VTS Announces the Hiring of Dr. John Knight as Visiting Professor

Date: January 27, 2022

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announces that John Allan Knight, Ph.D. has been hired as the Sprigg Visiting Professor of philosophical theology and ethics and director of faculty research, effective January 1.

Knight previously taught at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where, until December 31, 2021, he was Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Coordinator of the Academic Lecture Series, and chair of the Marcellin Board for Catholic Studies. Knight recently co-edited the book The Craft of Innovative Theology: Argument and Process (2022, Wiley-Blackwell) with the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS.

“The new strategic plan makes research profile central. We are delighted that our first ever director of research is a distinguished scholar who is deeply committed to the life of the mind. We are looking forward to Dr. Knight working with the faculty to raise the profile of research that is happening here at Virginia Theological Seminary.”

The Craft of Innovative Theology delivers a thorough examination of the method of producing and writing creative theological theses and projects, explaining to students how to write elegant, innovative research-oriented articles. Each article includes an introduction by the editor that serves to guide the student through the material and elucidates what makes the work stand out as exceptional. The articles are also annotated to assist with the appreciation of the methodology and style used by the author. The Craft of Innovative Theology assists theology students in improving their research writing to a point where they’ll be ready for a Masters’ thesis or PhD dissertation and is an excellent resource for a research methods course in a graduate program.

In addition to co-editing The Craft of Innovative Theology, Knight is the author of Liberalism vs. Postliberalism: The Great Divide in Twentieth-Century Theology (Oxford, 2012), and several articles in both scholarly and popular journals. He is currently working on a book on religious freedom and the nature of religious claims.

Dr. Knight holds degrees from Southern Nazarene University and George Washington University Law School. After law school, Knight worked for several years as an associate attorney for a large firm in Washington, DC before accepting a position at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he argued and won several commodities fraud cases in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal. He then studied at the University of Chicago, earning both an M.Div. and a Ph.D.

In his new role at VTS, Knight will be working with faculty and students from the research lab that is now available on the first floor of Bohlen Hall, on the VTS campus.


Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online: www.vts.edu.

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