With a middle name of Wesley, Dr. Paul Chilcote can’t help but love John and Charles Wesley, the women of early Methodism, and the global Church. As the new Professor of Theology on the Florida Dunnam Campus, Dr. Chilcote uses the classroom to share his love for Wesleyan theology with students for the transformation of the world.
“Theology can be the most exciting thing to study and reflect upon because it is engaging in conversation about the most important things in life,” Dr. Chilcote said. “What is more important than drawing conclusions about why we are here, what we are called to be and to do, and how we can experience love and share it with others?”
In and out of the classroom, Dr. Chilcote helps his students encounter the divine by engaging students in the search for abundant life. He views theological study as a way to help students find their way to their spiritual home.
“The term theology can have a sleep inducing tone, but theology in the Wesleyan spirit brings people out of sleep into a whole new vision of life,” he said.
Dr. Chilcote taught at the Florida Dunnam campus from 1999-2005 and was influential in the founding of this campus. This fall he will teach Basic Christian Doctrine and the Theology of John Wesley. In January, he pilots a seminar on the Biography as Theology.
“I consider even the title of this course to be thoroughly Wesleyan,” he said. “All theology, most certainly, is autobiographical. It is the story of the unfolding of a life in relation to God. It is just flat out fun to teach.”
Dr. Chilcote is a third generation Methodist minister. He experienced his definitive call to preach while a junior at Valparaiso University. Like many preachers’ kids, he struggled with his calling, but God clarified his call during an Advent service.
“My godly parents used to remind me that at age three, I proclaimed I wanted to be a minister, a missionary and an artist,” he said.