Dr. Samuel J. Youngs

Sam Youngs
Dr. Samuel J. Youngs

Dean of Humanities & Christian Studies/ Associate Professor of Christian Studies/ Director of Accreditation & Assessment


Direct Office Phone: 423-775-7514

Field of Study: Christian Studies

Office: Christian Studies Department

Academic Degrees
  • Ph.D. in Theology & Religious Studies, King's College London
  • M.A. in Religion (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, S. Hamilton, Massachusetts) with additional graduate coursework at Harvard Divinity School, Boston University, and Boston College
  • B.A. in Religious Studies & Literature (University of South Florida)


Dr. Sam Youngs was born and raised in Bradenton, Florida. He attended the University of South
Florida, earning a double major in Creative Writing and Religious Studies. For graduate school,
he attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, earning his M.A. in
Religion on their historic South Hamilton campus. His time at GCTS also enabled his
participation in the Boston Theological Institute, where he was able to take courses at Boston
College, Boston University, and Harvard Divinity School.

Sam met his wife Anna while working summer camps at Bryan College, and this was his first
exposure to the Bryan community. Sam started working at Bryan in several part-time capacities
in 2011. While serving in these roles, he earned his Ph.D. in Theology & Religious Studies from
King’s College London. He and Anna live in Chattanooga, TN, and now have five children.
Dr. Youngs’ academic expertise includes modern and postmodern theology, world religions,
church history, theological hermeneutics, contextual theology, as well as the thought of Martin
Luther and Jürgen Moltmann.

Publications, Research, & Editing

  • Academic Monograph: Making Christ Real: The Peril and Promise of Kenosis. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2022.
  • Book: Way of the Kenotic Christ: The Christology of Jürgen Moltmann. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2019.
  • Article: “Therapeutic Atonement? A Psychological Paradigm of the Cross in Dialogue with Martin Luther.” Anglican Theological Review, 102.3 (Summer 2020).
  • Article: “Renovating Evangelical Exclusivism: Toward an Assessment and Synthesis of Recent Paradigms.” Trinity Journal, Vol. 36.1 (May 2015): pp. 91-111. [peer reviewed]
  • Article: “Natur, Gnade, und Nein! Barth and Brunner – Swiss Theologians in Conflict.” Swiss American Historical Society Review, Vol. 51.1 (February 2015): pp. 31-52.
  • Article: “Creatio Ex Amore Dei: Creation out of Nothing and God’s Relational Nature.” The Asbury Journal, Vol. 69.2 (October 2014): pp. 165-186.
  • Article: "Grace Might Reign: Understandings of Sin and Grace as Means of Christian-Muslim Interreligious Dialogue." Hope's Reason: A Journal of Apologetics, Vol. 3.1. February, 2013. pp. 7-21.
  • Article: "Inter-religious Concerns and Theological Method: Exploring the New Comparative Theology." American Theological Inquiry, Vol. 6.1. January, 2013. pp. 85-97.
  • Article: “Exploring Narrative Pedagogy: Story, Teaching, and the Development of Virtue,” International Journal of Christian Education. Volume 25.1 (Spring 2021): 18-30.
  • Article: “The Frontier of Comparative Theology.” The Journal of Comparative Theology, Vol. 1.1 (March 2010), pp. 1-10.
  • Article: “The Marvelous Combat: Psychiatric Disability, Martin Luther, and Therapeutic Atonement,” Journal of Disability and Religion. March 2023. DOI: 10.1080/23312521.2023.2197423.
  • Article: “Transcript of Submission: Jesus as Fated Victim of Divine Violence in the Old Saxon Heliand,” Religions 12:306 (April 2021).
  • Article: “Wounds of the Emptied God: The Role of Kenosis at the Cross in the Christologies of Jürgen Moltmann and Sergius Bulgakov.” American Theological Inquiry, Vol 4.2 Fall 2011) pp. 45-58.
  • Article: “Ways to Sin: Thinking About Hamartiology and Trauma with Moltmann.” In The Other Journal 33 (January 2022).
  • M.A. Thesis: “The Agon of Truth and Method in the New Comparative Theology.”
  • Book Chapter: “By It, We See Everything Else: The Explanatory Value of Christianity for Meaning and Ethics.” Essay published in anthology: True Reason: Christian Responses to the Challenge of Atheism. Edited by Tom Gilson and Carson Weitnauer. Published by Patheos Press, 2012.
  • Review of: Bonhoeffer’s Religionless Christianity in Its Christological Context By Peter Hooton, Lanham. Maryland, Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2020. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 28.3 (July 2021): 282-286.
  • Review of Mimesis and Atonement: René Girard and the Doctrine of Salvation Edited by Michael Kirwan and Sheelah Treflé Hidden. Bloomsbury, 2017. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 26.3 (July 2019): 448-451.
  • Review of Understanding Celtic Religion: Revisiting the Pagan Past Edited by Katja Ritari and Alexandra Bergholm. University of Wales Press, 2015. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 26.1 (January 2019): 139-141.
  • Review of The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies By Michel Serres. Bloomsbury, 2016. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 24.4 (October 2017): 794-797.
  • Review of All Things New: The Trinitarian Nature of the Human Calling in Maximus the Confessor and Jürgen Moltmann. By Brock Bingaman. James Clark, 2015. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 23.2 (April 2016): 116-118.
  • Review of Ways of Meeting and the Theology of Religions By David Cheetham. Ashgate, 2013. American Theological Inquiry, 7.2 (August 2014): 47-50.
  • Review of Pneumatology and the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue By Amos Yong. Brill, 2012. American Theological Inquiry, 6.2 (July 2013): 91-94.
  • Review of Polydoxy: Theology of Multiplicity and Relation Eds. Catherine Keller & Laurel Schneider. Routledge, 2012. Reviews in Religion and Theology, 20.2. (March 2013): 261-264.
  • Review of Ernst Troeltsch and Comparative Theology By Echol Nix. Peter Lang Publishing, 2010. Journal of Religious History, 36.4 (December 2012): 610-611.
  • Review of Monks and Muslims: Shi'a and Monastic Spirituality in Dialogue Eds. Mohammad Ali Shomali & Fr. William Skudlarek. Liturgical Press, 2012. American Theological Inquiry, 6.1 (January 2013): 85-88.
  • Review of Interreligious Hermeneutics Edited by Catherine Cornille and Christopher Conway. Cascade Books, 2010. Journal of Comparative Theology (February, 2012).
  • Review of Realism in Religion: A Pragmatist’s Perspective By Robert Cummings Neville. SUNY Press, 2010. Philosophia Christi, 13.2. (Winter 2011): 468-474.
  • Review of The New Comparative Theology: Voices from the Next Generation Edited by Francis X. Clooney. T & T Clark, 2010. Journal of Comparative Theology, February 2011. Review available online: www.comparativetheology.org
  • Review of For God So Loved, He Gave: Entering the Movement of Divine Generosity By Kelly Kapic. Zondervan, 2010. American Theological Inquiry, 4.2 (October, 2010): 72-74.
  • Review of Comparative Theology: Deep Learning Across Religious Borders By Francis X. Clooney. Oxford University Press, 2010. American Theological Inquiry, 3.2. (July 2010): 121-123.

