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IFC Welcomes Theologian Pete Ward

February 12, 2024

Author and theologian Pete Ward, Ph.D., joins King’s Institute for Faith & Culture (IFC) for a diverse look at contemporary worship, pop culture, bluegrass, and the Church.

Ward, professor of Theology at Durham University in Durham, England, is the author of several books, including “Celebrity Worship,” “Introducing Practical Theology: Mission, Ministry, and the Life of the Church,” and “Liquid Ecclesiology: The Gospel and The Church.”

He will speak twice on Monday, Feb. 19, first to the campus community at 9:15 a.m. in King’s Memorial Chapel, and then at 7 p.m. at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in downtown Bristol, where he will present “Gospel Songs and the Gospel: A Theological Approach to Bluegrass.” The King University Bluegrass Band will join his presentations.

Thanks to a network of donors and friends, both events are free and open to the public.

Ward worked for more than 15 years as a Christian youth worker and then served for five years as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s advisor for Youth Ministry. In 1996, he joined King’s College London, where he established the doctoral and master’s programs in Theology and Ministry. In 2012, he became Professor of Theology and Ministry at King’s and is currently Chair of the Ecclesiology and Ethnography Network.

“Pete has a long-standing interest in cultural studies, theology, and pop culture, and these subjects blend together seamlessly in his work,” said Martin Dotterweich, Ph.D., director of the IFC. “We’re delighted that his broad sense of curiosity and passion for learning has led him to establish pivotal programs at King’s College and at Durham University, and that he’s traveling to share his views and insight with us here in Bristol.”

Additional IFC events in February include internationally recognized mezzo-soprano Andrea Baker in concert with composer and conductor Howard Moody on Monday, February 26. For additional details, visit

Since 2007, the King University Institute for Faith & Culture has welcomed widely recognized thinkers, authors, musicians, scholars, and philosophers to interact with students and a regional audience in a welcoming environment that catalyzes growth and understanding. The Institute serves as the standard bearer of the University’s long-time exploration of the liberal arts — in conjunction with King’s mission of equipping students to answer the call of excellence inherent in the Christian faith.

Theologian Pete Ward, Ph.D.