Visiting Scholars

PLNU's Visiting Scholar program provides an ideal retreat for research and writing related to the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. If you are interested in becoming a PLNU visiting scholar, please contact us.

A Scenic Scholarly Retreat

Perched atop sandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, PLNU has one of the most scenic views of any university campus. Located in San Diego, PLNU enjoys the city’s moderate year-round weather (including temperate summers) and wide variety of arts, cultural, and family attractions.

Unique Research Resources

PLNU's archives are the premier repository for the works of H. Orton Wiley and also house one of North America's finest collections of literature relating to Jacob Arminius. In addition, PLNU's archives are second only to the Church of the Nazarene denominational archives in Kansas City for their materials on Phineas Bresee.

Accommodations and Provisions

During their stay, visiting summer scholars will receive the following:

  •    A two-bedroom apartment with ocean view and utilities, all free of charge

  •    Discounted rates at PLNU's on-campus dining facilities

  •    Complete access to the PLNU library and archives

  •    Any IT equipment and support needed

  •   Any additional support as needed

Beyond these provisions, visiting scholars must cover their own expenses, including food and travel/transportation. Visiting scholars are also invited and encouraged (but not required) to participate in dialogue and projects with PLNU faculty, including faculty reading groups (science and theology; social issues) that run through the summer.

Past Visiting Scholars

Every summer, each visiting scholar is asked to present research conducted during their stay at PLNU. These discussions are open to the PLNU community, and often take place over a casual lunch.


Rachel Cope, Summer 2018

Rachel Cope is an associate professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. She received a PhD in American History (with an emphasis in women's history and religious history) from Syracuse University in 2009. Rachel has published several articles on American women's spirituality and conversion in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which have appeared in various edited volumes and journals, including Journal of Spirituality, Lifewriting Annual: Biographical and Autobiographical Studies, Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, New York History, and Magistra: A Journal of Women's Spirituality in History. She also co-edited Family Life in England and America, 1690–1820 (Routledge, 2015), a four-volume collection of manuscript records documenting the lives of early American and British families. Rachel has been the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships, most recently a Princeton University Library Research Grant and a short-term research fellowship from the Oxford Centre of Methodism and Church History, both of which are enabling her work on spiritual friendships, the subject of her upcoming monograph. She is an assistant editor of Wesley and Methodist Studies and one of the founding editors of the Transcribing Early American Manuscript Sermons project.

Larissa Malone, Summer 2018

Larissa is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Greenville University, located in Illinois. She teaches in the graduate program and her areas of interest are the foundations of education, critical race studies, and understanding the ways in which marginalized populations experience school. She is a 2017-2018 participant of the CCCU's Multi-Ethnic Leadership Development Institute.

Larissa is working on a project that theoretically explores blending Critical Race Theory (CRT) with Christianity, towards the development of Critical Race Christianity (CRC). While at PLU, her focus will be on exploring the theological underpinnings of Christianity that support justice, advocacy, racial reconciliation, and the role the church has played in social progression.

David Anderson, Summer 2018

Dr. David L. Anderson is Associate Dean of Business and Associate Professor at the Wesleyan founded Greenville University. He teaches courses in Management, Marketing, and Information Systems. His books and articles focus upon Management Information Systems and social networking.

David is excited to be researching with the Wesleyan Center this summer. His focus will be upon "Sacred Spaces." Our historical churches face very real economic and social challenges in their efforts to maintain their sanctuaries. David will be using the resources of the Wesleyan Center and University Libraries to recommend ways to preserve these structures from a religious, organizational, and economic perspective.

Jennifer M. Matheny, Summer 2018

Jennifer M. Matheny will be the new Associate Professor of Theology starting this fall at Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, Kansas. Previously, she has taught at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon and also Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon.

Jennifer is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent in Canterbury (UK). She is finishing the final edits of her dissertation to be defended this year. The dissertation is titled: Judges 19-21 and Ruth: Canon as a Voice of Answerability.

This summer Jennifer will be working on a Joshua translation for GlossaHouse for their new illustrated series:

Joshua. Illustrated Hebrew-English Old Testament Series (GIHEOT)

Willmore, KY: GlossaHouse.

Secondly, she will be preparing my dissertation for publication.


