Brian Shelton, Ph.D. – Asbury University
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Professor of Theology
Department Chair
Wesley Scholar in Residence

Department: Christian Studies & Philosophy

Office: Hughes 133

Phone Extension: 2341

Contact Brian Shelton

Biographical Information

Dr. Brian Shelton has worked in higher education for twenty years at four Christian colleges, serving as professor and as academic dean. He holds the Ph.D. in historical theology centered in early Christianity. His areas of interest include the early church in Rome, patristic exegesis, martyrdom, and Italian religious history. He has led several study tours in Europe, finding on-site experiences to be one of the best ways for students to grasp the significance of history. These have included Luther in Germany, Bonhoeffer in Berlin, the Renaissance in Florence, the early church in Rome, and the Holocaust in Poland. Brian spent ten years in biology research, recently leading a medical and sustainable development mission experience to Honduras. He is a CCCU Leadership Development Institute Fellow, a Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow, and a senior fellow with the John and Charles Wesley Center for Christian Thought. He serves on the board of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre.


  • Ph.D., Saint Louis University
  • M.Div., Covenant Theological Seminary
  • B.A., Asbury University

Courses Offered

  • TH 250 Foundations of Christian Thought
  • TH 310 History of the Early Church
  • TH 400 Historical Theology
  • TH 410 Modern Theology
  • LA 100 Liberal Arts Seminar
  • BTH 475 Senior Seminar

Books Published

Quest for the Historical Apostles: Tracing Their Lives and Legacies (Baker, 2018), which attempts the difficult journey to follow the historical paths of the twelve disciples after the New Testament.

Prevenient Grace: God’s Provision for Fallen Humanity (Francis Asbury, 2014), which makes a case for original sin, conditional election, and the universal opportunity for all to believe.

Martyrdom from Exegesis in Hippolytus: An Early Church Presbyter’s Commentary on Daniel (Paternoster, 2008), which finds an encouragement to suffering from an early third century elder using the Book of Daniel.

Select Articles and Chapters

  • “Monasticism,” “Mountain,” “Narthex,” and “Old Testament in the New” in the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (De Gruyter, 2020)
  • “Athenagoras” in The History of Apologetics: A Biographical and Methodological Introduction (Zondervan, 2020): 67-84
  • “Gregory the Great” in A Legacy of Preaching: The Life, Theology, and Method of History’s Great Preachers, vol. 1 (Zondervan, 2018): 159-176
  • “Savonarola” in A Legacy of Preaching: The Life, Theology, and Method of History’s Great Preachers, vol. 1 (Zondervan, 2018): 260-275
  • “Patristic Heresiology: The Difficulties of Reliability and Legitimacy” in Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christian Contexts: Reconsidering the Bauer Thesis (Wipf & Stock, 2015): 193-212
  • “Lactantius as Architect of a Constantinian and Christian ‘Victory over the Empire’” in Rethinking Constantine: History, Theology, and Legacy (Pickwick, 2014): 26-36
  • “Irenaeus” in Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy (IVP, 2010): 15-63
  • “Learning from Patristic Responses to Culture” in The Contemporary Church and the Early Church: Case Studies in Ressourcement (Wipf & Stock, 2010): 100-130
  • “An Ancient Israelite Pattern of Kingly Accession in the Life of Christ” in Trinity Journal 25 (2004): 61-73
  • “Dose Effects of Smallpox Vaccine: Skin Takes, T and B Cell Responses” in New England Journal of Medicine 346 (2002): 1275-1280

For more on Brian’s work, visit his website at

Contact Brian Shelton

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