Theology and Philosophy

Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry and Professor
School of Theology and Christian Ministry
Theology and Philosophy
Ph.D., 2000, St. Louis University
M.Div., 1982, Nazarene Theological Seminary
B.A., 1977, Olivet Nazarene University

Rev. Mark R. Quanstrom, Ph.D. is the Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, since June 1, 2015. He is also the Senior Pastor of  College Church of the Nazarene, University Avenue, since June 22, 2014.

Prior to becoming Dean, Dr. Quanstrom was a full-time Professor of Theology, Philosophy and Practical Ministry at Olivet. Currently, he teaches Wesleyan-Holiness Theology and Pastoral Care and Counseling.

He received a B.A. from Olivet Nazarene University, an M.Div from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Historical Theology, from St. Louis University.  He is the author of two books and numerous articles. His doctoral dissertation was published in 2004 by Beacon Hill Press under the title "A Century of Holiness Theology," which some consider to be one of the publisher's landmark publications. His second book, "From Grace to Grace," is an exploration of the call to holiness and was published by Beacon Hill Press in 2011.

Prior to coming to Olivet, he was the pastor at First Church of the Nazarene, Belleville, Illinois, for 23 years. During that time, he was an online instructor for Nazarene Bible College; an adjunct professor for European Nazarene College, director of the Illinois District School of Ministry; and served on the Illinois District Advisory Board. From 2009 to 2014, he was the University Campus Pastor of College Church of the Nazarene.

From 2003 until 2010, Dr. Quanstrom was president of Olivet's Alumni Association and served on the Board of Trustees. He received Olivet’s “Ministerial O” Award in 2012.

He and his wife, Debi (Lucas), are the parents of three sons: Lukas, married to Rachel (Studebaker), who are parents of Gabriel, Reuben, Julian and Milo; Ryan, married to Emily (Benson), who are parents of Eloise; and Daniel, married to Kayla (Luna).

School of Theology and Christian Ministry
Theology and Philosophy
Ph.D., 1981, Baylor University
M.Div., 1977, Nazarene Theological Seminary
M.A., 1975, Southern Nazarene University
B.A., 1974, Southern Nazarene University

Dr. Smith came from First Church of the Nazarene in Cleveland, Oklahoma, to join Olivet's faculty in 1982. At Olivet, his major teaching assignments have included History of Christianity, the Church of the Nazarene, World Religions, Islamic Studies, and Theology for Laypersons. Currently, he teaches in the Department of Theology & Philosophy. 

His educational background includes Southern Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and Baylor University, where he earned his doctoral degree in the history of religions with a concentration in the history of Christianity. 

He has presented papers at the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the Wesleyan Theological Society. These papers have studied American church historiography, John Wesley and world religions, the theologies of John Wesley and Jonathan Edwards and the Church of the Nazarene. In 2002, Dr. Smith participated in the Nazarene Global Theology Conference, where he presented a paper on "Nazarene Identity: Past and Present," comparing the formal statements on Nazarene identity of the past with the understanding of Nazarene identity by current Nazarene college students. He is currently studying the Church of the Nazarene during the period 1900 to 1940. In May 2012 he presented a paper entitled "Early Glimpses of Women in Ministry within early holiness organizations and the Church of the Nazarene" for the conference "Women, the Church and Ministry: Celebrating 100 Years of Women's Ordination in the UK," held at the University of Glasgow. In 2015 and 2016 he presented papers on the relationship between the Church of the Nazarene and Pentecostalism. 

Outside the classroom, he enjoys running, cooking and reading. He and his wife, Marsha, have two adult married children and a grandson.

Associate Professor
School of Theology and Christian Ministry
Theology and Philosophy
M.A., 2011, George Fox Evangelical Seminary
B.A., 1999, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Professor Robertson joined the Olivet faculty in 2010 after serving eight years in pastoral ministry. He serves a dual role, teaching classes in both the Christian Ministry and Theology departments. He serves as the lead professor for Christian Formation (THEO-101) and is also the coordinator for the teaching assistantships in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry. He also teaches the Introduction to Christian Worship, Ecclesiology and Eschatology courses.

His years in ministry are marked by engagement with those who have a postmodern worldview. These interactions have given Professor Robertson a unique perspective from which to teach those preparing for ministry. He continues to be active in conversations that deal with the intersection of faith and culture. He is an influential voice among leaders on the region and has been an invited participant in theological dialogue at the denominational level.

He holds professional memberships in the Wesleyan Theological Society, Wesleyan Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Religion.

In his leisure time, Professor Robertson thrives in the outdoors — backpacking, kayaking, mountain biking and hunting are some of his favorite activities — especially in the Pacific Northwest.

