Gordon College Appoints New CFI Director

Gordon College is pleased to announce the selection of Rev. Dr. William D. Barker ’98 as Director of the Center for Faith and Inquiry (CFI) and the Gordon Honors Program. CFI is devoted to promoting vibrant faith and serious intellectual life through lectures, conferences, discussions and events. Barker will succeed Dr. Thomas Albert Howard, who served at Gordon for the past 16 years.

Barker is the lead pastor at LifePoint Church in Quincy, Illinois. As the first full-time employee, he has been a catalyst for the church’s fivefold growth over the last six years. He is also an adjunct professor in the Theology and Philosophy Department at Quincy University, a commissioned officer (Captain) in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and president of the Board of Directors at Horizons Social Services, a Christian social services agency that he founded to help those in need in the Quincy community.

Proficient in more than 15 languages, Barker authored the forthcoming book The Eschatological Banquet in the Hebrew Bible, Early Judaism and Christianity as well as Isaiah’s Kingship Polemic: An Exegetical Study in Isaiah 24-27 and numerous scholarly articles, and was a contributing author to Zondervan’s NIV Archaeological Study Bible.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bill Barker back to the Gordon community,” said President Michael Lindsay. “Bill is an exceptional scholar, teacher, pastor and entrepreneur, and I am confident that his diverse global experience will serve our students well as they seek Christ in the world of ideas. I look forward to welcoming Bill and his family to campus and seeing how God will use his gifts at the helm of CFI and the Gordon Honors Program.”

Barker has been involved in pastoral ministry and teaching for more than 25 years. He taught most recently at The Buntain Theological College in Kolkata, India, and previously and taught at the University of Cambridge (England) and Culver-Stockton College (Canton, Missouri). He served in ministry at First Baptist Church (Carthage, Illinois) and Holy Trinity Anglican Church (Cambridge, England).

As a Gordon student, he was an undergraduate teaching assistant in political science, and an archaeology research and teaching assistant for Jerusalem University College, one of Gordon’s global programs. Later he served as a graduate teaching assistant and adjunct instructor in Gordon’s Biblical and Theological Studies Department.

“I am passionate about the Christian liberal arts,” Barker says. “Gordon College played an important role in fashioning that passion in my own life.” As he joins CFI, he says, “Our goal is to educate with a view to ministering to the needs of a lost and dying global community in the name of Jesus Christ.…We do this so that students might mature, and, in turn, might effect change in the world as leaders who serve sacrificially, and who advance the gospel with academic excellence and spiritual vibrancy.”

Barker double majored at Gordon College in biblical and theological studies and international affairs. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in ancient Middle Eastern languages and civilizations (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) at the University of Cambridge. He and his wife, Sara, are parents to Aidin (7) and Catharine (3), and are in the final stages of adopting a 6-month-old from India.

Barker will assume his role as director on July 18, 2016.