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Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas

ellsworth_kalasSenior Professor of Homiletics


  • Narrative preaching
  • Church renewal


  • B.S., University of Wisconsin, 1951
  • B.D., Garrett Theological Seminary, 1954
  • Graduate study, University of Wisconsin, 1954-55
  • Harvard University, 1955-56
  • Honorary degrees from Lawrence University, Asbury Theological Seminary and Kentucky Wesleyan College

Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas is a former president of Asbury Theological Seminary.

After 38 years as a pastor in four churches in Wisconsin and Ohio, and five years as an associate in evangelism with the World Methodist Council, Dr. Kalas came to Asbury in 1993 with the opening of the Beeson Preaching and Leadership program.  He served as mentor to the Beeson pastors and as their preaching professor until joining the Seminary preaching faculty in 2000.

Dr. Kalas has received honorary doctorates from four colleges and universities.  More than 35 of his books have been published, as well as 13 adult study quarterlies for the United Methodist Publishing House.  He has recorded the entire Bible on audiotape, along with his Grand Sweep devotionals; these materials are now available on The Grand Sweep for iPhone.  He is also the author of Christian Believer, an intensive study of Christian doctrine produced for interdenominational use.  A video component, “Behind the Pages” has recently been added to his books, Parables from the Back Side and Old Testament Stories from the Back Side.

He and his wife, Janet, who is very much a part of his ministry, have four children and nine grandchildren.


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