A Life of Christian Witness

This year, Asbury Theological Seminary will be celebrating 90 years as an institution dedicated to preparing Christian leaders to serve the worldwide Church in the name of Jesus Christ. It is only fitting that we also pause to celebrate the 90th birthday of one dedicated pastor, teacher, mentor, and leader who has witnessed so faithfully to the Gospel and contributed so significantly to the success of our institution.

On this Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013, we want to honor Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas for his life of witness and service as we wish him a very Happy Birthday and extend to him our heart-felt gratitude.


A Life of Preaching


The Preaching Works of J. Ellsworth Kalas

In honor of Dr. Kalas’ 90th birthday, we are pleased to offer The Preaching Works of J. Ellsworth Kalas at 50% off with discount code KALAS, now through February 28, 2013 at Seedbed.com.


A Life of Teaching

After 38 years as a pastor in four churches in Wisconsin and Ohio, and five years as an associate in evangelism with the World Methodist Council, Dr. Kalas came to Asbury in 1993 with the opening of the Beeson Preaching and Leadership program.  He served as mentor to the Beeson pastors and as their preaching professor until joining the Seminary preaching faculty in 2000.

Dr. Kalas began serving as interim president of Asbury Theological Seminary in fall 2006 and was named president in spring 2008. He transferred the presidency to Timothy Tennent in July 2009, and has continued with the seminary as Senior Professor of Homiletics. Kalas led the seminary forward through a time of building and transition with his wisdom and enthusiasm for enriching the life of Christ in himself and others.


A Life of Scholarship

Dr. Kalas has received honorary doctorates from four colleges and universities.  More than 35 of his books have been published, as well as 13 adult study quarterlies for the United Methodist Publishing House.  He has recorded the entire Bible on audiotape, along with his Grand Sweep devotionals; these materials are now available on The Grand Sweep for iPhone.  He is also the author of Christian Believer, an intensive study of Christian doctrine produced for interdenominational use.  A video component, “Behind the Pages” has recently been added to his books, Parables from the Back Side and Old Testament Stories from the Back Side.


Here are a few birthday messages others have shared with Dr. Kalas:

“I said you couldn’t teach me to preach and you smiled and said maybe you could. You blessed me with your wisdom and still do.”

“Thank you for your powerful witness to Jesus Christ! You were a great inspiration to me before, during, and after my days at Asbury. I treasure the messages you delivered at chapel and carry them with me in my heart.”

“Dr. Kalas, Your words and writings have inspired me for years but it has been your unique kindness in sending encouraging notes to my daughter that make you such a great man. Thank you for all your kind thoughts throughout the years.”

“Happy birthday, Dr. Kalas! You have blessed countless numbers of people through your loving and faithful witness–in person and in print. What a legacy and what an inspiration to us all! I wish you the happiest of birthdays, overflowing with blessings!”

“Blessings on your birthday! we remain thankful for your ministry, and the gifts you have shared with many. Above all we are thankful for the witness of your life as a testimony to the love and truth found in Jesus.”

“We see ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ Thank you for being a faithful witness to the wonderful grace of Jesus. You are an amazing man!”

“Your dignity blesses all of us every day.”

“I hope that you have a great birthday! I often reflect on your preaching classes and am thankful for the opportunity to learn from you and the investment that you made in my life and in the lives of many others! Thanks for your work for the Kingdom!”


Happy Birthday, Dr. Kalas!