Donald J. Brash

Associate Professor of Historical Theology

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 in the American Baptist Churches USA, a denomination with an ecumenical spirit that Don celebrates. He began teaching at the Seminary as an adjunct in 1997.

Dr. Brash has extensive experience in pastoral ministry. He has served as associate pastor at First Baptist Church, Cranford-Elizabeth (Elizabeth, NJ) and as pastor at Hamilton Square Baptist Church (Hamilton, NJ) and First Baptist Church in Browns Mill, NJ. He has also served as a youth director in both Baptist and Presbyterian Church contexts. He is a recipient of the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey's Executive Minister's Award for Excellence in Ministry.

Among the retreats and workshops Don has led are those on navigating worship-style transitions in local churches, training teachers to teach, renewal of the Church for mission, Baptist identity, and spiritual formation.

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 make better sense of the Bible’s messages as they engage the issues and questions of our time.

The elective courses Don teaches point to his 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”; “Case Studies in Christian Accountability”; and “Theology of Romantic Love.”   

Don's celebration of the ecumenical spirit begins with his family. He is married to the Reverend Jana Purkis-Brash, Senior Pastor of Princeton United Methodist Church in Princeton, New Jersey. They have one grown daughter.