WACO—Roger Olson, professor of theology at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary, has been named to the Foy Valentine Professorship of Christian Ethics.
The newly endowed professorship was created through a gift in honor of the late Baptist ethicist Foy Valentine. The gift, made by Valentine’s family and friends, will help support specialized courses in Christian ethics at Truett.
“Dr. Olson has an incredible publishing record and is highly regarded as a historical theologian whose books have won many awards and are widely used as textbooks,” said David Garland, professor of Christian Scriptures and dean at Truett Seminary.
“He has always been concerned about ethical issues, and these concerns surface in all of his teaching. He will continue the legacy of Foy Valentine in helping students to wrestle conscientiously and straightforwardly with the ethical dilemmas of our day from a solid theological foundation.”
Olson is the author of 16 books, with areas of research and writing including the history of Christian theology, modern theology, evangelical theology and Christian ethics.
“I’m very honored to be named to the Foy Valentine professorship at Truett Seminary,” Olson said. “Foy Valentine is one of my Baptist heroes, a very courageous crusader for ethical living and action by Christians. I hope to live up to his legacy in my life and teaching.”
Dennis Tucker, Truett’s associate dean for academic affairs and an associate professor of Christian Scriptures, said that Olson’s work “exhibits an abiding passion for the life of the church, its theological confession and its work within the world.
“These continue to be pressing issues for the church in the 21st century, and I am grateful that Dr. Olson will continue to lead in that conversation,” Tucker said. “Like Foy Valentine before him, Dr. Olson represents well critical reflection and thoughtful engagement from the Baptist tradition.”
Olson went to Truett Theological Seminary in 1999 from Bethel University, a Baptist institution in Minnesota, where he taught 15 years. He is a graduate of North American Baptist Seminary and Rice University and carried out research under theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg at the University of Munich as part of his Ph.D. studies. His latest book—The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction—will be published by InterVarsity Press this year.
Olson has taught a course in Christianity and Social Ethics every semester he has been at Truett Seminary.
Valentine, who died in 2006 at age 82, graduated from Baylor in 1944 and earned master of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
During his ministry, Valentine worked for racial justice and religious liberty through leadership roles in the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention. He was chair of the Commission on Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance and served more than 30 years as trustee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Valentine wrote 13 books on applied Christianity and was the founder and editor of the journal Christian Ethics Today.