Dr. Matt Jantzen

Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies
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Dr. Matt Jantzen’s research and teaching explore the intersections of religion, race and radical democracy in the modern world, especially as these topics relate to the discipline of Christian political theology. He is the author of God, Race, and History: Liberating Providence (Lexington Books, 2021), which examines the relationship between the doctrine of providence and race in modern Protestant theology in conversation with the work of G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Barth and James H. Cone. 

Listen to an interview with Dr. Jantzen about his book God, Race, and History: Liberating Providence 

In addition to directing the American Ethnic Studies program, Dr. Jantzen teaches First Year Seminar in the Phelps Scholars Program and is a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty council. He has taught at Hope College since 2018, working previously as the director of the Emmaus Scholars Program.

Dr. Jantzen also has a background in broad-based community organizing with the Industrial Areas Foundation, having served as a co-chair of Durham C.A.N. (Congregations, Associations and Neighborhoods) in Durham, North Carolina. He continues to be involved in public scholarship and community-based education on practices of democratic politics that build the power of ordinary people to push back against injustice and have a voice in decisions that affect their lives.

Areas of expertise

  • Christian theology
  • American ethnic studies
  • Christianity and democracy


  • Th.D., Duke University, 2017
  • M.Div., Duke University, 2012
  • B.A., Wheaton College, 2009

Published work

  • “Confederate Theology: Robert Lewis Dabney and the Theological Afterlife of Slavery,” Modern Theology 39, no. 4, 2023
  • God, Race, and History: Liberating Providence, Lexington Books, 2021
  • “Neither Ally, Nor Accomplice: James Cone and the Crisis of White Anti-Racism,” Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 40, no. 2, 2020
  • “Immigration and the Theological Problem of Sovereignty: Catholic Social Teaching and the Modern State,” The Meaning of My Neighbor’s Faith: Interreligious Reflections on Immigration, ed. Laura Alexander and Alexander Hwang, Lexington Books, 2018
  • “I am as Thou are Not: Christological Correspondence and the Problem of Whiteness in Church Dogmatics III/2,” Zeitschrift für Dialektische Theologie 33, no. 2, 2017

Outside the college

Dr. Jantzen and his wife live in Holland with their two sons. He is a founding member of Hope’s faculty/staff pickup soccer games, and he also enjoys running, basketball and ultimate frisbee. 

Profile photo of Dr. Matt Jantzen
Dr. Matt Jantzen

Phone Number616.395.7214

Lubbers Hall Room 334 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423
A map showing the location for Dr. Matt Jantzen Lubbers Hall Room 334 126 East 10th Street Holland MI 49423