Terry Brensinger, Ph.D.

Vice President of FPU, Dean of the Biblical Seminary & Professor of Pastoral Ministries
Terry Brensinger
I teach in these programs

Education

Ph.D., Old Testament, Drew University, 1985
M.Phil., Biblical Studies, Drew University, 1985
M.A., Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, Drew University, 1984
M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary, 1980
B.A., History and Religion, Messiah College, 1977

Why I teach at FPU

I’ve been profoundly influenced over the years by wonderful teachers who love the Lord with both their hearts and their minds and who devote themselves to the ongoing work of the church. I teach at FPBS because I’d like now to follow the example of my mentors and help shape the next generation of pastors and Christian leaders.

Scholarly Interests

  • Biblical studies and Christian spiritual formation
  • Preaching in the contemporary world
  • The nature and role of the church
  • Global expressions of the Christian faith
  • Peace and non-violence

Publications

Books:

  • Choosing Life: Saying “Yes” to God in a World Full of “No’s” (In Process).
  • Focusing Our Faith:  Brethren In Christ Core Values.  Edited by T. Brensinger.  Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 2000.
  • Judges.  Believers’ Church Bible Commentary. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1999.
  • Simile and Prophetic Language in the Old Testament.  Lewiston, NY: Mellen Press, 1996.
  • Within the Perfection of Christ: Essays on Peace and the Nature of the Church.  Edited by E. Morris Sider and T. Brensinger.  Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1990.

Scholarly articles and chapters:

  • Selected articles in The New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006-2009.
  • “Compliance, Dissonance and Amazement in Daniel 3.”  Evangelical Journal, 20 (Spring, 2002): 7-19.
  • “Anabaptism and the Old Testament: Two Peas in Different Pods.”  In Minding the Church: Scholarship in the Anabaptist Tradition, edited by David Weaver-Zercher. Telford, PA: Cascadia Press, 2002.
  • “War in the Old Testament: A Journey Towards Nonparticipation.” Brethren in Christ History and Life, XXIV, 3 (December, 2001): 414-429.
  • “A Brethren in Christ Theology of Worship.”  Brethren in Christ History and Life, XXIII, 1 (April, 2000): 127-142.
  • “Jerusalem.”  In W.A. Van Gemeren (Ed.). Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Vol. 4 (pp. 772-776).  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997.
  • “Nasah (test/trial).”  In W.A. Van Gemeren (Ed.). Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Vol. 3 (pp. 111-113).  Grand Rapids, MI:  Zondervan, 1997.
  • “Hayah (life).” In W.A. Van Gemeren (Ed.).  Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Vol. 2 (pp. 108-113).  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997.
  • “A Brethren in Christ Theology of Aging.”  Brethren in Christ History and Life, XIX (December, 1996): 461-473.
  • Twenty articles in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman. New York: Doubleday and Co., 1992.
  • "I and II Kings."  In The Asbury Bible Commentary, edited by Eugene Carpenter and Wayne McCown.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992.
  • "The Biblical Understanding of Ministry in the Old Testament." In We Have This Ministry, edited by E. Morris Sider.  Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1991.
  • "A Response to Paul Hanson's The Origin and Nature of Prophetic Political Engagement in Ancient Israel." The Gateway 55 (Winter 1984/Spring 1985).

Popular articles and chapters:

