Derek Taylor

Interim Director, Emmaus Scholars Program; Visiting Instructor, Ministry Studies
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Derek joined Hope College in 2016. He recently graduated from Duke University with a Doctorate of Theology (Th.D.). His dissertation, “A Hermeneutic of Discipleship,” focuses on theological hermeneutics, ecclesiology and the thought of 20th-century German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Derek is especially interested in the ways recent hermeneutical theory might help Christians read the Bible wisely.


In addition to theological hermeneutics, Derek’s scholarly interests lie in modern Protestant thought, the theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth, ecclesiology and the theology of vocation. He is also interested in non-Western and non-mainstream theologies, particularly as they can inform U.S. Christians seeking to live faithfully in an ever-evolving post-Christian context.


  • Th.D., theology, Duke University, 2017
  • M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2012
  • B.A., theology and economics, Whitworth University, 2008


  • “The Spirit’s Transforming Presence: Bonhoeffer and Hauerwas on the task of the church,” in The Holy Spirit and Christian Formation, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016
  • “Crux Probat Omnia: Rowan Williams’ scriptural hermeneutic,” Scottish Journal of Theology, vol. 69, 2016
  • “New Directions in Barthian Ethics,” Theology, vol. 118, 2015

Why I love Hope

Derek appreciates Hope’s high academic standards, intentional commitment to diversity and vibrant Christian community. He especially values the willingness of Hope faculty to engage in student mentoring and formation and to foster values that reflect God’s coming kingdom. As the Director of the Emmaus Scholars Program, one of his greatest joys is to walk alongside students as they discern God’s calling on their life and seek to pursue God’s justice in society.

Outside the College

You can find Derek wasting way too much time watching Chicago Cubs baseball or Duke basketball. You may also find him running along the Lake Michigan dunes with his dog, Charlie, in the kitchen trying to create something fun to eat, at LJ’s sipping iced coffee or at home reading books to his young son. When he’s not doing these things, he’s probably at Dimnent Chapel listening to his wife, Lauren Taylor, chaplain of discipleship at Hope College.

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Derek Taylor

Phone Number616.395.7320

c/o Lubbers Hall Office 115 126 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423
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