Cross at Convocation, Fall 2017

Dean, School of Religion
Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology 

B.A., Lee College
M.A., M.Div., Ashland Theological Seminary

Th.M., Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary

Terry Cross is the Dean of the School of Religion and teaches in the area of theology. He has worked extensively in the area of Trinitarian theology, especially in relation to the writings of 20th century theologian, Karl Barth.

Prior to his work at Lee, Cross was a pastor for twelve years and a high school teacher of Latin and history. He has been listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award at Lee University in May 2000 and the Excellence in Scholarship Award in May 2001.

Sermon on “God’s Stubborn Love” with his grandson, Luke Edward Snider. Spring 2016

In April 2000, a book which Cross and Emerson Powery edited, was published in honor of their former Lee professor, Dr. Donald N. Bowdle. Entitled The Spirit and the Mind: Essays in Informed Pentecostalism in Honor of Donald N. Bowdle (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000). The book brings together more than 20 authors to write in areas of their disciplines in relation to Pentecostalism.

In addition, Cross has written a book that was published in 2001 by Peter Lang, Inc. A complete revision of his dissertation, the book, Dialectic in Karl Barth’s Doctrine of God, appears in a series entitled, “Issues in Systematic Theology.” In 2002, he wrote a small book in conjunction with a Lilly Fund project at the university entitled Answering the Call in the Spirit: Pentecostal Reflection on a Theology of Vocation, Work, and Life. This manuscript explores the dimensions of calling with particular interest in the university setting. It was published by Lee University Press in 2007.

In 2019, Cross completed a book on ecclesiology entitled,  The People of God’s Presence: An Introduction to Ecclesiology, which was published by Baker Academic Press. In 2020, Cross completed a companion volume on ecclesiology to the first volume; it is entitled Serving the People of God’s Presence: A Theology of Ministry, also published by Baker Academic Press. Together these books represent material that Cross has been working on and sharing with classes for over 30 years.

Since 2007, Cross has been working with a translation group centered in the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. Every summer he spends time with this group as they translate some of Barth’s writings from German (or French) into English. He serves as a Translation Fellow of the Center for Barth Studies. In Fall 2017, the first volume of three appeared entitled Conversations with Barth. It was published by Westminster John Knox Press and was edited by Karlfried Froehlich (German reader) and Darrell Guder (English editor). The first volume includes various conversations and interviews from 1959-1962 with Barth, perhaps the most important theologian of the 20th century (d. 1968). The second volume appeared the following year (2018) and includes conversations from 1963. The third volume appeared in 2019 and contains conversations from 1964-1968. These Gespraeche (Conversations) provide extremely interesting material for Barth Studies, but more importantly, also offer an accessible foray into his entire theological project. Currently, Cross is working with this translation group in order to bring three more volumes to print, focusing on his early theological writings (1905-1921).

“When Israel was young, I taught her to walk” (Hosea 12)

Cross graduated from Lee in 1978 with a BA in Biblical Education, earning the first of several degrees. He later received the M.A. in Church History and the M.Div. in Theology from Ashland Theological Seminary (Ohio). From Ashland, he moved to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he received the Th.M. in Doctrinal Theology and the Ph.D. in Systematic Theology (1991). Cross came to be a part of the faculty at Lee University in Fall 1997. In the summer of 2002, Cross became the Dean of the School of Religion.

Originally from Big Rapids, Michigan, Cross has spent over 20 years at Lee dividing his time between teaching and administrative duties. In addition to overseeing all of the instructional aspects of the School of Religion in training future ministers for the church, Cross also oversees the graduate programs from Lee at the European Theological Seminary (Germany) and at SEMISUD (Ecuador),  as well as at SEBIPCA (Guatemala), traveling to Germany almost annually to teach. He is an ordained bishop in the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and serves on the Doctrine and Polity Committee for this body.

Terry and his wife, Linda, have one daughter, Tara, who is married to Kevin Snider, and one grandchild, Luke Edward Snider (shown above as a sermon illustration). Aside from golf, he enjoys genealogy, and reading German and Latin.