Faculty Member Steve McCormick

K. Steve McCormick

Professor of Historical Theology; William M. Greathouse Chair for Wesleyan-Holiness Theology

Faculty Member Steve McCormick

K. Steve McCormick

Professor of Historical Theology; William M. Greathouse Chair for Wesleyan-Holiness Theology
[email protected]

For the past 35 years I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach the Faith of Christ’s living Body—the Church. Early on in my teaching ministry, Jesus’ Great High Priestly Prayer for Unity took deep root in me. Christ’s prayer for unity is the mission of the Church, and that prayer became the pattern that formed my primary focus of teaching, as I learned how to exegete the Church’s Faith. Christ’s prayer of unity is the mission of the Church, and that prayer remains central to how I teach the Church’s Faith. I teach what I pray, and I pray what I teach. Soli de Gloria!

It has been said that some “work to eat,” while others “eat to work.” My motto is: I live to teach, and I teach to live another day, so I may teach about who and what I love. Now, I would teach for free if I could still eat to live, because I love to teach. . . Thanks be to God for God’s calling and blessing. This I desire and pray for all my students. I knew at a very early age what God was calling me to do, and early in my life I was blessed to know “whose” I am, and “what” I am to do. As the providence of God would lead and care for me, the Church became my family—both my biological family, and the entire house of God. This very Connexion of Triune Love in Christ’s living Body has formed me and the way(s) I have learned to teach. That is to say, I know that we all “belong” to each other, because God is permanently connected to us no matter what we do to disconnect from God. God’s desire to remain connected to us is always greater than our desire to pull away from God. That profound sense of belonging to God and to one another has taught me not only how to connect with students in the classroom, but it has taught me how to look for the patterns and connections of the Faith. I have long been curious to discover and share the ways the Triune God forms and informs the “rest” of our Faith. Looking for the connections in the space between the spaces of our Faith has kept me full of faith and imagination. For example, how does the permanent connection of heaven on earth inform and reform our faithful thinking about theodicy and atonement? How does God’s promise of Hope reshape not only how we think about New Creation, but how does this open-ended future of God’s promise shape how we think about history? How does the Way God became human reorder the Way the whole creation returns back to God in glory? Did I tell you that I love what I teach because what I teach is about the One to whom we all belong and the One I love? ☺

Besides teaching, I am most grateful to God for Tricia, my vision of loveliness, my best friend and soul mate for over 40 years of blissful marriage. Tricia brings grace to my grit. We both love to travel, share conversation, long walks in the woods, hiking in the Swiss Alps and Colorado Rockies. We both share a deep love for animals. I have a profound compassion for these beloved creatures. I share John Wesley’s sentiments that they are God’s proleptic promises of New Creation. When I look in the face of an animal I see God. The unconditional love of God that I have received from my dog Gus has caused me to stop eating them. Well, at least almost all of them, I still eat fish. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! Tricia has yet to share in my eating habits. ☺ We both love the liturgy and music of the Church, especially Church choral music. Tricia has been given the gift of singing the Church’s song, and I have been asked to stay silent and listen. ☺

“Triune Love: Theology of John Wesley,” (Abingdon Press, Fall 2018 or Spring 2019)

Publications & Presentations:
“Triune Love & the Methodist Practice of Connexionalism,” Paper to be presented at the 14th Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies, August 12-19, 2018.

Book Review of “Canonical Theism” in Wesleyan Theological Journal (2015)

Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology, “Theosis,” “Methodist Connexionalism.” (2013)

Invited by the Wesleyan Theological Society to write an article presentation response to Dr. Harold Koenig: “Religion, Spirituality and Health: Are they Connected?” This was a plenary session at Duke Divinity School in the Wesleyan Theological Society, March 2008. My article paper: “A Wesleyan Response: What does it mean to be Human?”

Book review article on Kenneth J. Collins, “The Theology of John Wesley: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” Abingdon Press, for Methodist History in June 2008 publication.

Wrote a brief theological biography of Catherine Mowry LaCugna for the newly revised New Dictionary of Theology at Inter-Varsity Press. (2008?)

Contributed a description of 6 Wesleyan theology terms (Conscience, The Fall of humanity, Image of God, Moral Image, Political image, natural image) for the new Wesley Studies Bible (WSB) published by Abingdon.

The 12th Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies, August 12-22, 2007: Presented Paper: “Discovering the Silent Orthodoxies of God’s Mission in the Notae Ecclesiae: John Wesley’s ‘Marked-Practices’ of the Missio Dei.”

Interpreters Bible Life, “John Wesley’s Doctrine of Assurance,” May 30, 2007.

Free University of Amsterdam: Presented Paper, “Rethinking John Wesley’s ‘Marked-Practices’ of
Renewal in the Church, April 5, 2007.

Global Theology Conference II in the Netherlands: Presented paper: “The Church after the Likeness of the Holy Trinity is the Church after the Missio Dei,” March 31-April 4, 2007.