He and his wife, Jenelle, share the love of traveling and being food connoisseurs. They enjoy discovering new restaurants together wherever they go. Their three sons, Zachary, Colton, and Bennett, round out the busy Robertson household.

Chair of Theology and Philosophy and Professor
School of Theology and Christian Ministry
Theology and Philosophy
Ph.D., 2004, University of Notre Dame
M.Div., 1993, Asbury Theological Seminary
B.A., 1987, Frostburg State University

Dr. Kevin Twain Lowery is Professor and Chair of the Department of Theology and Philosophy at Olivet Nazarene University. His academic specializations and interests include moral philosophy, Enlightenment thought (esp. Kant), and the interaction of ethics with science and religion. Dr. Lowery has published a number of scholarly articles and chapters, and he has authored two books – The Maturity of Belief: Critically Assessing Religious Faith and Salvaging Wesley’s Agenda: A New Paradigm for Wesleyan Virtue Ethics. Prominent Methodist scholars have referred to him as a “groundbreaking” author in Wesley research and as “a major contributor to the construction of new Wesleyan theologies for our day.”

Originally employed as an engineer in the aerospace industry, Dr. Lowery has undergraduate majors in physics and mathematics. He is an Ordained Minister in the Wesleyan Church, and he served ten years in pastoral ministry, including five years as a Christian school administrator. After being awarded a Presidential Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Lowery received his Ph.D. in moral theology, also completing a minor in science and religion. He is a member of several professional societies, has received multiple research grants, and was presented the inaugural Samuel L. Mayhugh Award for Scholarly Excellence at Olivet in May 2012

Dr. Lowery and his wife, Amy, have two adult children and reside in West Kankakee. His recreational interests include music, golf, chess, puzzles (of all sorts), reading, and other sports. He is also a fan of Notre Dame football and University of Maryland men’s basketball.

School of Theology and Christian Ministry
Theology and Philosophy
Ph.D., 1992, Duke University
Th.M., 1984, Duke Divinity School
M.Div., 1981, Nazarene Theological Seminary
B.A., 1976, University of Kansas

Dr. Carl Leth is a theology professor in the Department of Theology & Philosophy, and teaches such courses as Christian Theology, Preaching & Worship and Theology in an Era of Reformation. He is also the director of the Center for Faith and Culture.

From 2005 to 2015, he was the dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry. He served as the chair of the Department of Theology and Christian Ministry from 2003 to 2005. From 2012 to 2015, he held the University's first-ever endowed chair, the Reverend Dr. Fay Quanstrom Chair of Pastoral Ministry.

Prior to Olivet, Dr. Leth pastored Detroit First Church of the Nazarene in Novi, Mich., and North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene in Raleigh, N.C. He also served for four years as a missionary on specialized assignment in Kaiserslautern, Germany. In addition, Dr. Leth is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

At Olivet, Dr. Leth has served on many different teams and committees, including the University Leadership Team, the Dean's Cabinet, the General Education Committee, the Graduate Affairs Commission, the Rank and Service Committee and the Honorary Degrees Committee. He has also served on the Ministerial Studies Board & Ministerial Credentials Board of the Chicago Central District of the Church of the Nazarene and on the Professional Consultation Committee of Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Ill. He is also a member of the Wesleyan Theological Society.

He has been widely published in such magazines as Preacher's Magazine and Holiness Today and has contributed articles for books such as Mirror Image, Teach Us to Pray and Discover the Word. He has also written, A Holy Encounter, published in 1998 by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City.

Dr. Leth and his wife, Nancy, have six children: Carl D., Stephanie, Mark, Michelle, Jennifer and Gabriel.

Associate Professor
School of Theology and Christian Ministry
Theology and Philosophy
2009, Ph.D., The Catholic University of America
2006, M.A., The Catholic University of America
2002, M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary
1998, B.A., George Fox University

Dr. Frisius teaches in the Department of Theology & Philosophy. An expert in the development of Latin theology, he is particularly interested in the development of Biblical exegesis in the Patristic period. He teaches courses that introduce the New Testament and that deal with the Patristic era of church history.

His book, Tertullian's Use of the Pastoral Epistles, Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude, was published by Peter Lang Press in 2010.

Before coming to Olivet, he was an adjunct professor at Marymount University and at The Catholic University of America.

Dr. Frisius is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the North American Patristic Society.

He and his wife, Ellen, have two sons, Eli and Caleb. They are also avid joggers and enjoy being outside, especially on nice days. A huge sports fan, he cheers for the Chicago Bears and the Portland Trail Blazers.

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