Chaplain and Director of Church Relations
The William E. Elliot, Jr. Chair in Christian Ministry
Rev. John Williams, Ph.D. is Chaplain and Director of Church Relations at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He received a B.A. in History and Philosophy from Austin College with honors in History in 1984; a Masters of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1987; and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University in 2004. His dissertation title was Between the Labyrinth and the Abyss: Presbyterians and Schism, 1837-1861.
Ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament by Grace Presbytery in 1988, Dr. Williams has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) at congregational, presbytery, synod, and General Assembly levels as well as through participation in ecumenical activities. He has served as Director of Church Relations at Austin College since 1993 and as College Chaplain since August 1, 2004. He was installed to the William E. Elliott, Jr. Chair in Christian Ministry in April 2005.
Dr. Williams has spoken at over 200 Presbyterian Youth and Adult events and has written several published articles about ministry with college students, youth, and young adults. He is founder and director of the Austin College ACtivators (the Austin College Mobile Youth Ministry Team). Since 1995, the ACtivators program has involved 500 Austin College students who have traveled over 153,000 total miles to plan and lead 574 ministry events in 13 states involving over 46,000 youth, children, college students, and adults.
John is married to Linnea and they are the parents of Emily and Joseph.
Church Relations Sermons
- The Hard Hat (August ’19)
- Remember Who All This Is For (August ’18)
- Write the Vision (Aug. ’16)
- Attention (Aug. ’15)
- Hopping on Snakes and Scorpions (Aug. ’14)
- Seek the Welfare of the City (Aug. ’13)
- Benediction Manuscript (Aug. ’11)
- Anticipating Reminiscence (Aug. ’10)
- Homesick and Surrounded By Weirdos (Aug. ’10)
- Holy Ground (Aug. ’09)
- Seven Values (Aug. ’09)
- Honor, Accompany, and Invite (Aug. ’08)
- Phronesis of Kenosis (Aug. ’08)