  • “To Change or Not to Change Our Denominational Name: Can the Names of God Help Us Decide?”  Shalom! A Journal of Peace and Reconciliation (Forthcoming).  
  • “The Church as an Imaginative Community.”  Seek (Summer, 2005).
  • “Lambs, Leopards and Little Children: Developing Young Leaders to Serve the Church.”  Calling: A Journal for Leaders Who Nurture Vocation (Fall, 2004).
  • “The Israelites’ Courage and Fear.”  The Bridge (Fall, 1999).
  • “Ground Rules, Grapes, and Grace.”  Evangelical Visitor (May/June, 1999).
  • "Converting Enemies into Friends."  Sermon on "peace" in Preaching the Word: Sermons by Brethren in Christ Ministers, edited by E. Morris Sider.  Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press and the Brethren in Christ Historical Society, 1994.
  • "Easing the Pain: Introducing Controversial Issues in the Christian College Classroom." The Bridge (June, 1993).
  • "Focus on the Bible," a series of articles (edited by T. Brensinger) by Messiah College faculty members appearing in the Evangelical Visitor (September, 1989 through December, 1990).
  • "Archaeology and the Bible."  Evangelical Visitor (February, 1990).
  • "Quantity and/or Quality? Reflections on Church Growth."  Evangelical Visitor (October, 1988).
  • "Responding to God's Call: A Prophet on the Run." The Bridge (February, 1987).

Book reviews:

  • Miller, John.  [Review of Proverbs. Believers’ Church Bible Commentary]. In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XXXll, 3 (December, 2009): 511-513.
  • Media Review.  [Review of Exploring Biblical Jordan].  In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XXVlll, 3 (December, 2005): 567-570.
  • Salter, Darius, [Review of Prophetic-Priestly Ministry].  In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XXVII, 1 (April 2004): 188-190.
  • Enns, Peter.  [Review of Judges].  In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XXlll, 3 (December, 2000): 517-5020.
  • Swartley, Willard M., [Review of Violence Renounced: Rene Girard, Biblical Studies, and Peacemaking].  In Brethren Life and Thought, 45, 4 (Fall, 2000): 221-224.
  • Guenther, Allen R. [Review of Hosea, Amos. Believers’ Church Bible Commentary.] In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XXIII, 2 (August, 2000): 382-385.
  • Bowman, Carl F., and Longenecker, Stephen L., eds. [Review of Anabaptist Currents: History in Conversation with the Present].  In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XIX, 2 (August, 1996): 392-395.
  • Martens, Elmer. [Review of Jeremiah.  Believers’ Church Bible Commentary.]  In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XIII, 3 (December, 1990): 397-402.
  • Roop, Eugene. [Review of Genesis.  Believers’ Church Bible Commentary]. In Brethren in Christ History and Life, XIII, 3 (December, 1990); 397-402.

Selected papers and presentations:

