James O. Wolfe III, Ph.D.

 James O. Wolfe III is Walter Rauschenbusch Professor of Pastoral Studies and Church History and Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Pontiac, Illinois where he has served since 1990. Prior to serving in Illinois, Wolfe served churches in New Jersey. Dr. Wolfe is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches/USA. He holds the M.Div. and D. Min. degrees from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and the Ph. D. in Theological Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation. His focus in study and writing is on the role of women as pastors in the local church. Based on personal experience, Biblical and academic study Dr. Wolfe is a strong proponent for the role of women in the pastoral ministry. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, he serves as an adjunct professor of Baptist history and polity at Northern Baptist Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He resides with his wife, Janet in Pontiac, Illinois. Dr. Wolfe is a member of The American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region which is comprised of 50,000 members in 242 diverse congregations representing many ethnic backgrounds. American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region is a resource for challenging, empowering, assisting and representing the American Baptist faith communities in Illinois and Missouri. The American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region has produced an online version of Wolfe’s research and findings.  The online course includes video interviews with the author as well as women serving in denominational leadership positions.  Dr. J. Dwight Stinnett, Regional Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region is also featured.  The online course may be viewed at:

  • American Baptist Women in Pastoral Ministry: A Contemporary Survey
  • Mark’s Gospel in Music, Art and Literature. Student essay in “Foundation Theology” 2005.
Religious Affiliation
  • American Baptist Churches in the USA (ordained)
General Areas of Interest
  • Theology
  • Pastoral Care
  • Biblical Studies
  • Women’s Issues
Areas of Service
  • Online Courses
Online Course Offering
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