Frank A. James III, DPhil, PhD

President of Missio Seminary

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Frank A. James III is the President and Professor of Historical Theology at Missio Seminary in Hatfield, PA. He formerly served as Provost and Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He studied history under Alister McGrath for his DPhil at Oxford University and added a second PhD in Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary/Pennsylvania.

Frank is the author of Peter Martyr Vermigli and Predestination: The Augustinian Inheritance of an Italian Reformer (Oxford University Press); editor of Peter Martyr Vermigli and the European Reformations: Semper Reformanda (Brill); coeditor with Heiko Oberman of Via Augustini: Augustine in the Later Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation (Brill) and with Charles Hill of The Glory of the Atonement(IVP); and one of the founding members of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. His latest book, Church History: From Pre-Reformation to the Present (Zondervan), has just been published. He has also been a consultant and scriptwriter for a historical documentary film series.

Frank currently serves as the chair of the Faith and Spirituality Advisory Board for the Department of Behavioral Health in Philadelphia and has been appointed to serve on the Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction subcommittee of the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia.

Frank is married to Carolyn Custis James, noted author and speaker. They have one daughter, Allison, and two granddaughters.


BA, Political Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

MA, in Religion, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA

DPhil, Oxford University, Faculty of Modern History (St. Peter’s College), Oxford, England

PhD, Historical and Theological Studies, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA

Areas of Expertise

Church History

Historical Theology

On the Web

Article Regarding the Reformation and Marriage – How the Reformation saved bachelors

Article Regarding Treatment of Women During the Reformation – PDA: Like a Lutheran or a Calvinist?

Interview with Missio Alliance – Seminary Dropout 140: Frank James, Logos Video Course “Introducing Church History”

Selected Publications

Co-author with John D. Woodbridge, Church History: Reformation to the Present, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013). Companion volume to Church History: From Christ to Pre- Reformation, vol. 1 by Everett Ferguson.

Peter Martyr Vermigli and Predestination: The Augustinian Inheritance of an Italian Reformer, Oxford Theological Monographs (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

“Missional is Mission Critical,” afterword, Reformed Means Missional: Following Jesus into the World, edited by Sam T. Logan (Philadelphia: New Growth Press, 2013), pp. 253-54.

Post from Frank

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

On April 3, 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his final and what proved to be a hauntingly prophetic speech.  

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A True Night of Praise

We did have a BIG party November 21 at our new Callowhill location: over 200 people came to our celebration of praise.

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New Location Update

We have been on a twisting, winding and thoroughly surprising journey these last six months. I can’t say it has always been fun, but it has been interesting. We thought we were coming to the end of the journey last year when we signed a lease at 2000 Hamilton Street in the Logan Square neighborhood. We signed the lease in good faith based on the landlord’s professional estimate for renovations. Everything was set—until the bids from contractors came in at 300% above the landlord’s estimates. We explored a number of options to overcome the 300% increase in cost, but in the final analysis, this was not feasible.

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