Professor of Theology at Whitworth University, Spokane, WA
Gerald (Jerry) Sittser grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich. He attended Hope College and Fuller Theological Seminary, where he earned his M.Div. degree. He served as an associate pastor at Emmanuel Reformed Church, in Paramount, Calif., then as chaplain at Northwestern College, in Orange City, Iowa. He then returned to school, this time at the University of Chicago, to earn his Ph.D. in the history of Christianity, working under Martin E. Marty. Jerry is a full professor in the theology department at Whitworth University, where he has worked since 1989.
Jerry serves on many committees and boards at Whitworth and in the community. He is a member of the boards of directors for Camp Spalding and Habitat for Humanity. He also teaches a variety of Sunday school classes, leads a theology reading group for area pastors, and chairs the Whitworth M.A. in Theology Program, which he helped to establish in 2007.
Jerry has won numerous awards and honors. He was a recipient of the prestigious Javitts National Fellowship while he attended the University of Chicago. He has been named Most Influential Professor by Whitworth's senior classes on seven occasions, and he has also won both the junior faculty and senior faculty teaching awards, determined by his peers. He has also received national writing awards, including a Gold Medallion Award from evangelical publishers for When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayer and the Logos Book Award for Water from a Deep Well.
He has written seven books: The Adventure and Loving Across Our Differences(both published by InterVarsity Press; the latter is soon to be released in an edited version under a new title, Love One Another); A Cautious Patriotism: The American Churches and the Second World War (University of N. Carolina Press); A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss (Zondervan); The Will of God as a Way of Life (Zondervan); and When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayer(Zondervan). A Grace Disguised is a best-seller and has been translated into 20 languages. In addition, Jerry has written many book reviews and articles, and he has delivered papers at scholarly conferences and on college campuses. His most recent book, Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries, was released in late 2007 under the IVP label.
Jerry speaks frequently at churches, Christian conferences and pastors' conferences, as well as on college campuses. In the summer of 2000, he traveled with his three children to Kenya, where he taught at Daystar University while his children did volunteer work. His oldest, Catherine, teaches at a bilingual school in Bogota, Colombia; his middle son, David, is a theology student at the Divinity School at Duke University; his youngest son, John, who studied in the fall of 2008 in Jerusalem, is attending Seattle Pacific University. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his children, working with wood, backpacking and gardening.