Guest Chapel Speaker:  Dr. Ron Benefiel
Wednesday, March 14, 9:45 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
Location:  Brown Chapel

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Lecture 1:  John Wesley's Mission of Evangelism and Mercy
Wednesday, March 12, 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Location:  Crill Performance Hall

Lecture 2:  The Languages of Holiness
Thursday, March 15, 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. 
Location:  Crill Performance Hall

Lecture 3:  Competing Religious Identities: A Case Study in the Church of the Nazarene
Thursday, March 15, 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Location:  Crill Performance Hall

 A Special Brewed Awakening Event:  A Conversation with Dr. Benefiel
Sponsored by the Center for Justice and Reconciliation
Thursday, March 15, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location:  Fermanian Business Center

Lecture 4:  Toward a Wesleyan Missional Theology
Friday, March 16, 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Location:  Crill Performance Hall

This concludes the Spring 2012 H. Orton Wiley Lecture Series in Theology. 

All events are free, and located on the main PLNU campus in Point Loma. The public is welcome. 
Please direct any question to: or call: (619) 849-2234


BenefielServing as Dean of PLNU’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry since July 2011, Dr. Benefiel comes to us from the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, where he served as President of the Seminary for 11 years.

Ron is a native of Southern California where he grew up in a Nazarene parsonage.  He holds both the Bachelor of Arts  (Sociology) and the Master of Arts (Religion) from Pasadena College/Point Loma Nazarene University and attended  Nazarene Theological Seminary. In 1986, he earned the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Southern  California in Sociology. His doctoral concentrations were in the fields of Sociology of Organizations and Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy, and his dissertation was in the field of Sociology of Religion. He did additional graduate study in  Wesleyan Theology through Nazarene Theological College/University of Manchester in Manchester, England. In 2004,  he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Point Loma Nazarene University. 

Dr. Benefiel served as pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles from 1982 until 1996. During his tenure there,  he led in the development of a multi-congregational organizational structure with four ethic/language congregations  coming together as “one church with multiple congregations.” While in LA, he also founded and served as Executive Director  of the P.F. Bresee Foundation, a community based non-profit which offers multiple services and educational programs to  children and youth as well as immigrant and homeless populations in LA’s Mid-Wilshire district.

In 1996, Dr. Benefiel accepted a position at PLNU where he served for four years as Professor of Sociology and Religion and  Director of the Christian Missions minor. While at Point Loma, he co-founded and co-pastored the Mid-City Church of the Nazarene, a multi-congregational church, and gave leadership to the development of PLNU’s Urban Center.

Dr. Benefiel has worked with numerous community and relief agencies, having served in the past on the Board of Directors of Heart to Heart International, Bresee Institute for Metro Ministry, and the Kansas City Urban Youth Center.  He has also served on the boards of rescue missions in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Kansas City.  

Dr. Benefiel has been active in leadership in the Church of the Nazarene in numerous capacities including the General Youth Council, H.F. Reynolds Institute (a denominational “think tank”), the steering committee for the Association of Nazarene Sociologists of Religion (ANSR), secretary for the Commission on Education, the U.S./Canada Council on Education, the Resource Institute for International Education, and the International Board of Education. He served as co-chair of the 2002 Global Theology Conference in Guatemala City, the 2004 U.S./Canada Theology Conference in Kansas City, and  the 2007 Global Theology Conference in Holland. He also served on the “Theological Schools and the Church” Task Force for the Association of Theological Schools from 2005-2008. 

Ron and his wife, Janet, have three children, Leanne (26), Robyn (23), and Timothy (21).