Ellsworth Kalas

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J. Ellsworth Kalas
Born (1923-02-14)February 14, 1923
Died November 12, 2015(2015-11-12) (aged 92)
Nationality American
Title President and a professor of Asbury Theological Seminary
Academic background
Education University of Wisconsin–Madison, Garrett Theological Seminary, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Harvard University
Academic work
Discipline Biblical studies
Institutions Asbury Theological Seminary
Notable works Christian Believer

J. Ellsworth Kalas (February 14, 1923 – November 12, 2015) was a president and a professor of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He also served as pastor for 38 years in the Wisconsin and Ohio Conferences of the United Methodist Church and was associated for 5 years with the World Methodist Council.

Education and career[edit]

Kalas obtained his Bachelor of Science at University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1951; his Bachelor of Divinity at Garrett Theological Seminary in 1954; and did additional graduate studies at University of Wisconsin–Madison (1954-1955), and Harvard University (1955-1956). Dr. Kalas also held honorary degrees from Lawrence University, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Kalas' tenure with Asbury began in 1993 and he had taught Preaching there since 2000. He was the author of multiple Bible Studies published by the United Methodist Publishing House as well as a groundbreaking study called "Christian Believer" which attempts to teach Methodist laity systematic theology.[1]

His addition to the field of homiletics is the concept of the Biographical Sermon, teaching a doctrine or biblical concept through the story of a real person's life. Biographical preaching can model methods for dealing with suffering and pain by telling the story of an exemplar's struggle with suffering and pain.


Kalas died on November 12, 2015. He was 92, the same age as Asbury Seminary – both born in 1923.[2]


Kalas authored over 35 different books and many additional published articles. As well as 13 adult study quarterlies for the United Methodist Publishing House.




  1. ^ "Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas". Asbury Theological Seminary. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Passing of Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas". Asbury Theological Seminary. Retrieved 14 November 2015.