May 11, 2020

Prominent Scholar, Author to Head New M.A. Philosophy of Religion

PBA News

Well-known author and Christian apologist Paul M. Gould will join the faculty of Palm Beach Atlantic in August to lead the University’s new philosophy of religion program.

Gould has been a visiting scholar at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School’s Henry Center, where he worked on the intersection of science and faith. He is a widely sought-after speaker in apologetics and philosophy, and the author or editor of 10 scholarly and popular-level books, including “Cultural Apologetics: Renewing the Christian Voice, Conscience and Imagination in a Disenchanted World,” and “The Story of the Cosmos.”

He will be associate professor of philosophy of religion and director of the Master of Arts, Philosophy of Religion, housed in the School of Ministry Graduate Program.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Paul Gould will be leading this new venture in our innovative graduate department,” said Dr. Justin K. Hardin, assistant dean and professor of biblical studies.

The Master of Arts program will open in the fall of 2021, pending approval by the Association of Theological Schools. Gould, preparing to move from Fort Worth, Texas, last week expressed his excitement about coming to PBA.

He and his wife, Ethel, became Christians through the ministry of Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ). “God got hold of our life in college, so we have a huge heart for college students,” he said.

This fall Gould will travel a great deal, recruiting students for the new program. He’ll also teach the existing PBA course Evangelism and Apologetics, in a daytime version and an evening version.

Gould spent 16 years on staff with Cru, and earned his doctorate in philosophy from Purdue University. He is founder and president of the Two Tasks Institute, which invites the culture to think deeply about “life’s most fundamental questions: is Christianity reasonable and is Christianity desirable?” The answer to both questions is “Yes,” said Gould, “but what’s missing is the ability to articulate that and to train students to do that, in whatever context God calls them to.”

PBA’s new Master of Arts in the Philosophy of Religion will provide that training, preparing students to serve more effectively in the church, in higher education and in the wider culture, said Dr. Jonathan Grenz, dean of the School of Ministry. The new effort is the fruit of a dream and discussions between Grenz and Dr. Paul Copan, the Pledger Family Chair and Professor of Philosophy and Ethics.

Copan, himself a prolific author and speaker, became “the champion of the program,” getting it approved and raising money to fund it, said Grenz. Copan will teach in the program, as will Gould.

“So we’re going to have two powerhouse speakers and well-published faculty involved,” said Grenz. “With Dr. Paul Gould joining Dr. Paul Copan, we have an internationally renowned team to be the foundation of an exciting, innovative program to prepare people to have a positive, Kingdom of God impact in this world.”

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