Luisa Gallagher, Summer 2016

Luisa J. Gallagher teaches biblical studies and spiritual formation at George Fox University and George Fox Seminary in Portland, Oregon. She holds a master’s degree in educational ministry from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and is a Ph.D. candidate in leadership studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. The focus of her scholarship and research is in the field of Christian spiritual formation and leadership. Engaging with both theory and praxis, Gallagher worked for over 10 years with undergraduate student leaders in areas such as camp ministry, service learning, and residence life. Her dissertation explores the interplay between Christian spiritual formation and leadership in the lives of undergraduate student leaders. She has upcoming publications in the Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Encyclopedia of Christianity in the Global South, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Global Pentecostalism, and Missiology: An International Review. At PLNU, Gallagher conducted new research on a spiritual formation model based on the work of John Wesley and the Wesleyan quadrilateral.

Sarita Gallagher, Summer 2016

Sarita D. Gallagher is associate professor of religion at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. In addition to her work in biblical theology of mission, her research interests also include Melanesian mission history, intercultural studies, and world Christianity. Gallagher is the author of Abrahamic Blessing: A Missiological Narrative of Revival in Papua New Guinea (2014). Her articles have appeared in Mission Studies, Evangelical Missiological Society Occasional Bulletin, International Journal of Pentecostal Missiology, Mission Frontiers, and The Encyclopedia of Christian Education.

Gallagher served as a missionary with CRC Churches International in Australia and Papua New Guinea. She has taught intercultural studies in the U.S. and abroad at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California; Tabor College in Adelaide, Australia; Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia; and the World Missions Faith Training School in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

While at the Wesleyan Center, Gallagher worked on her current book project, a missiological commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel for the Polis Commentary Series (Urban Loft, 2017). She also worked on an essay titled, God among the Philistines: Revelation and Transformation in 1 Samuel 4-7, which was presented at the International Association for Mission Studies conference in Seoul, South Korea in August 2016.


Aaron Ghiloni, Summer 2015

Aaron J. Ghiloni is the director and principal of Trinity College Queensland, where he lectures in theology and interreligious studies. He is also an affiliate lecturer within the faculty of theology and philosophy of Australian Catholic University and an honorary research fellow in the University of Queensland’s School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry.

Ghiloni is the author of John Dewey among the Theologians (2012) and the editor of World Religions and their Missions (2015). His articles have appeared in The Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, Religious Education, Practical Theology, Uniting Church Studies, The Journal of Christian Education, and The Encyclopedia of Christian Education.

At PLNU, Ghiloni began new research on two projects, both operating from the principle of interdisciplinarity at the heart of the Wesleyan Center’s mission. The first project is a dialogue between Christian doctrine and the philosophical pragmatism of William James and John Dewey; the second is an exploration of the pedagogies of interreligious encounters. His CV is available here. His presentation on What Can Christian Teachers Learn from Muhammad? can be viewed here. Part 2 Q&A

Keith Stanglin, Summer 2015

Keith Stanglin is associate professor of historical theology at Austin Graduate School of Theology in Austin, Texas. In addition to his work on Arminius and Arminianism, his research interests also include the reception of patristic and medieval thought in reformation and post-reformation theology. He is the author and editor of The Reformation to the Modern Church (Fortress, 2014), Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace (Oxford, 2012), The Missing Public Disputations of Jacobus Arminius (Brill, 2010), Arminius, Arminianism, and Europe (Brill, 2009), and Arminius on the Assurance of Salvation (Brill, 2007). His articles have appeared in Church History, Church History and Religious Culture, Journal of Religious Ethics, Reformation & Renaissance Review, and Trinity Journal. He was also a PLNU Wesleyan Center visiting scholar in 2011, and he continues to work on the history and impact of Arminianism and Wesleyanism.

