james_thobabenDean of the School of Theology and Formation
Professor of Bioethics and Social Ethics


  • Bioethics
  • Social Ethics
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Rural Life


  • B.A., Oberlin College, 1976
  • M.Div., Yale Divinity School, 1979
  • M.P.H., Yale Medical School, 1984
  • Ph.D., Emory University, 1994

Dr. James R. Thobaben came to Asbury Theological Seminary in 1995 with a wide range of experience in ethics. Most recently he served as Vice President for Ethics and Research at Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Center. He was also a visiting Ethics Scholar at the University of Missouri’s Molecular Biology Program. He is author of Healthcare Ethics: A Comprehensive Christian Resource.

In addition to his work at the seminary, Dr. Thobaben is co-pastor at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Mercer County, Ky.

Dr. Thobaben and his wife, Marcelyn, have two grown children.


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