Associate Professor of Christian Mission
Director of United Methodist Studies
Th.D. (Missiology): Boston University
M..Div.: Boston University
M.S.: (international development) Michigan State University
B.S.: Wheaton College
"One of my goals in teaching is to model a desire for the integration of the mind, the heart, and action in whatever we are studying. Cross-cultural simulation exercises, field trips, and (I think) creative assignments are some of the things I use in order to promote this kind of integrative learning. A few months ago, at the start of one of my classes, we even held a brief prayer vigil outside on our busy street corner here at Palmer Seminary in order to witness to the importance of “creation care” as a vital dimension of Christian mission. In a course on the history of world Christianity I sometimes assign a historical fiction novel in order to encourage students to think of their own vocations as Christian ministers as also involving the work of storytelling. In my time at Palmer I have co-taught courses with four different instructors who are full-time pastors in the Philadelphia area. This involvement in co-teaching with pastors is an expression of the integration I strive for as well."
Ben Hartley has been teaching at Palmer Theological Seminary since 2005. In addition to courses in Christian mission and the history of world Christianity Professor Hartley teaches United Methodist History and Early Doctrine each year. At Palmer he also serves as the Director of United Methodist Studies and is an ordained deacon in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Ben Hartley's website and blog may be viewed at http://missionandmethodism.net.
His recent articles include “That they All May be One”: John R. Mott’s Contribution to Methodism, Inter-religious Dialogue, and Racial Reconciliation,” Methodist Review 4, 2012, 1-30; “Missiological Imagination as a Pedagogical Tool: African and Asian Christians in Conversation,” Missiology: An International Review, 39(2) April 2011; "'Philadelphia's Five Points:' Evangelism and Social Welfare at the Bedford Street Mission,” Methodist History, 48(1) 2009. Recent published book reviews by Professor Hartley have appeared in the Wesleyan Theological Journal, The Journal of American History, and Prism magazine.
Professor Hartley’s second book, Evangelicals at a Crossroads: Revivalism and Social Reform in Boston was published in 2011 by the University Press of New England (at Dartmouth). The previous dissertation version of that work received the 2007 "Outstanding Dissertation" Award from the Wesleyan Theological Society and the Jesse Lee Prize, an award given once every four years by the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church.
Current research projects include a biographical study of John R. Mott, an early 20th century Methodist organizer of world Christian mission and 1946 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He is also in the early stages of a book project with a colleague in the Eastern University Business department on a history and theology of Christian efforts in international development.
He is a member of the American Society of Missiology, The International Association for Mission Studies, the American Historical Association, and the American Society of Church History. Professor Hartley is also a member and current President of the Eastern Fellowship of the American Society of Missiology. This group holds a conference each year in Maryknoll, NY. This past year, ten Palmer students accompanied Professor Hartley to this gathering of seminarians and mission professors from throughout the Northeast. In 2011 Professor Hartley organized an all day "field trip" to the Church Center for the United Nations with one of his classes as well.
Finally, but by no means least importantly, Professor Hartley is appointed to serve as deacon at Upper Darby New Life United Methodist Church, a multi-cultural congregation six blocks from his home comprised mostly of Liberian, Caribbean, and African American members. http://www.upperdarbynewlife.org. In the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the UMC Professor Hartley serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Congregational Development Team for new church starts. For the 2012-2016 quadrennium he was also selected by the Council of Bishops of the UMC to serve as a United Methodist delegate on the Commission on Faith and Order of the National Council of Churches where he is part of the "Contextual Theology" working group.