Frank D. Macchia
Associate Director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies,
Bangor University, Wales, UK
Professor of Christian Theology,
Vanguard University, CA, US
I hold the Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary (at Columbia University, New York) and the Doctor of Theology (D.Theol.) from the University of Basel, Switzerland. At Basel, I pursued historical and systematic theology with a special emphasis on modern theology, especially the theology of Karl Barth. My dissertation was on the challenge of German Pietism (especially the theology of the Blumhardts) for a contemporary theology of social transformation. My dissertation was awarded the Jacob Burkhardt Prize, jointly granted by the University of Basel and the Jacob Burkhardt Foundation.
My work as a theologian was birthed not only from within the academy but also from my location in the Pentecostal Movement. I thus have a joint appointment with Bangor University, Wales (UK) and Vanguard University of Southern California, a school connected to my Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God. I served as past president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies as well as (for more than a decade) Editor of the Society’s Journal, Pneuma. I also chaired the Trinitarian team during the six-year Trinitarian/Oneness Pentecostal dialogue. I was recently elected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for Pentecostal Studies. And I was awarded an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Divinity) from the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (Cleveland, TN), which is the leading seminary for the Pentecostal denomination, the Church of God (Cleveland, TN).
My role as an ecumenical theologian, however, has led me to engage a much broader conversation. I served for six years on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches (USA) as well as in other conversations, such as the international Reformed/Pentecostal dialogue. I participated in a number of ecumenical consultations, including the World Council of Churches/Evangelical dialogue and the consultation on Christian Unity held at Princeton Theological Seminary. I offered plenary papers at ecumenical consultations concerning the meaning of the Protestant Reformation at the Ecumenical Institute, University of Strasburg, and at Martin Luther University, Wittenberg. I presented a plenary paper as well at the anniversary celebration of the Leuenberg Agreement of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (held in Germany). I also gave an address at the North American Academy of Ecumenists on the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.
My participation more directly in the larger academy has tended towards theological conversations across disciplinary lines. I have given papers at the John Templeton consultations on the relationship between pneumatology and science held at the Yale University Club (New York) and at the University of Heidelberg. I have presented a number of papers at a variety of venues, including the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Society for Pentecostal Studies, and have given guest lectureships at various seminaries and universities both in the United States and abroad. I have attempted over the years to listen to the Christian scriptures not only on their own terms as an ancient canon but also in relation to a diversity of voices both within the church and the larger academy. My effort has been to engage voices from the past and from contemporary contexts, and especially from those that have existed at the margins of social power and influence.