Botner Accepts Position As Assistant Professor of New Testament


by Kristina Garvelink (M.S. ’15)

Dr. Max Botner, assistant professor of New Testament, is scheduled to join the seminary's faculty in the new academic year. Relocating to Michigan from Germany, Botner expressed excitement for his appointment and the opportunity to invest in the institution's Christ-centered, student-focused learning community.

"I am a firm believer in the ethos that the seminary has cultivated among the administration, faculty, staff and students," Botner said. "I feel blessed to be part of a community that not only values diversity but also actively seeks to grow in the ways it promotes and reflects the manifold nature of Christ's church.

"My philosophy of teaching is rooted in the biblical story, which has its center and end in Christ. Simply put, my aim is to train others to embody the disposition of Jesus the Messiah, the one who reveals to us what it means to be God's image-bearing royal priests."

Botner holds a master's degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctorate from the University of St. Andrews. His career includes experience as a postdoctoral researcher, lecturer and author. He was also a research assistant for professor N.T. Wright.

"When I began my studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, I did so with the assumption that I would be in classrooms filled with pastors," Botner said. "What I encountered instead were classrooms full of men and women from all walks of life and with a wide array of vocational goals. It was there that I first recognized what should have been obvious to me all along: seminaries exist to serve and to edify the richly multifarious body of Christ.

"Karl Barth once rejoiced that the best theologians in the congregation are often the laity. I too rejoice whenever I see men and women pursuing theological education for the sake of kingdom work. That's what seminary is all about: learning to see all of reality through the lens of the gospel of Christ. And that's for everyone."

Outside of the classroom, Botner enjoys sharing life with his wife and three children, reading and watching basketball.