M7 Conference at Bartle Hall Convention Center in Kansas City: Led workshop entitled, “Current Trends in Wesleyan Theology,” February 21, 2007

Reviewed the proposal: Cambridge Companion to John Wesley, by Randy Maddox and Jason Vickers. January 22, 2007. (Requested by Andy Beck the Commissioning Editor, Religious Studies Cambridge University Press).

Holiness Today, Wrote Editorial Piece, “Wesley comes within a hairs breadth of Calvinism,” June 2007.

Encyclopedia of History. (Mark Whitter, editor) “The Early Methodism of John and Charles Wesley,” April, 30, 2006.

Nazarene Theology Seminary: Narrative Theology Symposium, Kansas City, MO: “How Narrative Shapes Theology,” Nazarene Theological Seminary, Feb. 2006.

Nazarene Theology Seminary Installation Address—William M. Greathouse Chair of Wesleyan-Holiness Theology, Kansas City, MO: “Easter Faith & Entire Sanctification,” Nazarene Theological Seminary, April 25, 2006.

Greek Orthodox & the United Methodist Church Symposium on the Marks of the Church, St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, Crestwood, New York: Participated in a weeklong consultation on Ecclesiology in the Orthodox and Wesleyan Tradition. January 2006. (By invitation of the Greek Orthodox & the United Methodist Church.)

Evangelical Theological Society, PA:“A Trinitarian Synopsis of Theosis and Poverty in the Soteriologic of Chrysostom and Wesley,” ETS, November 16-18, 2005.

Wesleyan Theological Society, Seattle, WA: “The Church, Icon of the Holy Trinity? Exploring Ecclesiology through the Heresies of Love,” WTS, March 2-6, 2005. (Published in Fall WTJ, 2006)

Nazarene Theology Seminary Induction Address, Kansas City, MO: “The Living Faith of the Dead,” Nazarene Theological Seminary, November 5, 2004.

Nazarene Theology Conference, Kansas City, MO: “Holy God, Holy People.” Nazarene Theological Seminary, December 3, 2004.

Rothwell Holiness Lectures, Bethany, OK: “Becoming By Grace What God Is By Nature: Trinitarian Reflections on the Doctrine of Holiness.” Southern Nazarene University, February 16-18, 2004.

Gordon College, Wenham, MA: “Loving God with Heart and Mind in the 21st Century.” As an invited guest to represent the Wesleyan tradition, I participated in a 2 day Scholarly Colloquium. This was an ecumenical dialogue in a public forum with Dr. N.T. Wright, Canon of Westminster Abbey. April 28-29, 2003.

Millennium 3 Conference on Evangelism, Nashville, TN: As an invited guest to the Theology section of the Conference, sponsored by Nazarene Theological Seminary, I gave a theological response to a paper presented by Tom Noble (professor of systematic theology at NTS) on the Trinity and the Church. February 4-6, 2003.

Encyclopedia of Protestantism, Routledge Press, 2003. Francis Asbury.

Quarterly Review. (Fall 2003) The Wesleyan Tradition: A Paradigm for Renewal, edited by Paul W. Chilcote.

The Elusive Mr. Wesley, Richard Heitzenrater. Spring, 2003. At Richard Heitzenrater’s request, I wrote one of the endorsement paragraphs for the back cover of this 2nd edition.

Eleventh Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies, Oxford, England. Paper: The Two Hands of God, The Means of Grace & The Hope of Glory: A Trinitarian Outline of the New Creation in the Theologies of Irenaeus and Wesley. August 13-22, 2002.

Greek Orthodox & the United Methodist Church Symposium, Crete, Greece: Participated in a weeklong consultation on Scripture and Tradition in the Orthodox and Wesleyan Tradition. July 31-August 7, 2002. (By invitation of the Greek Orthodox & the United Methodist Church.)

Society for the Study of Psychology and Wesleyan Theology hosted by Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California. Conference theme: “Between Nature & Grace II: Wesley’s ‘Healing Vision’ in Communities of Faith.” Paper entitled: The Graced-Patterns of Triune Love: The Means of Grace and the Way of Salvation. March 29-31, 2001.

Wesley Theological Society hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University, Indiana. Presidential Address: The Heresies of Love: Toward a Spirit-Christ Ecclesiology of Triune Love. March 2-3, 2001.

Greek Orthodox & the United Methodist Church Symposium, Bristol, England: Presented paper entitled, Thy Nature, and Thy Name is Love: Transcripts of the Trinity and the Means of Grace, and served as facilitator of discussion group. Topic: Worship and Devotional Life in the Orthodox and Wesleyan Traditions. July 16-20, 2000. (By invitation of the Greek Orthodox & the United Methodist Church.)

St. Vladimir’s Seminary: Facilitator of discussion group. Topic: The Trinity and Wesleyan Spirituality. January 2-10, 1999. (By invitation of the Greek Orthodox & the United Methodist Church.)

