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Dr. Gordon Isaac

Berkshire Professor of Church History and Advent Christian Studies


Dr. Isaac brings a diverse theological background to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has studied at a holiness seminary, a Lutheran seminary and a Jesuit university. This experience in a number of different Christian traditions has given him an appreciation of the rich expressions found within the Church.

Teaching in the area of Christian Thought has allowed Dr. Isaac’s wide interests to be expressed through courses on Martin Luther, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reformation Era Spirituality, Great Confessions of the Faith, Popular Religion in Nineteenth-Century America, the Anabaptists, and other courses that regularly appear in the Church History sequence.

Dr. Isaac has lectured both nationally and internationally on Luther and many other topics. He has also been asked to speak before audiences as diverse as the Society of the Holy Trinity, Boston’s Park Street Church, The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Kobe Japan, a Reformation gathering at UMass Lowell, the Annual Convocation of the North American Lutheran Church, and Goodwin’s Mills Advent Christian Church, Maine.

A participant in the 2017 International Congress on Luther Research held in Wittenberg, Germany, Dr. Isaac is author of Prayer, Meditation, and Spiritual Trial: Luther’s Account of Life in the Spirit. This book seeks to show the dynamic and powerful spirituality of Luther in the context of his theological vision. The book seeks to incorporate Luther’s comments on the Holy Spirit, a topic that is sometimes neglected in Luther studies. At the same time, it highlights Luther’s recognition that true spirituality must speak about reversal, struggle, and trial which are inevitable wherever spiritual growth is taking place.

Hobbies include travel (especially in Germany), gardening and international cooking. Dr. Isaac is an admirer of the paintings of Lucas Cranach (the Elder as well as the Younger) and has a growing collection of paintings by Sadao Watanabe (1913 – 1996).


  • B.A. (Seattle Pacific University)
  • M.Div. (Western Evangelical Theological Seminary)
  • M.Th. (Luther Theological Seminary)
  • Ph.D. (Marquette University)


  • “Reformation Celebration: The Significance of Scripture, Grace, Faith, and Christ.” Gordon L. Isaac and Eckhard J. Schnabel, editors. (Hendrickson Publishers, 2018)
  • “Prayer, Meditation, Spiritual Trial: Luther’s Account of Life in the Spirit”. (Hendrickson Publishers, 2017)
  • “Great Awakenings: Historical Perspectives for Today.” Dave Horn & Gordon L. Isaac, editors. (Hendrickson Publishers, 2016)
  • “Monastic Memoria in the Preface to the Complete Edition of Luther’s Latin Writings 1545,” Luther Digest: An Annual Abridgment of Luther Studies, Volume 20, Supplement 2012 (St. Louis: Luther Academy): 127-140.
  • “The Finnish School of Interpretation on Justification: Trajectories and Response,” CTQ 76 (2012): 251-268.
  • Left Behind or Left Befuddled: The Subtle Dangers of Popularizing the End Times (Liturgical Press, 2008)

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