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    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
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    South Hamilton, MA 01982
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    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F

Dr. Donald Fairbairn

  • Robert E. Cooley Professor of Early Christianity

First Year at Gordon-Conwell:



  • A.B. (Princeton University)
  • M.Div. (Denver Seminary)
  • Ph.D. (University of Cambridge)


  • Fulgentius of Ruspe and the Scythian Monks: Correspondence on Christology and Grace (Catholic University of America Press, Forthcoming)
  • Understanding Language: A Guide for Beginning Students of Greek & Latin (Catholic University of America Press, 2011)
  • Life in the Trinity: An Introduction to Theology with the Help of the Church Fathers (IVP Academic, 2009)
  • Grace and Christology in the Early Church (Oxford University Press, 2003)
  • Eastern Orthodoxy through Western Eyes (Westminster John Knox Press, 2002)


Patristics, Historical Theology, Eastern Orthodoxy


Dr. Fairbairn is the Robert E. Cooley Professor of Early Christianity. His responsibilities include further developing the Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity at the Charlotte campus, which explores the historical foundations of the Christian faith.

Before coming to Gordon-Conwell, Dr. Fairbairn taught at Erskine Theological Seminary in Due West, SC, for 11 years and received the Leon McDill Allison Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005. He taught courses in church history, Greek, Latin and historical and patristic theology. He also served as Associate Dean of Theology and directed the Th.M. program there.

In the 1990s, Dr. Fairbairn taught for four years at Donetsk Christian University in the Ukraine, and served as the school’s Assistant Academic Dean. He continues to teach occasionally at several North American and European seminaries and Bible schools.

After graduating from Denver Seminary in 1989, he joined the international staff of Campus Crusade, ministering in Soviet Georgia and researching Eastern Orthodoxy and Islam in Eurasia. Three of his English books have also been published (or will be published) in Russian, and he has also written two other books published only in Russian.

His research interests focus on the relationship between the doctrines of the Trinity, Christ, salvation and Christian life in the early church, especially the 4th through 6th centuries.

He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Trey (born in 2001) and Ella (born in 2003). His hobbies include golf, photography and reading to his children.