Rev. Dr. Zack Eswine and his wife, Jessica Eswine, will join the staff of Covenant Seminary’s Francis Schaeffer Institute (FSI) July 1, 2018. Dr. Eswine, lead pastor of Riverside Church (EPC) in Webster Groves, Missouri, and director of homiletics at the Seminary, will now also serve the Institute as scholar-in-residence. Mrs. Eswine, a lawyer by training and an experienced apologist for the Christian faith, will serve in the role of visiting instructor of integrated apologetics.
Among his duties as scholar-in-residence, Dr. Eswine will join FSI founder and now Senior Scholar-in-Residence Prof. Jerram Barrs in offering new master of arts and doctor of ministry degree tracks in the area of communication and cultural apologetics. He will continue to teach for and direct the Seminary’s homiletics program and to serve in his pastoral role at Riverside, where he has been since 2008. Mrs. Eswine will also teach apologetics courses for FSI.
Dr. Eswine sees the intersection of homiletics and the core emphases of FSI as vital to the proclamation of the gospel in today’s world: “Covenant’s first president, Dr. Robert Rayburn, taught us to preach the Bible as God’s infallible and inerrant word. Dr. Bryan Chapell taught us to preach God’s Word in a Christ-centered way. Prof. Jerram Barrs taught us to do so with a kind and wise awareness of the questions, sorrows, and skepticisms of our other-than-Christian neighbors. Growing out of these biblical, Christ-centered and apologetic roots, Covenant Seminary has a unique opportunity—and a unique set of tools to offer—as we equip students to communicate the gospel faithfully and effectively to the next generation.”
In addition to his pastoral and teaching work, Eswine is the author of several books, including Preaching to a Post-Everything World(winner of the Preaching TodayBook of the Year Award in 2008), Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression, and The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus(winner of Christianity Today’s Book of the Year in Church Leadership/Ministry for 2016). He is also a sought-after preacher and speaker well-known for his ability to communicate the gospel to audiences in a wide variety of contexts.
FSI Director Prof. Mark Ryan notes, “Zack and Jessica’s commitment to local church ministry provides FSI with another significant ‘living lab’ through which we can continue to practice the apologetic communication we hope to teach and model for our students. Their presence effectively doubles our FSI team and greatly enhances our ability to serve students, congregations, and the community.”
Dr. Mark Dalbey, president of Covenant Seminary, said, “Zack offers a unique combination of pastoral experience, academic credentials, and apologetic practice that accords well with the history and ethos of FSI. Jessica’s experience as a lawyer and committed apologist—through discussions for seekers and skeptics at Riverside Church and one-on-one conversations with people in the community—make her an equally impressive addition to the FSI team. They will greatly strengthen our ability to prepare local pastors and Christian communicators for the personal, congregational, and cultural challenges of the twenty-first century.”
[photo: from left, Zack Eswine, Jessica Eswine, Jerram Barrs and Mark Ryan]