  • “The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict.”  Presented in three parts at the Pequa Brethren in Christ Church, Lancaster, PA (November, 2010).
  • “Inspiration: A Fresh Encounter with God’s Word.”  Presented in conjunction with the Kairos School of Spiritual Formation at the Jesuit Center, Wernersville, PA (April, 2007; April, 2008; November, 2009; November, 2010).).
  • “The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture.”  Presented at the Theological Colloquium, Lancaster, PA (September, 2010).
  • “Honesty, Holiness, Hope and (W)holeness.” Presented at the Canadian Conference Pastors’ Conference in Toronto, Canada (April, 2010).
  • “The Bible and the Modern State of Israel.”  Presented at the Theological Colloquium, Grantham, PA (March, 2010).
  • “From Desolation to Consolation: Lessons from Habakkuk.”  Presented with Debra Brensinger at the Latin American Missionaries Retreat in Bogota, Colombia (March, 2010).
  • “Reading the Bible with New Eyes.”  Presented in conjunction with the Next Step Program at the St. Francis Center, Bethlehem, PA (October, 2007).
  • “Transformed into Christ’s Likeness.” Spiritual Life Emphasis Week at Alaska Bible College, Glenallen, AK (October, 2005).
  • “Proclaiming Peace in a War-Torn World.”  Gemeinhart Lectures at Kentucky Christian College, Grayson, KY (January, 2003).
  • “Compliance, Dissonance and Amazement in Daniel 3.” William S. Sailor Lectureship at Evangelical School of Theology, Myerstown, PA (January, 2002).
  • “War in the Hebrew Bible.”  Scholar’s Colloquium at Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Jerusalem, Israel (May, 2000).
  • “Barriers and Bridges: Developing Spiritual Intimacy in Marriage.”  Presented with Debra A. Brensinger at the Midwest Conference Pastors Retreat in Colorado Springs, CO (March, 1999).
  • “Barriers and Bridges: Developing Spiritual Intimacy in Marriage.” Presented with Debra A. Brensinger at the Central Conference Pastors Retreat in Detroit, MI (September, 1998).
  • “War in the Old Testament: A Journey Toward Peace.”  Presidential Scholars Lecture, Messiah College, Grantham, PA (September, 1997).
  • “Easing the Pain: Biblical Criticism and Undergraduate Students.”  New Faculty Workshop for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, Grantham, PA (June, 1997).
  • “Seasons of Christian Ministry.” Presented with Debra A. Brensinger at the Pacific Conference Pastors Retreat in Arrow Head Springs, CA (March, 1997).
  • "A Journey Toward Peace: War and Violence in the Old Testament." Theta Phi Lectures at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY (October, 1995).
  • "The Biblical Roots of Domestic Violence."  Seminar at the 1995 Clergy Conference on Domestic Violence, sponsored by Christian Churches United in Hershey, PA (April, 1995).
  • "The Book of Judges and Christian Ministry: Emptying, Emerging, Enduring, and Enjoying."  Presented at the Susquehanna Conference Pastors Retreat in Lebanon, PA (October,1994).
  • "Prophetic Preaching: A Look at Isaiah."  Seminar at the Messiah College Ministers Conference (March, 1994).
  • “Noticing God in Unexpected Places.”  Presented at the Christian College Consortium Students Retreat in Nairobi, Kenya (April, 1992).
  • "The Seasons of Spiritual Formation."  Presented at the Atlantic Conference Pastors    Retreat in Lebanon, PA (October, 1990).
  • "The Structure of Prophetic Similes."  Paper presented in the Israelite Prophetic Literature section at the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta, Georgia (November, 1986).
  • "Archaeology and the Bible."  Seminar at the Messiah College Ministers Conference (February, 1986).
  • [Not listed are the many preaching assignments at churches (various denominations), colleges, camps, and conferences (an average of 24 engagements per year).]

Honors & Awards

Lilly Endowment Grant (2007-09)

Scholar in Residence, Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research (2008, 2000, 1992-93)

Faculty Scholarship Grant, Messiah College (1999, 1997, 1994, 1990)

Excellence in Teaching Award, Messiah College (1991, 1987)

President’s Scholarship, Jerusalem University College (1980)

Old Testament Teaching Fellow, Asbury Theological Seminary (1979-80)

Senior Class President, Messiah College (1976-77)

Junior Class President, Messiah College (1975-76)

Professional Experiences

I’ve been blessed to serve in a wide variety of roles before coming to FPBS. I pastored a rural congregation in Kentucky, a multi-ethnic congregation in the Bronx, New York, and the Grantham Church on the campus of Messiah College in Pennsylvania. I also taught for 16 years and chaired the Biblical and Religious Studies Department at Messiah College. Most recently, I served as the international pastor/teacher for the International Brethren in Christ Association, a position that took me all over the world to train pastors. I am an ordained minister in the Brethren in Christ Church and trained spiritual director, and I continue to serve my denomination and the wider church in a variety of ways.

Professional Affiliations

  • Academy of Homiletics
  • Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
  • Society of Biblical Literature

Personal Experience

I became a follower of Jesus back in high school, and I sensed almost immediately a desire to serve in full-time Christian ministry in one form or another. While in college, I met my wife, Debra, and we have shared a rich and adventurous journey ever since. Debra is a nurse and trained spiritual director, and her contagious faith has inspired me again and again. We have three grown children, Timothy, Jordan and Julie, and a beautiful daughter-in-law named Farrah.