Montague Williams, Ph.D.

Professor of Church, Culture and Society

Montague Williams is an ordained minister and has served in congregational, non-profit, and educational ministry over the past 20 years. He most recently served as College Chaplain and Chair of the Division of Religion and Philosophy at Eastern Nazarene College (Boston, MA) before coming to Point Loma Nazarene University in 2017. Professor Williams is the recipient of the 2016 ENC Teaching Excellence Award, and he brings a passion for helping students discern and embrace God's call on their lives. His doctoral research offers an ecclesiological proposal that takes seriously the experiences and pastoral needs of youth and young adults in multiracial and multicultural ministry contexts. He has written articles and chapters for several publications, and he regularly speaks at conferences and retreats on the church's presence and engagement with society.


  • Ph.D., Theological Studies, Boston University
  • M.Div., Honors Program, Nazarene Theological Seminary
  • M.A. in Religion, Olivet Nazarene University
  • B.A. in Religion, Olivet Nazarene University

Areas of Expertise

  • Wesleyan Theology
  • Theology and Ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Ethnography
  • Practical Theology

Courses Taught

  • Ethics
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. and Theological Ethics
  • Justice in the Church (senior capstone)
  • Church as a Witness in the World
  • Christianity in Global Perspective
  • The Life of Holiness
  • Compassionate Ministry in Local Contexts
  • Christian Life as Vocation
  • Biblical Perspectives
  • Foundations for the Practice of Youth Ministry
  • Youth and Family Ministry
  • Christian Mission in Local Contexts (graduate course)
  • Preaching and Teaching the Scripture (graduate course)

Experience in Field

  • Chaplain of the College, Eastern Nazarene College
  • Chair of the Division of Religion and Philosophy, Eastern Nazarene College
  • Director, Summer Institute for the Gifted at Harvard University
  • Youth Pastor and ReThink! Program Coordinator, Kansas City Urban Youth Center
  • Associate Pastor for Youth and Families, Wildwood Church of the Nazarene
  • Ordained as Elder in the Church of the Nazarene
  • Educational Advisor, The Trauma-Responsive Congregations Project
  • Interim Pastor, Peace River Christian Fellowship

Selected Lectures, Preaching, and Leadership

  • Distinguished Lecturer, Gould Lectures on Holiness, Eastern Nazarene College (Scheduled for Spring 2019)
  • Featured Preacher, NTS Preaching Conference (Scheduled for Fall 2018)
  • Featured Preacher, Youth Becoming Leaders Conference, Asbury University
  • Lecturer, Wesley Community Lecture Series, Trinity United Methodist Church, (2018)
  • Exploration Lab Leader, Forum for Theological Education Regional Discernment Retreat, Minneapolis, MN
  • Co-Host, SheLeads: A Missio Alliance Summit (2017)
  • Preacher, Spiritual Deepening Week, Point Loma Nazarene University (2017)
  • Panelist, USA/Canada Theology Conference, Church of the Nazarene (2016)
  • Panel Moderator, “Police and Community: Can We Work Together?” National Black Nazarene Conference, (2016)
  • Lecturer, Fruin Holiness Conference, Olivet Nazarene University (2016)
  • Panelist, Critical Pedagogy and Meaningful Scholarship, National Gathering of Black Scholars, Ferguson, MO (2015)
  • Preacher and Retreat Guide, Riposo Retreat, Point Loma Nazarene University (2015)
  • Dialogue Facilitator, Global Theology Conferences for the Church of the Nazarene in Johannesburg, South Africa (2014)

Professional and Community Involvement

Professional and Academic Memberships

  • Elder, Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City District
  • Vocational Discernment Coach, Forum for Theological Education
  • Co-Host, SheLeads: A MissioAlliance Summit
  • Discussion Group Facilitator for the Global Theology Conferences for the Church of the Nazarene in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Member, Wesleyan Theological Society
  • Member, Religious Education Association
  • Member, Association for Youth Ministry Educators

Awards and Honors

  • Harry Hosier Spirit Award, Boston University
  • Teaching Excellence Award, ENC
  • Yearbook Dedication, ENC Class of 2016
  • Servant's Heart Award, NTS
  • Tom Neese Social Justice Paper Award, NTS
  • Presidential Merit Fellowship, NTS
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Award, PLNU
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, Wesleyan Theological Society
  • Good News Alumni Award, Nazarene Theological Seminary

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications



  • “Reflection on Matthew 11:2-11,” Christian Century. December 2022.
  • “Reflection on Matthew 3:1-12,” Christian Century. December 2022.
  • Respondent, “Author Meets Critics: Church in Color: Youth Ministry, Race, and the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr., by Montague R. Williams,” Panel at the American Academy of Religion, November 2022.
  • Panelist, “Pain, Joy, and Narrative in Youth Ministry,” Panel at the Association of Youth Ministry Educators, October, 2022.
  • “Holy Communion on Canfield Drive: Listening, Liturgy, and Learning on a College Group Pilgrimage in Ferguson, Missouri” Religious Education 115, no 1 (2020): 46-60. 
  • Church in Color: Youth Ministry, Race, and the Theology of Martin Luther King Jr. (Baylor University Press, 2020) 
  • “Reformation Today: Moving Forward as Nazarenes,” in Holiness Today Magazine (Fall 2017).
  • “What is the Church?” in Essential Beliefs: A Wesleyan Primer (Beacon Hill Press, 2016).
  • “Holiness and Racial Harmony” in Renovating Holiness (Boise, ID: SacraSage Press, 2015).
  • “Practicing Hope in a Divided Neighborhood: The Call for Narrative Ecclesiology,” paper presented at the Association of Youth Ministry Educators, October 2016.
  •  “The Use of Scripture in the Sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society, March 2010.
  • “Thirst in the Gospel of John,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society, March 2007.