304 Forest Bend Drive
Mount Juliet, TN 37122 United States
MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO. (May 2001).
Ph.D. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC. (May 2019).
Research: Cheer Up! A Biographical Study of the Life and Ministry of C. John “Jack” Miller: A Twentieth Century Pioneer of Grace.
I’ve spent the last eighteen years pastoring a PCA church in Mount Juliet, TN, just outside Nashville. Prior to embarking on a biographical study of Jack Miller’s life and ministry, I spent three years researching and studying the organic relationships between justification, adoption, and sanctification in union with Christ using systems of systems theory to navigate these topics synthetically from the perspectives of systematic, biblical, and practical theology.
In my final class at Southeastern, Dr. Danny Akin, who would become my supervising professor, recommended instead (based on what he learned about Jack Miller) that I write “a biography of Jack Miller’s life and ministry for the church while so many contributors are still alive.”
Providentially, those prior three years of biblical studies were necessary for gaining a critical apparatus to research and explain Jack Miller’s original and central involvement in the complicated controversy over justification and Norman Shepherd’s teaching that engulfed Westminster Theological Seminary and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church from 1974 to 1982.
As a result, overall research and writing took for the biography took an additional four years along with the prior three years to finally complete the dissertation in May 2019.
P&R Books has purchased the dissertation with plans to trade publish Jack Miller’s biography with minor edits in the Spring of 2020.
Notably, I’ve had far more pastoral experience than academic teaching experience. However, between 2007 to 2012 (prior to starting a PhD) I have taught and recruited other pastors to teach in various parts of India and Sri Lanka, including Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Deradun) and Baldaeus Theological College (Trincomalee). I especially enjoyed using a flipped classroom approach to train students at Baldaeus Theological College over the summer of 2015.
When I mentioned to Dr. D. Clair Davis, Professor (Emeritus) of Church History at WTS, that I didn’t think of myself as an academic, he rebuked me and explained that “It used to be that in Scotland you could not teach in a seminary without ten years of pastoral experience.”
Recently, others have also recommended I consider teaching in a university or seminary environment, though I remain somewhat hesitant.
As a result of Jack’s biography and pulling together the library of original research for “The Jack Miller Project,” there are twenty recommended areas for further research, four or five of which I am already in the initial stages of pursuing.
Currently, I remain pastor of our current church, though my wife and I are openly considering what next steps the sovereign Lord may have for us regarding calling.
I have limited networking skills, and have little idea how to consider teaching in an academic setting. Also, at 54 years old, I probably don’t fit the profile of many younger PhD students.
Therefore, I thought I might describe here my situation and where I am in this process, see if there is any input or interest, listen and wait.
Since I’ve only had the one job over the last eighteen years and one large research project and dissertation, the above outlines the content one typically fings in a curriculum vitae.
Blessings in Christ, Mike Graham