Stanglin's latest book is a result of collaboration with the Wesleyan Center: Reconsidering Arminius (Abingdon/Kingswood, 2014), co-edited with Mark Mann and Mark Bilby. For his second turn as a visiting scholar, he worked on two main projects. The first project was a book on the history of biblical interpretation (forthcoming with Baker Academic); the second was an article on the Arminian reception of medieval scholasticism, in which he used the rare book collection in the PLNU library. His presentation on How to Read the Bible, Then and Now is available here. Part 2 Q&A

Randall Stephens, Summer 2015

Since 2012, Randall Stephens has been a reader in history and American studies at Northumbria University (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK). Before that, he was an associate professor of history at Eastern Nazarene College (Quincy, Massachusetts). He is the author of The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South (Harvard Univ Press, 2008) and The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age (Belknap Press of Harvard Univ, 2011), co-authored with Karl Giberson. Stephens is also the editor of Recent Themes in American Religious History (University of South Carolina Press, 2009), associate editor of the journal Fides et Historia, and bibliographic editor of The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History, eds. Paul Harvey and Edward Blum (Columbia University Press, 2012). In spring 2012, Stephens was a Fulbright Roving Scholar in American studies in Norway. In addition to his work as a scholar, he has written for the Atlantic, the Wilson Quarterly, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, Christian Century, the Chronicle of Higher Ed, and the New York Times.

While at the Wesleyan Center, Stephens worked on his current book project, The Devil’s Music: Rock and Christianity Since the 1950s (under contract with Harvard University Press), which examines the relationship of rock music to American Christianity as well as the emergence of Christian rock. Stephens also worked on an article titled, From Abolitionists to Fundamentalists: The Transformation of the Wesleyan Methodists in the 19th and 20th Centuries. His CV is available here. His presentation, I Just Sing Like They Do Back Home: The Religious Roots of Rock Music in the 1950s South, can be viewed here. A Q&A session with co-scholar Hilde Lovdal Stephens is also available here.

Hilde Lovdal Stephens, Summer 2015

Hilde Lovdal Stephens is a freelance writer and independent scholar with a Ph.D. in North American studies from the University of Oslo. Her work has been published by Oxford University Press, American Studies in Scandinavia, and Fides et Historia. In 2010–11, she visited Northwestern University on a Fulbright fellowship. During her time as a visiting scholar, she was working on a book project on evangelical American family advice material since the 1970s. The book focuses on James Dobson and Focus on the Family and examines the advice they have given to American parents over the years. Her project is under contract with the University of Alabama Press for its Religion and American Culture series. Her CV is available here. Her presentation, Family Matters: James Dobson and Focus on the Family's Message to American Evangelicals, 1970-2010 can be viewed here. A Q&A session with co-scholar Randall Stephens is also available here.


Lindsay Morgan, Summer 2014

Lindsay Morgan is a senior health analyst and writer with nearly a decade of experience in global development. She specializes in strategic evaluations of donor-supported health programs in low-income countries, and has led or supported studies in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Indonesia, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, and Mozambique. Morgan previously reported for the World Bank from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Liberia, and worked with the Center for Global Development, a Washington, D.C.-based policy think tank. Her research at PLNU centered on the links between Wesleyan theological questions about transformation and salvation, and questions in the development sector of transformation of people's lives through outside intervention — with a focus on what these ideas might mean for the life of PLNU.

Read Morgan's paper that resulted from her time as a PLNU visiting scholar.

Rusty (Rustin) Brian, Summer 2014

Rusty Brian (02) is a pastor and scholar who has served in a variety of pastoral roles, and taught as an adjunct professor of theology at several places, including Northwest Nazarene University. He earned an M.Div. from Nazarene Theological Seminary in 2005, and a Ph.D. in theology and ethics from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2011. He is the author of several articles, chapters, and book reviews, as well as Covering Up Luther: How Barth's Christology Challenged the Deus Absconditus That Haunts Modernity (Cascade, 2013). During his time as a visiting scholar, he was trying to complete an introductory work on Jacob Arminius, which was published by T&T Clark in early 2015. Brian and his wife Lauren, who also attended PLNU, have two children: Lily, born in July 2011, and Rowan, born in January 2014. They both prefer Santana's (or whatever it's called these days) to Adal's.

Xochitl Alvizo, Summer 2014

Xochitl Alvizo was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a Ph.D. candidate in practical theology at Boston University School of Theology. Her dissertation involves qualitative research with emerging church congregations in the U.S. and a feminist analysis and exploration of the emerging church's potential to be a post-patriarchal church. Her ongoing research questions center on how congregations understand themselves to be church and how they embody church in today’s contemporary cultures. Teaching in the academy and participating in congregational life are central to her vocation and to how she sees herself contributing to her communities. Alviso has a chapter in the forthcoming anthology, Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century, titled Being Undone by the Other: Feminisms, Blogs, and Critique.

