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Donald J. Brash

Associate Professor of Historical Theology
Faculty Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

Donald Brash
Ph.D. (Theological and Religious Studies): Drew University
M.Phil. (Theological and Religious Studies): Drew University
B.A.: Westminster College

"I find teaching to be extraordinarily fulfilling because I love to learn. This is reflected in my classes, where I do my best to cultivate a collegial atmosphere for fellow learners.  Since I am an ecumenical spirit, Palmer Seminary’s growing denominational, racial and ethnic diversity excites me: many points of view enrich the educational process by challenging us all to think, as we say, ‘outside the box.’  At Palmer we take seriously both our ecclesial and our academic identity.  This means I am free to engage seriously the theological questions of our time and, as one who has spent many years in pastoral ministry, I am invited to ‘touch base’ with the ‘people in the pew’ and to address the challenges facing pastors.  All this makes Palmer a great place for me to be."

A native of western Pennsylvania, Dr. Brash is an ordained minister with an ecumenical history. He began teaching at the Seminary as an adjunct in 1997.

Don’s ecumenical spirit has translated into his ministry. Presently, he is Resident Theologian at Princeton United Methodist Church in Princeton, New Jersey. He has extensive experience as a pastor of American Baptist churches, and is a recipient of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey's Executive Minister's Award for Excellence in Ministry.

In his 2010 book, The Indispensable Guide to God's Word (Pilgrim Press), Don introduces inquiring laypersons to a way of understanding the relationship between God's Word and the “books” of the Bible that will help readers interpret the biblical authors’ writings for the issues and questions of our time.

The elective courses Don teaches point to his current research interests and areas of specialization: How Firm a Foundation?  On God’s Word and The Bible, Persevering Hope: On Evil, Suffering and the Goodness of God, Leadership for Missional Church Renewal, and Theology of Romantic Love.  Don’s current book project is Navigating Troubled Waters: The Churches of Yesterday Speak to the Churches Today.

Don believes the ministries of the churches should be instrumental in the transformation of society. As Faculty Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Palmer, he strives to create a culture where students cultivate a realistic idealism and the further skills necessary to lead churches to be transformed and transforming agents in our rapidly changing world.

Among the topics of retreats and workshops Don is available to lead are, Navigating Worship-style Transitions; Training Teachers to Teach; Coping with Suffering; and Renewal of the Church for Mission.

Don is a member of Princeton United Methodist Church in Princeton, New Jersey, where his spouse, the Reverend Jana Purkis-Brash, is Senior Pastor They have one grown daughter a son-in-law and two grandchildren.