Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn Appointed as Professor of Church History and Theology

Renowned scholar of the Westminster Assembly to return to RTS residential faculty

Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn
Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Board of Trustees of Reformed Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn to the faculty of RTS Charlotte. Dr. Van Dixhoorn will serve as Professor of Church History and Theology beginning August 1, 2023.

Dr. Van Dixhoorn returns to RTS from Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside, Pa., where he served as Professor of Church History and Director of the Craig Center for the Study of the Westminster Standards. Previously, he held positions as Associate Professor of Church History at RTS Washington and as RTS Chancellor’s Professor of Historical Theology.

“I could not be more pleased to welcome Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn to the faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte,” said Dr. Michael Kruger, RTS Charlotte President. “Chad’s expertise in church history and the Westminster Assembly is unparalleled. His love for the church and Reformed theology embodies the RTS ethos: ‘a mind for truth and a heart for God.’”

Chancellor Ligon Duncan added his welcome: “It is a delight and encouragement to have Chad Van Dixhoorn back ‘home’ with us at Reformed Theological Seminary. I have enjoyed a friendship with Chad for many years, and have admired both his scholarship and churchmanship. I often tell our RTS students that I have been studying the Westminster Standards professionally and academically for 40 years now, which qualifies me to have a halfway intelligent conversation with Chad on the subject!

“I have personally benefited from Chad’s work, and RTS has long supported his efforts at westminsterassembly.org so the opportunity to work with him on these things as an RTS colleague again is a delightful prospect. Of course, it will be our students who gain the most from Chad. He is not only a terrific classroom lecturer, but also an attentive mentor, and pastor-scholar who cares about practical theology. Additionally, he and Emily are legendary in showing hospitality to seminarians.”

Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn

Dr. Van Dixhoorn is a leading expert on the work of the Westminster Assembly. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in recognition of his five-volume work The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643-1653 (Oxford University Press). He is currently working on a major monograph on the Westminster Assembly, having recently completed an edition of John Lightfoot’s journals, published with Oxford University Press earlier this year.

Dr. Van Dixhoorn’s appointment comes almost exactly one year after the announcement of the RTS Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), termed “Reaching Our Standards.” Submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2022, the QEP introduced a collaborative effort to integrate the study of the Westminster Standards more consistently into the seminary’s MDiv curriculum.

“Dr. Van Dixhoorn’s arrival at RTS dovetails well with our five-year project to better integrate the Westminster Standards into the curriculum, especially in the pastoral theology courses,” said Dr. Robert Cara, RTS Provost. “In addition to teaching church history, as one would expect from a world-famous historian on the Westminster Assembly, Dr. Van Dixhoorn will also teach some systematic and pastoral theology courses. This will be a treat for the students because they will benefit from Dr. Van Dixhoorn’s broad interests.”

After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, Dr. Van Dixhoorn was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the British Academy. He also studied at Westminster Theological Seminary (MDiv, Th.M.) and Huron College, The University of Western Ontario (B.A.). He was a member of the Faculty of History of the University of Cambridge and held two fellowships at Wolfson College, Cambridge. Since 2013, Dr. Van Dixhoorn has also served as an honorary research fellow at the University of East Anglia in the U.K., and since 2023 as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.

Ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Dr. Van Dixhoorn has served as a pastor at Cambridge Presbyterian Church in the U.K. and at Grace Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Va. He and his wife Emily have five children and look forward to making Charlotte their home.

“I’m eager to join the faculty and staff of RTS in preparing students for service to Christ,” said Dr. Van Dixhoorn. “The commitment of the seminary’s leadership to doctrinal faithfulness and academic excellence is confidence-inspiring for an incoming professor, and I look forward to many fruitful years in Charlotte.”