theological Foundation for Intercultural Relations at Whitworth University" (2010).

Voted "Outstanding Student" in the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies 2008-2009 by the Graduate Student Association at Gonzaga University.