Dr. Graham Cole is Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology and Dean of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he taught from 2002–2011, and returned in 2015 to accept the position of Dean.
Cole is an ordained Anglican minister, who served in two parishes. He was formerly the principal of Ridley College and Anglican Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School. Graham currently lives in Libertyville, Illinois, with his wife, Jules. He is the author of Engaging with the Holy Spirit: Real Questions, Practical Answers, He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom.
Cole champions the idea of “hospitable evangelicalism” as a descriptor of the personality of TEDS. While there are more than 40 denominations represented in the student body and faculty, what binds TEDS together is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the key to its unity. The hospitable nature of TEDS means that we hold to the essential truth of what God has done in Christ for the sake of a lost world, combined with the liberty of pursuing academic rigor and pastoral training from many different perspectives, while extending the necessary charity to do so in a diverse Christian community.
The Biblical and Systematic Theology Department is designed to provide a thorough grasp of the major doctrines of Christianity and to integrate these, as far as possible, into a harmonious system. The Bible is held as the source of all doctrine and the ultimate criterion for all theological formulation. Attention is given to the organic growth of Christian doctrine in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in the church through the ages since Pentecost. Students are also introduced to biblical perspectives on contemporary theological and ethical issues.
The Church History Department at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is a vibrant community of faculty members, master’s students, and doctoral students committed to rigorous historical scholarship in service to Christ and his church. The teaching faculty includes three experienced historians as full-time faculty, as well as a group of talented adjunct professors who offer specialized courses in the history of the theology, institutions, and practice of the Christian church from the period of the early church to the present day. Our department is an exciting place to pursue graduate studies in church history!
Our TEDS counseling department strengthens Christian faith character virtues while establishing a professional counselor identity through stimulating reason, exploring interpersonal strengths, and stirring theological imagination. Our graduates apply faith-anchored wisdom to act justly, ethically, and responsibly in one’s vocational context.
Through its Department of Educational Ministries, Trinity seeks to prepare competent and knowledgeable professional leaders for Educational Ministry throughout the evangelical world in obedience to Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations.” A biblical philosophy of Educational Ministries requires balance between message and medium. Consequently, Trinity’s Educational Ministries degree programs represent a carefully planned balance between biblical/theological subjects and professional subjects of Educational Ministry.
The foundation of the Mission and Evangelism Department is evangelical Christian theology, which provides the basis for the evaluation of the interaction between a given culture and the gospel in such areas as evangelism, church planting, and theologizing. Our department houses courses that deal with contextualization, missiology, philosophy of religion, globalization, cultural exegesis, and witness & evangelism.
The New Testament Department exists to provide students with a solid foundation for understanding the New Testament in its original context. Students are encouraged to explore broadly through survey courses as well as deeply through the study of individual books or specific issues in New Testament studies. Emphasis is given to understanding the New Testament in its historical and cultural contexts, acquiring a general competency in reading Hellenistic Greek texts, exploring theological developments within the New Testament, and developing the ability to evaluate critically the contributions of modern interpreters. Through these tools, students are given the means to bridge the gap from the original meaning to contemporary significance in their lives and ministries.
The Old Testament Department acquaints students with the content and teaching of the Old Testament Scriptures and introduces them to the tools they need for a lifetime of effective independent study of these Scriptures. Attention is given to problems of Old Testament history and criticism; the value of the Old Testament for preaching and for understanding the New Testament is stressed. Students are also introduced to the historical and cultural backgrounds of biblical literature, provided an understanding of ancient Near Eastern cultures, and shown support for the biblical record of the history of the Jewish nation in its interrelationship with the peoples of the ancient world.
The Pastoral Theology Department exists to serve students by developing a community where together we can work out God’s calling on our lives by integrating life and doctrine in pursuit of godliness that commends the gospel, equipping for the ministries of preaching, shepherding, and overseeing, and embracing a proper biblical and theological orientation to the church and world.