Dr. Mark Wilson

Dr. Mark Wilson

Program Director

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

Dr. Linford Stutzman

Dr. Linford Stutzman

Eastern Mennonite University, VA

One of the most urgent needs for the church in the twenty-first century is a new generation of creative and courageous leaders with a clear vision of the kingdom of God and a commitment to representing the good news of Jesus in the world. After two decades of teaching culture, religion, and mission courses to undergraduates at EMU, leading numerous semester-long and summer cross-cultural study programs in the Middle East, and directing the John Coffman Center for Missional Leadership Development at EMS, Dr. Linford Stutzman now directs and teaches courses in the new Biblical Lands Educational Seminars and Service (BLESS) program at EMS that brings all of the above together. In cooperation with mission and service agencies, BLESS provides unique overseas study opportunities for young adults and others that connect the dynamic and dangerous first century “Romanized” world of Jesus and Paul with our dynamic and dangerous globalized twenty-first century world of the future. 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. Each summer since 2004, Dr. Stutzman and his wife Janet have been exploring the Roman Empire, Paul’s mission activity, and the book of Acts aboard their “research vessel” SailingActs, and leading study seminars on and around the Mediterranean Sea for seminary students and others.

Ben Witherington

Dr. Ben Witherington

Asbury Theological Seminary

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.

Sharon Putt

Dr. Sharon Putt

Messiah University, PA

Sharon L. Baker Putt is Professor of Theology and Religion at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, PA. She earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University and is the author of Razing Hell, Executing God, and A Non-Violent Theology of Love: Peacefully Confessing the Apostles’ Creed. She has traveled with extensively throughout Europe and the Middle-east, and has significant experience traveling abroad with students on cross-cultural trips. Her disciplines are world religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christian theology, specifically in the areas of divine non-violence, atonement, and interfaith theologies.