John R. Tyson

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Professor of Church History and Director of United Methodist Studies

A life-long United Methodist, John R. Tyson was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He first became interested in the hymns of Charles Wesley, as child, when he sang them in the yellow-brick Center Avenue United Methodist Church, in Pitcairn, Pa. He would subsequently become an internationally known expert in the life and work of Charles Wesley.

While trying his hand at Business Administration as a major, at Grove City College, Tyson experienced a call to ministry and switched to majors in History and Religion. He attended seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary, receiving the M.Div. After brief pastorates in Florida and Pennsylvania, he pursed doctoral studies at Drew University, earning the M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies. Desiring to know more about his own theological heritage, he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on “Charles Wesley’s Theology of the Cross.”

Tyson has been teaching Church History at CRCDS for five years, he also serves as Director of United Methodist Studies. Previous to coming to that post he taught at United Theological Seminary, and Houghton College, Houghton, NY. In addition to teaching and mentoring responsibilities, he has authored more than 80 articles and conference papers, as well as having edited or written eight books. Among these publications are Charles Wesley on Sanctification (Zondervan, 1986), and Charles Wesley: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 1989), Invitation to Christian Spirituality (Oxford University Press, 1999), and Assist Me To Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley (Eerdmans, 2007). His most recent book The Way of the Wesleys was published by Eerdmans in December 2014. He is currently researching and writing a monograph of the ancient, African church father, Athanasius of Alexandria. It will be published by Wifp and Stock Publishers later this year.

John is married to Jill Kingdon Tyson. They are raising four children. In his spare time he enjoys reading, writing, and sports. He is an avid Pirates, Penguins and Steelers fan.