Faculty & Staff

Dr. Gary Selby

Professor of Ministerial Formation

B. D. Phillips Building, 219
Contact via email

Education: Ph.D., BA., Harding University; M.Th., Harding University Graduate School of Religion; Special Studies in the Philosophy of Religion, Wesley Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Maryland

Ministry Experience: 27 years in local congregational ministry (preaching, youth and worship ministry); 15 years working with Christian camp programs in spiritual formation; 28 years in higher education

Gary S. Selby is Professor of Ministerial Formation at Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan, where he teaches courses in spiritual formation, preaching, leadership, and ministry. Before coming to Emmanuel in 2017, he was the Carl P. Miller Chair of Communication at Pepperdine University and Director of Pepperdine’s Center for Faith and Learning. While at Pepperdine, he established a summer cross-cultural study abroad program in East Africa, developed the COMMUNITAS Early Career Pastoral Leadership Program, and helped to launch the Pepperdine’s University Spiritual Life Committee.
Selby holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Communication from the University of Maryland and a Master of Theology from Harding University Graduate School of Religion. His research centers in early Christian rhetoric, the rhetoric of the civil rights movement, and Christian spirituality. In addition to numerous essays and book chapters, he is the author of three books, Martin Luther King and the Rhetoric of Freedom: The Exodus in America’s Struggle for Civil Rights (Baylor University Press, 2008), Not With Wisdom of Words: Nonrational Persuasion in the New Testament (Eerdmans Press, 2016), and Pursuing an Earthy Spirituality: C. S. Lewis and Incarnational Faith (InterVarsity Academic Press, 2019), Selby also spent 22 years in local pastoral ministry, first with the Silver Spring, Maryland Church of Christ, and then, beginning in 1985, for 19 years with the Church of Christ in Columbia, Maryland. For the last nine of those years, he was also on the faculty of George Washington University, teaching in their communication program.