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Michael Christensen, Ph.D

Academic Dean

Senior Faculty

Professor of Theology & Spiritual Formation

Director - The Center for Theology & Spiritual Formation

Bio for Michael J. Christensen

Michael J. Christensen (M.A., Yale, Ph.D., Drew) is Professor of Theology and Academic Dean at Northwind Seminary, and also affiliated with Drew University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Point Loma Nazarene University, and the Episcopal School for Ministry in San Diego.  

Formerly Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Associate Professor in Spirituality at Drew University, Dr. Christensen teaches practical theology, Christian history, pastoral leadership, community development and spiritual formation. 

A noted C. S. Lewis scholar, Dr. Christensen is the author of C.S. Lewis on Scripture, contributor to the C.S. Lewis Bible, and has taught courses on Lewis and the Inklings over many years.  In 2017, the C. S. Lewis Foundation appointed him Senior Fellow in the Scholars-in-Residence Program at the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns in Oxford.  He was a faculty member for Oxbridge C.S. Lewis Summer Institute program in 2017, and resident scholar at The Kilns in the summer of 2018 and Fall of 2019.

An expert in the life and works of Henri J. M. Nouwen, Dr. Christensen is co-editor of The Heart of Henri Nouwen and co-author of the Nouwen Trilogy--Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation and Discernment—which form the core curriculum of Northwind Institute’s Certificate Program in Spiritual Formation, which he directs.  

Dr. Christensen’s Ph.D. dissertation and expertise is on “Apocalyptic Interpretations of the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster.”  He has published eleven books and many articles on various topics of practical theology, spirituality and social justice, and leadership development, including: Equipping the Saints: Mobilizing Laity for Ministry; Children of Chernobyl: Raising Hope form the Ashes; The World After Chernobyl; City Streets, City People; C. S. Lewis on Scripture; Partakers of the Divine Nature: Deification in the Christian Traditions. 

Formerly International Director of Communities of Shalom of The United Methodist Church, and Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Drew University, Dr. Christensen continues to train community leaders (mostly in Africa) in Asset Based Community Development; and he is available locally as a consultant/resource for congregational revitalization, pastoral coaching and community training. “I love to help people create ‘shalom zones’ in their neighborhood parish,” he says about his unique and simple ‘S.H.A.L.O.M.’ approach to ABCD.  

Dr. Christensen is also the Founder and CEO of WorldHope Corps—which drills village wells, provides educational scholarships, organizes community health initiatives, and conducts leadership training in Malawi, Uganda, Palestine and elsewhere.

His published works include:

Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions (Baker Academic 2008), The Heart of Henri Nouwen: His Words of Blessing(Crossroads 2003), Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith (Harper One 2015), Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit, (Harper One 2015), Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life (Harper One 2015), C. S. Lewis On Scripture: His Thoughts on the Nature of Biblical Inspiration, The Role of Revelation and the Question of Inerrancy (Abingdon), and Equipping the Saints: Mobilizing Laity for Ministry (Abingdon 2000)

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