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Gerald SittserGerald Sittser

Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow, Office of Church Engagement

300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: 509.777.4381
Fax: 509.777.3446
Office Location: Beeksma Family Theological Cen 213

Jerry Sittser specializes in the History of Christianity, Christian Spirituality, and Religion in American Public Life. His course, Monasticism: Old and New, meets over Jan Term in the wintry beauty of Tall Timber, a Christian camp located in a remote area of the Cascade mountain range. Students live together for three weeks, follow a modified Benedictine Rule and explore various spiritual traditions that have emerged throughout the history of Christian monasticism. He founded the Certification for Ministry program, the Masters of Arts in Theology program and the Academy of Christian discipleship. Currently he serves half-time as professor of theology and half-time as senior fellow and researcher in the Office of Church Engagement. He has written eight books, too. His ninth book—Resilient Faith: How the Early Christian "Third Way" Changed the World—will be released under the Baker label in fall 2019. He enjoys music, literature, hiking and woodworking, and he attends the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every year with his family. Married to Patricia since 2010, he has three married children, two married step-children and two grandchildren.


Ph.D. University of Chicago
M.Div. Fuller Theological Seminary
B.A. Hope College

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty


Areas of Specialization / Expertise

History of Christianity; history of Christian Spirituality; history of monasticism; religion in American public life

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors

He has written eight books: The Adventure (IVP, 1985), A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss (Zondervan, 1996), A Cautious Patriotism: The American Churches and the Second World War (University of N.C. Press, 1998), The Will of God as a Way of Life (Zondervan, 2000), When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayer (Zondervan, 2003), which won the 2005 Gold Medallion Award in the Christian Living category from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association; Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries (IVP, 2007), which won the Logos Book Award; and Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For (IVP, 2008). Several of these books have been best-sellers, including A Grace Disguised, which has been translated into twenty languages. In addition, he has written many book reviews and articles, and he has delivered papers at scholarly conferences and on college campuses. His most recent book, A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life was published by Zondervan in 2012 and was recognized by Christianity Today with an honorable mention award.

Sittser has written many book reviews and papers. Most recently he has authored "The History of Christian Spirituality," a major introductory essay for the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (Zondervan Academic, 2011), "The Desert Fathers and Mothers," in Reading the Christian Spiritual Classics: A Guide for Evangelicals (IVP, 2013); "Catechumenate," an article for the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (Zondervan Academic, 2011); "The Battle Without and Within: The Psychology of Sin and Salvation in the Desert Fathers and Mothers," (2009) and “The Catechumate and the Rise of Christianity” (2016) in the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care (2009), "From Mountaintop to Mundane Life: The Purpose of Spiritual Retreats," in Conversations (2009), "Protestant Missionary Biography as Written Icon," in Christian Scholars Review (2007). He has also authored many book reviews, including a recent lead review of Tim Keller's book on suffering for Christianity Today.

Research & Scholarship

In 2014-15 Sittser teamed up with Terry McGonigal, former Dean of Spiritual Life, to procure two grants, one from the Lilly Foundation and one a Murdock Grant, worth a total of 1.4 million dollars, which led to the establishment of the Whitworth Office of Church Engagement. Beginning in the summer of 2015, Sittser began working half time as senior fellow in the Office of Church Engagement, in addition to teaching half time in the theology department. Since then, McGonigal and Sittser have procured an additional three grants from Lilly, amounting to three million dollars, and helped secure funds for the renovation of the Whitworth chapel building and the addition of a new wing for the theology department and the staff of OCE, which is attached to the back of the chapel. They moved into this new space in the fall of 2018.

Sittser won the Hope College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. He has also been voted Most Influential Professor ten times by the Whitworth senior class, most recently by the Whitworth Class of 2015. During graduate school, he also won the Jacob K. Javits National Graduate Fellowship award.