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."
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 here.
In the summer of 2013 he presented a paper at the Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies on Methodist efforts in overseas relief during the Cold War. His recent articles include “That they All May be One: John R. Mott’s Contribution to Methodism, Interreligious 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 book reviews by Professor Hartley have appeared in the Methodist History, 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. The book received the 2007 "Outstanding Dissertation" Award from the Wesleyan Theological Society and the Jesse Lee Prize, an award given by the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church. His earlier book on deacons in the United Methodist Church is available as a .pdf document on his website.
Current research projects include designing a walking tour cell phone “app” on the history of Philadelphia Methodism, a project in which he has involved United Methodist students. He is also working on 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 a member of the American Society of Missiology, the International Association for Mission Studies, and the American Society of Church History. Professor Hartley is also a member and current President of the Association of Professors of Mission.
Within the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the UMC, Professor Hartley has served 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.
On a personal note, “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. I use cross-cultural simulation exercises, field trips, and imaginative assignments to promote integrative learning. A few months ago, at the end of an intensive course on the history of Christianity in Africa, I drove with my students to the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City for a seminar on the Democratic Republic of Congo. We listened and posed tough questions all day to church, nongovernmental, and UN representatives as they told us about their efforts to stop the tragedy that continues to unfold in the Congo. The connection between history and advocacy for biblical justice came alive for us. 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."