Brent P. Waters

Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Professor of Christian Social Ethics

Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values


  • B.A., University of Redlands
  • M.Div., D. Min., Claremont School of Theology
  • D.Phil., University of Oxford

An Exhilarating, Humbling, and Challenging Adventure

Christian ethics is an exhilarating, humbling, and challenging adventure. It is exhilarating because the ethical challenges we face in the contemporary world often encompass a vast range of both life-affirming and life-threatening issues. Will recent advances in various technologies, for instance, be used to enrich a quality of life for all of earth's inhabitants, or will these same technologies be used to create more sophisticated weapons of mass destruction? Christian ethics is also often humbling, however, because so much of the moral life is lived-out in the ordinary and routine patterns of daily living. What are my duties and responsibilities to loved ones? Should I extend hospitality to strangers? How should I treat neighbors near and far? Most significantly, Christian ethics is always challenging because it requires interpreting the moral implications of the gospel in and to a diverse and rapidly changing world. Consequently, Christian ethics must strive for intellectual vigor while also enabling the church's witness and ministry in a faithful manner. How do we order our lives and our life together under the sovereignty, love, and grace of the triune God?

My principal research interests are in the areas of Christian social and political thought, bioethics, and the relationship among theology, science, and technology.