« Senior Faculty

Dr. Aída Besançon Spencer

Senior Professor of New Testament


Dr. Spencer is experienced in a wide range of teaching and ministry settings. Born and reared in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she has taught in the Caribbean and in Spanish on various occasions.

Dr. Spencer has worked as a community organizer, social worker, minister and educator in a wide variety of urban settings in New Jersey. She has worked as a member of Community Action and Model Cities, as well as engaging in adult and continuing education. She has taught English as a Second Language and organized Christian outreach at Trenton State Prison and served as the campus chaplain of the College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College).

An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Spencer is the founding pastor of organization with the Pilgrim Church of Beverly. She is a frequent speaker at churches and conferences and has chaired both the Southeast and Northeast regions of the Evangelical Theological Society. She has also served on the committee of representation for Northern New England Presbytery (PCUSA), and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School and El Seminario Evangélico of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Spencer also sits on several boards and committees. She is listed in Who’s Who in Religion, Contemporary Authors, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who Among American Teachers and Educators.

Dr. Spencer’s scholarly interests include Paul’s letters, Acts, Bible and women’s studies, marriage, suffering, New Testament ministry, literary style, imagery and prayer.

Her personal interests include reading fiction, bicycling and gardening. She and her husband William, who is also an ordained minister in the PCUSA and a ranked adjunct associate professor at Gordon-Conwell, live in Hamilton, MA.


  • B.A. (Douglass College, Rutgers University)
  • M.Div., Th.M. (Princeton Theological Seminary)
  • Ph.D. (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

