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Asia Minor Research Center
Asbury Theological Seminary
Calvin Theological Seminary
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
Peninsula Bible Church Cupertino
Istanbul Medeniyet University
Eastern Mennonite University
Group leaders bringing a minimum 20 of people can introduce their congregation or group. This can be coordinated with Dr. Mark Wilson, program chair.
Dr. Mark Wilson is the founder and director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Antalya, Turkey, a country in which he and his wife Dindy have lived since 2004. He received a D.Litt. et Phil. from the University of South Africa (Pretoria) where he serves as a Research Fellow in Biblical Archaeology. He is a Visiting Professor of Early Christianity at Regent University and also Professor Extraordinary Discipline Group Old & New Testament at Stellenbosch University. Mark regularly leads study trips for the Biblical Archaeology Society to Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece. He also blogs periodically for Bible History Daily. He is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and reviews including Biblical Turkey: A Guide to the Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor. His particular research interest is the ancient Jewish communities, Roman roads, and Biblical routes in Turkey. Mark has been married to Dindy for thirty-nine years; they have four adult children, four grandsons and four granddaughters
Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies. Witherington has also taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University, Duke Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell. A popular lecturer, Witherington has presented seminars for churches, colleges and biblical meetings not only in the United States but also in England, Estonia, Russia, Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. He has also led tours to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.
Dr. Stutzman’s curiosity for the world and commitment to sharing the good news of Jesus began as a teen-ager in British Columbia where his parents were missionaries among Native Americans. Service in Israel, long-term mission assignments in Germany and Australia, a BA from EMU, and MAR from EMS, and a PhD in Religion and Culture from The Catholic University of America, provide the experiential and educational foundation for Dr. Stutzman’s passion for taking students into the world to learn from Jesus and his early followers.
Dr. Jeffrey Weima is Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary, where he has taught for 28 years. He is a sought-after speaker who is able to communicate well the truths of the Bible in an interesting, contemporary and practical manner. Jeff has published five books thus far: Neglected Endings: The Significance of the Pauline Letter Closings (Sheffield 1994); An Annotated Bibliography of 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Brill 1998); two commentaries on 1 & 2 Thessalonians--one brief (Zondervan 2002) and the other extensive (710 pages; Baker 2014); and Paul the Ancient Letter Writer: An Introduction to Epistolary Analysis (Baker 2016). His sixth book, The Sermons to the Seven Churches of Revelation: A Commentary & Guide, will appear in print this summer (Baker 2021). Jeff is also the author of numerous scholarly articles, academic essays and book reviews. He is an active member of several academic societies, lectures in countries all over the world, leads biblical study tours to Greece, Turkey, Israel/Jordan, and Italy, conducts intensive preaching seminars for pastors, and preaches/speaks widely in churches in both the USA and Canada. Jeff and his wife, Bernice, have been married for 37 years. They have four children and eight very cute grandkids.
Dr. Fairchild received his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Drew University. He also completed Ph.D. coursework at Union Theological Seminary (NY) and Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Fairchild has twice received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, he collaborated with 11 other scholars at Yeshiva University exploring the Greek encounter with Judaism during the Hellenistic Period. In 2002, he joined 20 other scholars at the University of Chicago to investigate societal transformations and the legitimization of power in the early Islamic states.
Fairchild’s recent discovery of two previously unknown ancient synagogues in Turkey (including the world’s oldest known synagogue) was published in the Biblical Archaeology Review in 2012. Research at this ancient synagogue was also published in the Journal of Ancient Judaism in 2014. The Biblical Archaeology Review also published Fairchild’s research on St. Paul’s first mission from Perga to Antioch (2013) and another article on the biblical city of Laodicea (2017). Fairchild’s book on Christian Origins in Ephesus and Asia Minor (originally published in 2015) has been expanded and a second edition is currently available with Hendrickson Publishers (2017).
Dr. Fairchild is currently the Program Director for the Ephesus Meeting, an academic conference at the ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey. He annually travels to Turkey, Greece, Israel, Egypt and Jordan for research and to conduct study tours.
EDUCATION: Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (2007), M.Div., Mid-America Seminary in Memphis (2002), B.A., Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, (1998)
TEACHING SPECIALIZATIONS: New Testament, The Apocalypse of John
Bernard Bell is Pastor of Biblical Studies at Peninsula Bible Church Cupertino in California. He has degrees in Geography (MA, Cambridge), Land Surveying (MSc, University College London) and Biblical Studies (MCS, Regent College, Vancouver). Prior to entering the ministry he worked at CERN (Geneva) and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (Stanford, California). He has led ten tours for his church to Israel, Greece and Turkey, all but the first with his wife Susan.
Dr. Kaçar is a Professor of Ancient History at the History Department in the Faculty of Letters of Istanbul Medeniyet University. He received his PhD from the University of Wales, Swansea (now Swansea University) in 2000, with a thesis on the formation of the early church councils. He taught ancient and early Byzantine history courses in Balıkesir and Pamukkale Universities between 2000–2015. Among his important articles are “The Election of Nectarius of Tarsus: Imperial Ideology, Patronage and Philia” (Studia Patristica, 2010); “Did the great schism begin at the council of Serdica in AD 343?” in Serdica Edict (311 AD): Concepts and Realizations of the Idea of Religious Toleration (Sofya, 2014); and “Church Councils and Their Impact on the Economy of the Cities in Roman Asia Minor,” in Patterns in the Economy of Roman Asia Minor (Swansea & London, 2005). He has translated Peter Brown’s seminal work, The World of Late Antiquity, and Stephen Mitchell’s comprehensive synthesis, A History of the Later Roman Empire (2nd ed.), and has recently edited two books: The Sieges of Constantinople and The Lycus Valley in Late Antiquity (Istanbul 2016). His research focuses on topics concerned with the field of Late Antiquity, with a special interest in the history of early Christianity and the history of European Huns and Romans. His project at ANAMED focuses on the Late Antique history of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Jason Borges (PhD-c, Durham University) is Assistant Director of the Asia Minor Research Center. As a historian of early Christianity, his research interests include ancient travel, honor-shame, and Byzantine monasticism. Jason has lived in Turkey since 2017, and latest book is The Churches and Trails of Red Valley, Cappadocia.