Theology Today. Volume 56, No. 3, October 1999. A Book Note of Ken Collins,’ “John Wesley’s Scripture Way of Salvation: The Heart of John Wesley’s Theology.”

Tenth Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies, Oxford England. Paper: Transcripts of the Trinity: The Mystery & Meaning of Persons-In-Communion. August 1997.

Wesley Center, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA. Paper: Transcripts of the Holy Trinity: The Mystery and Meaning of Persons. January 1997.

Grace in the Academic Community: Festschrift for Cecil R. Paul. Edited by, Maxine E. Walker. Point Loma Press: San Diego, California, 1996. Chapter entitled: “A Trinitarian Paradigm of Theosis: A Context for the Emergence of a Wesleyan Notion of Christ Transfiguring Culture.”

A Festschrift for Rob L Staples. Chapter entitled: “Participation in God: The Epworth-Canterbury-Constantinople Trail.” Jan. 1996

Assumption College, Worcester, MA. Roman Catholic & Protestant Dialogue on the New Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. I was invited back to serve as a Panelist of an open forum discussing the topic: Prayer in the new Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church. I also presented a paper entitled: Transcripts of the Trinity: Theosis & Prayer in a Wesleyan Mode. April 8, 1995.

Assumption College: I was invited to serve as a panelist representing the Wesleyan tradition in an open forum dialogue on: The New Catechism. November 12, 1994.

Assumption College: I made a Seminar presentation and served as a facilitator of a discussion group at the Conference on "Faith Seeking Understanding with the Catechism of the Catholic Church." Topic: "Evangelicals and Catholics Together." November 12, 1994.

University of Bucharest: “The Orthodox Roots in the Life & Thought of John Wesley,” January 1994.

Romania Church of the Nazarene Missions: “The Orthodox Roots in the Life & Thought of John Wesley,” January 1994.

Illustrated Bible Life. Subject: Ancient Jewish rituals related to the dedication of the first-born son. (August 3, 1993).

Biblical Resources for Holiness Preaching: From Text To Sermon, Edited by H. Ray Dunning. Vol. 2. Beacon Hill: Kansas City, Missouri, 1993. Chapter entitled: "The Cross of Discipleship." This was an exegesis of Matthew 10:34-39.

The Eighth Theology Conference: Theology in the Service of the Church, Kansas City, Missouri. Presented paper entitled: A Trinitarian Paradigm of Theosis: A Context for the Emergence of a Wesleyan Notion of Christ Transfiguring Culture. Spring, 1992.

Eastern Nazarene College: “A Crisis of Identity in the Wesleyan-Arminian-Holiness Tradition,” (Faculty Lecture) Winter, 1992.

Wesley Theological Society, Kansas City, Missouri. Paper: Theosis in Chrysostom and Wesley: An Eastern Paradigm on Faith and Love. Fall, 1990.

England/Scotland Lecture-Tour: “Tour of Wesley’s England,” Spring, 1990.

Eastern Nazarene College: “Theosis: Wesley’s Third Alternative between the Protestant ethic of Grace and the Roman Catholic ethic of Holiness,” (Faculty Lecture), Spring, 1990.

American Academy of Religion in Wesley Studies Group Session, Anaheim, California. Presented paper entitled: “Faith Filled with the Energy of Love: A Forgotten Strand of Theosis in Chrysostom, Recovered By Wesley.” Fall, 1989.

Switzerland Lecture-Tour: “In the Steps of the Reformers,” Spring, 1989.

Eastern Nazarene College: “Tradition in A Wesleyan Mode: A Comment,” (Faculty Lecture), Spring, 1988.

Dutch Nazarene District Assembly: “The Place of Entire Sanctification in Wesley’s Theology” (Rotterdam, Holland), Spring, 1987.


Ph.D., Drew University
M.Phil., Drew University
M.Div., Nazarene Theological Seminary
M.A., Southern Nazarene University
B.A., Southern Nazarene University

Academic Affiliations

American Academy of Religion
Member of Methodist Review Editorial Board
Wesleyan Theological Society, Chair Systematic Theology
Eastern Orthodox Studies Group

Teaching/Research Interests

The Development of Christian Doctrine; Ecumenism; Trinity, Ecclesiology, Atonement, Patristic Theology.

Classes Taught

Heritage of the Christian Church 1
History of Christian Thought 1-2
History of Christian Doctrine 1-2
Systematic Theology 1-2
The Doctrine of the Trinity
Theology of Jürgen Moltmann
The Life & Thought of Irenaeus
Life & Thought of Martin Luther
Theology of Atonement
Persons in Community
Life & Thought of John Wesley
Wesleyan Spiritual Practice for Ministry
Christian Ethics


Elder, Church of the Nazarene

Local Church Involvement

Teaching, Preaching, Sacraments, Christian Formation & Catechism, Theological Consultant with other Church traditions in the KC area.

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