Featured Publications

Select List of Publications

  • Christian Egalitarian Leadership: Empowering the Whole Church According to the Scriptures. Edited with William David Spencer. House of Prisca and Aquila Series. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, forthcoming.
  • 2 Corinthians. Latinx Perspectives on the New Testament. Lanham, Md: Lexington Press, forthcoming.
  • A Commentary on James. Kregel Exegetical Library. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2020.
  • “Must Christian Women Be Silent? What the Bible Teaches about Women in Ministry.” Africanus Journal 12(1) (2020): 24-37.
  • Cave of Little Faces (co-authored with William David Spencer). House of Prisca and Aquila Series. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2018.
  • “Understanding the Relationship between Grace and Works: Ephesians 2:8-10 and John Calvin.” Pages 86-94 in Reformation Celebration: The Significance of Scripture, Grace, Faith, and Christ. Edited by Gordon L. Isaac and Eckhard J. Schnabel. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2018.
  • “Biblical Equity and the Meaning of Servant Leadership.” Pages 109-122 in The Quest for Gender Equity in Leadership: Biblical Teachings on Gender Equity and Illustrations of Transformation in Africa. Edited by KeumJu Jewel Hyun and Diphus C. Chemorion. House of Prisca and Aquila Series. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016.
  • “Toppling the Silent Idol: Assessing Greed as Part of an Idolatrous Meta-System and Promoting Holiness as an Antidote to Greed.” Africanus Journal 7(2) (2015): 29-47.
  • “Evangelicals and Gender.” Pages 112-119 in Evangelicals around the World: A Global Handbook for the 21st Century. Edited by Brian Stiller, Todd M. Johnson, Karen Stiller, and Mark Hutchinson. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2015.
  • 2 Timothy and Titus: A New Covenant Commentary. NCCS. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014.
  • “From Artemis to Mary: Misplaced Veneration versus True Worship of Jesus in the Latino/a Context.” Pages 123-140 in Jesus without Borders: Christology in the Majority World. Edited by Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue, and K. K. Yeo.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014.
  • “Position Reversal and Hope for the Oppressed.” Pages 95-106 in Latino/a Biblical Hermeneutics: Problematics, Objectives, Strategies. Semeia Studies. Edited by Francisco Lozada Jr. and Fernando F. Segovia. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2014.
  • 1 Timothy: A New Covenant Commentary. NCCS. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2013.
  • Reaching for the New Jerusalem: A Biblical and Theological Framework for the City. Co-edited with William David Spencer and Seong Hyun Park. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013.
  • Más Allá de la Maldición: Mujeres Llamadas al MinisterioEugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2012.
  • Marriage at the Crossroads: Couples in Conversation About Discipleship, Gender Roles, Decision Making and Intimacy (co-authored with William David Spencer, Steven Tracy, and Celestia Tracy). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2010.
  • “Seven Principles for the Seventh Day.” Pages 155-163 in Sunday, Sabbath and the Weekend: Managing Time in a Global Culture. Edited by Edward O’Flaherty, Rodney L. Petersen, and Timothy A. Norton. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010.
  • “How a Man Can Help His Wife Become the Person God Intended.” Pages 89-99 in Some Men Are Our Heroes: Stories by Women about the Men Who Have Greatly Influenced Their Lives. Edited by KeumJu Jewel Hyun and Cynthia Davis Lathrop. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2010.
  • “’Parallelomania’ and God’s Unique Revelation.” Africanus Journal 1(1) (2009): 32-40.
  • Global Voices on Biblical Equality: Women and Men Ministering Together in the Church. Co-edited with William David Spencer and Mimi Haddad. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2008.
  • 2 Corinthians: A Guide for Reflection and Prayer. Daily Bible Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007.
  • “The Denial of the Good News and the Ending of Mark.” Bulletin of Biblical Research 17 (2007): 269-83.
  • “El Hogar as Ministry Team: Stephana(s) Household.” In Hispanic Christian Thought at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Apuntes in Honor of Justo L. González.  Edited by Alvin Padilla, Roberto Goizueta, Eldin Villafañe. Nashville: Abingdon, 2005.
  • “My Journey as a Latin American Feminist New Testament Scholar.” Pages 115-129 in Feminist New Testament Studies: Global and Future Perspectives. Ed. K. Ο΄Βrien Wicker, A. Spencer Miller, Musa W. Dube. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
  • “Jesus’ Treatment of Women in the Gospels.” Pages 126-141 in Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy. Edited by Ronald W. Pierce, Rebecca Merrill Groothius, and Gordon Fee. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004.
  • “The Translation Issues in the Gender Inclusive Controversy.” Journal of Religious and Theological Information 6 (2003): 11-23.
  • The Latino Heritage Bible (editor). Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible, 2002.
  • 1 Peter (co-authored with C.C. Kroeger). Pages 780-791 in The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary. Edited by Catherine Clark Kroeger and Mary L. Evans. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.
  • 2 Corinthians.  The People’s Bible Commentary. Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2001; Repr. as Daily Bible Commentary. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2007.
  • The Global God: Multicultural Evangelical Views of God. Co-edited with William David Spencer. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998.
  • God through the Looking Glass: Glimpses from the Arts. Co-edited with William David Spencer. Grand Rapids: Baker Books; Carlisle, UK: Paternoster Press, 1998.
  • Paul’s Literary Style: A Stylistic Comparison of II Corinthians 11:16-12:13, Romans 8:9-39, and Philippians 3:2-4:13. Lanham, MD; Plymouthy, UK: University Press of America, 1998.
  • “Father-Ruler: The Meaning of the Metaphor ‘Father’ for God in the Bible.” JETS 39 (1996): 433-442.
  • The Goddess Revival: A Biblical Response to God(dess) Spirituality (co-authored with Donna F. G. Hailson, Catherine Clark Kroeger and William David Spencer). Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995; repr. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock 2010. [1996 Christianity Today Book Award winner]
  • Joy Through the Night: Biblical Resources on Suffering (co-authored with William David Spencer). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994; repr. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2007.
  • The Prayer Life of Jesus: Shout of Agony, Revelation of Love, a Commentary (co-authored with William David Spencer). Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1990.
  • 2 Corinthians (co-authored with William David Spencer). Bible Study Commentary Series. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989.
  • “The Function of the Miserific and Beatific Images in the Letter of James.” Evangelical Journal 7 (Spring 1989), 3-14.
  • Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1985; Grand Rapids: Baker 2010. [Also published in French and made the 1986 Eternity Book of the Year list]
  • “Eve at Ephesus: Should women be ordained as pastors according to the First Letter of Timothy 2:11-15?” JETS 17 (1974), 215-22.

Why Seminary?

Explore How Seminary Education Can Equip You

Learn More