Conference & Workshop Presentations

  • “Holy Harm: Considering Theologized Trauma.” Richmont Graduate University Integration Series. April 10, 2023.
  • “Trauma’s Witness to Christ; Christ’s Witness to Trauma.” Co-presented with Anna Downer Youngs. Christian Formation Workshop. Bryan College, March 2023.
  • “The Marvelous Combat: Martin Luther, Atonement, and Psychiatric Disability.” Annual Meeting, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting (Denver, CO: Nov. 2022) Systematic Theology Unit.
  • “When Doctrine Does Damage: Exploring Theologized Trauma.” Annual Meeting, American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting (Denver, CO: Nov. 2022) Open & Relational Theology Unit.
  • “Mythic and Parabolic Pedagogy: Narrative Models in Teaching.” Session presented at the Institute for Faith & Learning (Baylor University), October 2019.
  • “Engaging the Baha’i Faith: Christology and Interreligious Dialogue.” (March 2015) Paper Presented at the Southeastern Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society
  • Moderator for “Systematic Theology: General Session.” (November 2015) National Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (Atlanta, GA)
  • “Christ Found Where? Transformation Theology & Christological Considerations.” (March 2015). Paper Presented at the Southeastern Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society
  • “The Kenosis of Christ and the World’s Transformation.” (June 2014) King’s College (London) - Postgraduate Theology Seminar
  • “Toward a New Evangelical Interpretation of Religious Others.” (March 2014) Paper Presented at the Southeastern Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society
  • “Creatio ex amore Dei: Creation out of Nothing and God’s Relational Nature.” (March 2013) Paper Presented at the Southeastern Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society
  • “Comparative Theology: Introduction, Issues, and History.” (February 2011) Paper Presented at the 4th Bi-annual Meeting of the Gordon-Conwell Theology Forum.
  • “Process Theology and Open Theism: Models of Relational Providence.” (February 2011) Guest Lecture, Systematic Theology II class, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
  • “Theories of the Atonement: Theological and Cultural Considerations.” (April 2011) Guest Lecture, Systematic Theology I class, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

The deep sense of community at Bryan College has always left a lasting impression on me. It's truly remarkable how the College embraces and values the liberal arts. I greatly appreciate the broad evangelical identity of the institution, which encourages diverse viewpoints to come together and engage in vibrant dialogue. This commitment to mutual learning is what makes Bryan College a special place.

— Dr. Samuel Youngs

Dean of Humanities & Christian Studies  |  Christian Studies  | 

Christian Studies Department
721 Bryan Drive
Dayton, TN 37321
Mercer 234, Box #7804

Office Phone: 423-775-7245