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Kristopher Norris

PhD 2017. Visiting Distinguished Professor of Public Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary


  • University of North Carolina, BA
  • Duke University Divinity School, MDiv
  • Candler School of Theology, Emory University, ThM
  • University of Virginia, PhD expected 2016

Research Interests

Kristopher Norris is a PhD student in the Theology, Ethics and Culture area of the Religious Studies department. He is an ordained Baptist minister focusing his studies in Christian theological ethics with particular attention to political ecclesiology. His interests include political theology, the political practices of congregations, just war and pacifism, and environmental ethics. A graduate fellow for the Project on Lived Theology and Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, he has also taught courses ranging from Eco-Theology to American Religious History, and is currently teaching Christian Ethics courses as Lecturer in Public Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary.



  • Interim Co-Director, National Capital Semester for Seminarians, Wesley Theological Seminary, 2014-2015
  • Lecturer in Public Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary: Formative Influences in Christian Ethics, 2013, 2014
  • National Capital Semester for Seminarians Reflection Seminar: Theology & Public Policy, 2014, 2015
  • Academic Supervisor, Field Education, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2014    
  • Adjunct Instructor, University of Mary Washington: Eco-Theology, 2012


  • Religion in America Since 1865, 2012
  • Elements of Christian Thought, 2011
  • Religious Ethics & Moral Problems, 2011
  • Theology, Ethics, & Healthcare, 2010



  • “‘Never Again War’: Recent Shifts in the Roman Catholic Just War Tradition and the Question of ‘Functional Pacifism,’” Journal of Religious Ethics 42, no. 1 (2014).
  • “Deliberating Just War: A Response to James Turner Johnson’s ‘Getting It Right,’" Journal of Religious Ethics 43, no. 1 (2015, forthcoming).


  • Pilgrim Practices: Discipleship for a Missional Church. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2012.
  • Kingdom Politics: How Politics Can Help Solve What’s Wrong with our Churches, co-authored with Sam Speers. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books (forthcoming, April 2015)


  • “The Incarnational Church: Bonhoeffer’s Political Ecclesiology of Transformation.” In A Spoke in the Wheel: The Political in the Theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ed. Kirsten Busch Nielson, Ralf K. Wustenberg, and Jens Zimmermann. Munich, Germany: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2013.


  • “Reclaiming Christian Marriage: What the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Needs to Learn from the Southern Baptists,” with John Schweiker Shelton. The Other Journal (November 2014).
  • “’No Midnight Long Remains’: The Evangelical King and the End of Nonviolence.” Christian Ethics Today 20, no. 3 (Summer 2012).
  • “Child’s Play.” The Christian Citizen 2 (October 2013).


  • “The Truthfulness of Nonviolence: A Review of Hauerwas’s Performing the Faith: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence.” International Bonhoeffer Society Newsletter, no. 109 (Fall 2014).
  • The Problem with Grace: Reconfiguring Political Theology by Vincent Lloyd,” with Charles Mathewes. Critical Research on Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal 2 (Summer 2013).
  • “Call to Revival: A Review of Tim Suttle’s An Evangelical Social Gospel?” The Other Journal 20 (Winter 2012).


  • “The Purpose Driven Politics of Saddleback Church,” with Sam Speers. American Academy of Religion, San Diego, California, November 2014
  •  “A Story-Formed Community: The Bible and Politics at Ebenezer Baptist Church,” with Sam Speers. Society of Biblical Literature, San Diego, California, November 2014
  • “Democracy and Church: Yoder and Barth on Democratic Practice.” Theo-Politics: Conversing with Karl Barth in Western and Asian Contexts, Bochum, Germany, June 2013, March 2014, & October 2014
  •  “Church for the World: Ecclesial Practices of Hope and Transformation.” Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy, Regents Park College, Oxford University, July 2014
  • “Theology as Public Facing Scholarship.” Educating Religion Conference, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, May 2014
  • “‘Recent Shifts in the Roman Catholic Just War Tradition and ‘Functional Pacifism.’” Peacebuilding 2013: Pacem in Terris at 50 Conference, Catholic Peacebuilding Network & Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, April 2013
  • “The Political Practices of Churches." Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion, Greenville, South Carolina, March 2013
  • “’Never Again War’: The Catholic Church, Just War Tradition, and the Responsibility to Protect.” American Academy of Religion, Chicago, Illinois, November 2012
  • “The Incarnational Church: Bonhoeffer’s Political Ecclesiology of Transformation.” XI International Bonhoeffer Congress, Sigtuna, Sweden, June 2012
  • “’No Midnight Long Remains’: The Evangelical King and the End of Nonviolence.” National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, May 2012
  • “An Ecclesiological Argument For and Against Democracy.” Graduate Theology Conference, Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2012
  • “America’s Freedom Church: The Public Engagement of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA.” Virginia Graduate Colloquium on Theology, Ethics, & Culture, Charlottesville, Virginia, April 2011


  • “For King and Kingdom: Uniting Faith and Social Justice.” Workshop, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, March 2014
  • “Seeking the Welfare of the City.” Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, February 2014
  • “The Politics of Church: How Churches Engage and Avoid Politics” with Sam Speers. The Project on Lived Theology: Conversations in Lived Theology, Charlottesville, Virginia, February 2013
  • “Theology in Wartime: Why Christians Shouldn’t and Should be Pacifists.” Culture Life Program, Furman University, Sponsored by the Mere Christianity Forum, February 2013
  • “Eco-Theology: Past, Present, and Future.” St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Charlottesville, Virginia, January 2013
  • Panelist for “How to Lead a Graduate Student Conference.” American Academy of Religion, Chicago, Illinois, November 2012
  • “Discipleship Practices for the 21st Century Church.” Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, October 2012


  • Public Theology Fellow, Wesley Theological Seminary, 2014—2015
  • Board of Trustees, T.B. Maston Foundation for Baptist Ethics, 2014--2016
  • Research Grant, The Project on Lived Theology, for Church and Political Practices Project, 2012—2013
  • Graduate Fellow, The Project on Lived Theology, 2012—2013
  • American Academy of Religion, Southeast Regional Development Grant, 2013
  • Associate Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia, 2011—present
  • Tomorrow’s Professor Today Professional Development Program, The Teaching Resource Center, 2011—2014
  • T. B. Maston Baptist Scholarship for the Study of Christian Ethics, 2011, 2013