Peter Forsaith, Summer 2014

Peter Forsaith researches, writes, and publishes chiefly on aspects of religion, culture, and society in 18th century Britain. He also has responsibility for the centre's Methodist-related archive holdings, the Wesley Historical Society library, and art collections (including the Methodist Church Collection of Modern Art). Forsaith has researched areas of Methodist-related history over more than 25 years and lectured in Britain and the U.S. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, member of the Society of Archivists, and serves on various Methodist history-related bodies. Other interests and hobbies include antiques (silver and furniture), cooking, motorcycling, reading, and swimming.

While at PLNU, he focused on:  

  • Reviewing and editing existing text for a proposed publication John Wesley: image, identity and institution, also the writing of concluding chapters
  • Transcribing toward publication the 1769 ms. journal of Thomas Parson, a Bath stone carver (Huntington library ms. HM 62593)
  • Commencing drafting of a possible publication on the contextual roots of early Methodism

Ken Oakes, Summer 2014

Kenneth Oakes (02) is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Notre Dame, having previously been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tübingen and completing his Ph.D. in theology at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of Karl Barth on Theology and Philosophy (2012) and Reading Karl Barth: A Companion to the Epistle to the Romans (2011), co-author of Illuminating Faith: An Invitation to Theology (in press), editor of Captive to Christ, Open to the World: On Doing Christian Ethics in Public (in press), and his articles and reviews have appeared in Modern Theology, The Thomist, the Wesleyan Theological Journal, and the International Journal of Systematic Theology. While at PLNU as a Wesleyan Center summer scholar, he edited a volume of conference papers entitled, Christian Wisdom Meets Modernity and wrote a book chapter on Henri de Lubac and Protestant theology. A proud and grateful alumnus of PLNU, he was happy to return to campus.


Keith Ward, Oxford University, Summer 2013


Bryan Stone, Boston University, Summer 2013


Larnie Sam Tabuena, Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary, Summer 2013


William Gibson, Oxford Brookes University, Summer 2012

Dr. William Gibson joined the Wesleyan Center from Oxford Brookes University in the UK, where he is professor of ecclesiastical history and director of the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History. His specialization is 18th century religion and society. He is the author of over a dozen books on aspects of 17th, 18th, and 19th century religion and has, most recently, edited the Oxford Handbook of the British Sermon 1688-1901 (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is also book reviews editor of Archives (the journal of the British Records Association) and co-editor, with Dr. Geordan Hammond, of Wesley and Methodist Studies. He is, with Dr. Peter Forsaith and Dr. Martin Wellings, editor of the forthcoming Ashgate Research Companion to World Methodism (Ashgate, 2013). He has also recently been appointed to the editorial advisory board for History and Religion of Oxford University Press’s Oxford Research Directions.

His research project at the Wesleyan Center was undertaking a detailed analysis of John Wesley’s four-volume Concise History of England (1775-6).

Doug Daugherty, Indiana Wesleyan University, Spring 2012

Dr. Doug Daugherty joined the Wesleyan Center from Indiana Wesleyan University. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified in the treatment of substance disorders with the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Indiana Association of Addiction Professionals (IAAP). He coordinated the IWU Addictions Counseling Program for 13 years, which was the first program accredited by NAADAC. Daugherty has taught at the university level for many years and has approximately 25 years of clinical experience. He has published in the area of recidivism and served as an evaluator for several problem-solving courts and treatment programs. He is the founder of Grace House for Recovery, a Christian recovery home in Marion, Indiana. His research interests include the habits and experiences of Christian exemplars; outcome and process evaluation of problem-solving courts; integrative theories of addiction; and positive psychology.

Daugherty spent five weeks with the Wesleyan Center focusing on a project titled iHabit.

PLNU’s Wesleyan Center supports the research and publishing efforts of PLNU faculty as well as visiting scholars to carry out its mission: to cultivate thinking steeped in the Christian tradition as we actively participate in current academic scholarship.