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William A. Dyrness

Dean Emeritus and Senior Professor of Theology and Culture

As senior faculty at Fuller, this professor primarily mentors students and only occasionally, if ever, teaches courses.

BA, Wheaton College
BD, Fuller Theological Seminary
DThéol, University of Strasbourg
Doctorandus, Free University, Amsterdam
Postdoctoral study, Cambridge University

Courses Taught

PH510: Christian Apologetics
ST501, 502, 503: Systematic Theology 1, 2, 3
ST860/560: Theology and Culture
ST588: Theology of Africa, Asia, and Latin America
TC516: Theology, Worship, and Art
TC519: Medieval Art and Theology (taught in Orvieto)
TC546: Contemporary Theological Issues in Worship and the Arts
TC849/549: A Theology of General Revelation
TC860/560: Theology and Culture Seminar
TC862/562: Dante’s Comedy in the Context of Medieval Art and Theology
TC864/564: A Theology of Beauty
TC865/565: Worship and Culture
TC866/566: Aesthetic Theology and Postmodern Culture
MT501: Doing Theology in Global Contexts
MT543: Theology in Global Perspective
MT701/801: Methods in Mission Theology

Campus Affiliations

Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts

Visual Faith Institute of Art and Architecture

Center for Advanced Theological Studies

Areas of Expertise

Theology and culture (especially theology and the visual arts), Protestant vision since the Reformation in relation to the visual arts, non-Western theology, Christian apologetics, global theology, interfaith aesthetics

“Understanding our culture and Christianity’s relationship to it can only be approached from inside our particular lived situation. Our challenge is not a theoretical one, how to reconcile the idea of Christianity with some theory of culture, but a practical one.”


William Dyrness, in his book The Earth Is God’s: A Theology of American Culture.


William Dyrness, professor of theology and culture, joined the Fuller faculty in 1990 and served as dean of the School of Theology from 1990 to 2000. He teaches courses in theology, culture, and the arts, and was a founding member of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts. 

Dr. Dyrness has over 30 years of teaching experience in the United States, the Philippines, Kenya, and South Korea. He has published work in a variety of fields, including theology and culture, apologetics, theology and art, and global missions. More recent works include The Facts on the Ground: A Wisdom Theology of Culture (2022), The Origins of Protestant Aesthetics in Early Modern Europe: Calvin’s Reformation Poetics (2019), Modern Art and the Life of a Culture (coauthored with Jonathan Anderson, 2016), Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements (2016), Theology without Borders: An Introduction to Global Conversations (coauthored with Oscar García-Johnson, 2015), The Senses of Devotion: Interfaith Aesthetics in Buddhist and Muslim Communities (2012), Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life (2010), A Primer of Christian Worship (2009), Global Dictionary of Theology (coedited with Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, 2008), and Senses of the Soul: Art and the Visual in Christian Worship (2008).

He has also served on the national boards of Christians in the Visual Arts (Wenham, MA; 1999–2005), and Development Associates International (Colorado Springs, CO; 2002–2010), and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

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