Published on March 18, 2022 by Kristen Padilla  
Jonathan Linebaugh

University of Cambridge professor and respected New Testament scholar Jonathan Linebaugh has been named Beeson Divinity School’s next Anglican Chair of Divinity and director of its Institute of Anglican Studies beginning fall 2022.

Linebaugh is a world-renowned New Testament scholar, specializing in the contexts, theology and history of reading Paul’s letters. He serves on the editorial advisory board for the Library of Pauline Studies and is a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, an international society for New Testament scholars. He is the author or editor of four books with another forthcoming this year and two others appearing in 2023-2024. Linebaugh also has written numerous journal articles and essays, focusing especially on the New Testament as well as the history and theology of the Reformation. As Anglican Chair, he will teach courses in Anglican theology and worship and in the New Testament.

“My family and I are thrilled to be coming to Beeson,” said Linebaugh. “There is a deep match between Beeson’s mission and my academic and pastoral vocation to educate and prepare ministers who will proclaim what the Book of Common Prayer calls the ‘comfortable words.’”

“There is also an exciting resonance between the identity of Beeson and the ethos of Anglicanism: Beeson is confessional, evangelical, reformational and interdenominational; Anglicanism is rooted in the scriptural canon, the ancient creeds, a Reformation confession and pattern of worship, and is a diverse, global, and growing communion,” he added. “I look forward to learning with the entire Beeson community, especially our Anglican students, and I hope that through the Institute of Anglican Studies, Beeson can be a resource for a wide range of Anglicans locally, nationally and throughout the global Anglican Communion.”

As director of the Institute of Anglican Studies, Linebaugh will develop and lead a co-curricular program for mentoring Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students who are pursuing the Certificate of Anglican Studies; plan and coordinate programs and events to enrich Anglican students’ preparation for ministry; cultivate and strengthen Beeson Divinity’s relations with Anglican congregations, dioceses and bishops; help students connect with ministry opportunities and internships in Anglican churches; advise and assist Anglican graduating students in their search for ministry positions; and plan and coordinate programs and events to enhance the faith and service of Anglican clergy and laity.

“As a rector of an ACNA parish in Birmingham and Beeson alumnus, I look forward to welcoming Dr. Linebaugh and his family as he embarks on that all too important task of forming future Anglican ministers in the great tradition of Anglicanism,” said Michael Novotny, rector of Christ the King Anglican Church in Birmingham and dean of the Central Alabama Deanery of the Anglican Diocese of the South. Novotny also served on the Anglican Chair search committee.

Linebaugh, who was ordained in The Episcopal Church in 2008, has had an extensive preaching and education ministry in churches throughout the worldwide Anglican communion, especially in England and North America. He also serves on the Council of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Examination in Theology/Lambeth Research Degrees in Theology and on the Board of Trustees for Ridley Hall, an evangelical, theological college (equivalent to a seminary) in the Church of England. Once in Birmingham, he and his family hope to join an Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) congregation. 

While at the University of Cambridge, Linebaugh supervised and examined Doctor of Philosophy candidates, taught at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, served as degree committee secretary and is a fellow of Jesus College. In 2018, he was nominated for the Pilkington Prize, which is awarded annually to Cambridge professors recognized for teaching with excellence. Prior to Cambridge, he was an associate professor of New Testament at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he also directed the Doctor of Ministry program in the History, Doctrine and Worship of the English Reformation.

“Dr. Linebaugh’s commitment to the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ, ecumenism, and in person, theological education makes him a great fit at Beeson,” said Douglas A. Sweeney, dean of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School. “We look forward to welcoming students who want to train for ministry under his care.”

Linebaugh holds a Ph.D. from University of Durham in the United Kingdom, an M.Div. from Trinity School for Ministry in Pennsylvania and a B.S. from Messiah College in Pennsylvania. He is married to Megan, and they have three children: Liam, Callie and Anna.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.