Founded in 1911, Eerdmans has cultivated a reputation of publishing the best modern Christian scholarship. Through the years, Eerdmans has introduced hundreds of new, responsible thinkers and thoughts to the space where Christ and culture meet—emphasizing open, earnest dialogue across the … more
Sam Wells graduated from Merton College, Oxford, with an MA in Modern History, from Edinburgh University with a BD in Systematic Theology, and from Durham University with a PhD in Christian Ethics. Before training for ordination, Sam was a community worker in inner-city Liverpool. From 1991–2005 he served in parish ministry in the Church of England. He was assistant curate in Wallsend, North Tyneside and in Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, before being incumbent at St. Elizabeth’s, North Earlham, Norwich, and then St. Mark’s, Newnham, Cambridge. While in Norwich he helped to establish—and was for several years vice chair of—the North Earlham, Larkman and Marlpit Development Trust, the first organization in the East of England devoted to community-led urban regeneration. He also established a non-profit organization offering disadvantaged children opportunities to discover wonder and joy through creative play.
In the summer of 2005, Wells became dean of Duke University Chapel and research professor of Christian ethics at The Divinity School. Sam’s responsibilities include preaching at the majority of the 11 a.m. Sunday services, leading worship, interacting with and praying for all levels of the university—leaders, faculty, administrators, students and staff. His work also entails lifting up the connections between Christian faith and theology and the pressing issues of the day, and making the Chapel and the poorest neighborhoods of Durham visible to one another. He is married to Jo Bailey Wells, who is a former dean of Clare College, Cambridge and is now director of Anglican Studies at Duke Divinity School, and they have two children.