Joel D. Heck

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Joel D. Heck
Born (1948-10-01)1 October 1948
Seward, Nebraska
Nationality American
Alma mater Th.D. in Exegetical Theology from Concordia Seminary, Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, B.A. from Concordia Senior College, A.A. from Concordia University Wisconsin
Occupation Professor, author
Known for scholarship about C. S. Lewis
Spouse(s) Cheryl
Children 3

Joel D. Heck (born 1 October 1948) is Professor of Theology at Concordia University Texas [2] and Executive Editor of Concordia University Press. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, most recently editing a reprint edition of The Personal Heresy: A Controversy, a book co-authored by C. S. Lewis and E. M. W. Tillyard and originally published in 1939 and also a reprint of the Socratic Digest. He teaches courses in Old and New Testament, Reformation history, and the life and writings of C. S. Lewis.


Early life[edit]

Joel D. Heck was born in Seward, Nebraska and raised in a pastor's family in Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. His father, Rev. Donald E. Heck (1916–1991), was a pastor of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, who served congregations in Michigan, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. His sermon translations of the Gospel sermons of C. F. W. Walther have been published by Concordia Publishing House in two volumes. Rev. Heck and wife Lucille (1915–2004), raised five children, with Joel the oldest son and third child overall. Donald Heck was especially known for his translations of C. F. W. Walter's sermons from the German and for his bulletin insert service.

Career and Family[edit]

Heck holds the A.A. from Concordia University Wisconsin, the B.A. from Concordia Senior College, the M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, the Th.M. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, and the Th.D. in Exegetical Theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He spent his seminary vicarage year at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bogota, New Jersey.

He served as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Valley Park, Missouri, from 1975 to 1984, Theology professor at Concordia University Wisconsin from 1984 to 1998, and Chief Academic Officer and then full-time Theology professor at Concordia University Texas from 1998 to the present. During his sabbatical in Oxford, England, in 2004, he worked with Walter Hooper on Volume III of Collected Letters, the third and last volume of the letter of C. S. Lewis, by transcribing many letters written by Lewis and doing bibliographical work on the book. A second sabbatical in 2012, this time in Cambridge, England, allowed him to do more work on Lewis, especially Lewis's service on the Council of Westcott House, while staying at Westfield House, a theological college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England. Over the course of his ministry, he has developed a passion for teaching, for research and writing, for the Scriptures, and for the works of C. S. Lewis. Heck is an avid sports fan.

During the decade between 1987 and 1997, Heck edited a quarterly periodical called Evangelism, devoted to encouraging and equipping Christian people for outreach. While authoring or editing thirteen books, he has written numerous articles, book reviews, and essays, most notably on topics related to C. S. Lewis. He has donated the Joel D. Heck Collection at the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College. This is a collection of letters related to Lewis and originally written to Dr. Heck about the experiences of former students of Lewis. Heck has researched events in the life of C. S. Lewis, catalogued day by day and year by year throughout Lewis' life, an extensive database of more than 1,100 pages of biographical information, called "Chronologically Lewis," that is available on his website. This database has led to the publication of a C. S. Lewis calendar through Concordia University Press. The research also contains the military record of Lewis' brother, Warren Lewis.[3]

Heck and his wife Cheryl have three grown children, and reside in Austin, Texas.


  • Winner of the Faculty Laureate award at Concordia University Wisconsin, 1994.
  • Alumnus of the Year, Concordia University Wisconsin, 1998.
  • Recipient of a Marion E. Wade research award for the research done that led to Irrigating Deserts: C. S. Lewis on Education (2005).
  • Voted as the Faculty Member of the Year by the athletic teams of Concordia University Texas for the school year 2008-2009 and again for the school year 2010-2011.
  • Recipient of the first faculty scholarship award from Concordia University Texas in Austin, Texas, 2015.


In addition to articles published in The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society,[4] The Journal of Biblical Literature,[5] and Bibliotheca Sacra,[6] Heck has written many book reviews and several articles for CSL: The Journal of the New York C.S. Lewis Society,[7] Sehnsucht, The Lamp-Post, and The Chronicle of the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society.

  • Make Disciples: Evangelism Programs of the Eighties (Concordia Publishing House, 1984).
  • New Member Assimilation (Concordia Publishing House, 1988).
  • The Art of Sharing Your Faith (Revell, 1991).
  • All of the Above: Your Choice to Collegiate Success, editor (Concordia University Press, 1992).
  • 264 Great Outreach Ideas (Concordia Publishing House, 2001).
  • Evangelism and the Christian College, editor and author (Evangelism, 1994).
  • From Guest to Disciple (Concordia Publishing House, 2001).
  • Irrigating Deserts: C. S. Lewis on Education (Concordia Publishing House, 2005).
  • The Personal Heresy: A Controversy, editor (authored by C. S. Lewis and E. M. W. Tillyard, Concordia University Press, 2008).
  • History & Literature of the Old Testament (Kendall Hunt, 2010).
  • Learning at the Foot of the Cross: A Christian Vision for Education (Concordia University Press, 2011).
  • In the Beginning, God: Creation from God's Perspective (Concordia Publishing House, 2011).
  • Socratic Digest (Concordia University Press, 2012, available only at
  • From Atheism to Christianity: The Story of C. S. Lewis (Concordia Publishing House, 2017)


  1. ^ a b Heck works at an LCMS publisher and university
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Issachar: Slave or Freeman? (Gen 49:14-15)" JETS 29:4 (Dec 1986).
  5. ^ "The Missing Sanctuary of Deut 33:12," Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 103, No. 4 (1984).
  6. ^ "A History of Interpretation of Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33," Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 147, No. 585 (1990).
  7. ^ For example, "JBS: The Life and Work of J.B.S. Haldane, Intersections with C. S. Lewis." CSL: The Bulletin of The New York C. S. Lewis Society, Nov/Dec 2007.

External links[edit]