The Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding is dedicated to the advancement of Christian wisdom in all areas of life and thought — for the glory of God, the good of His church, and the welfare of the world. We agree with the late Carl F. H. Henry, a long-time faculty member at Trinity, that Christian thought can and must make a difference in the academy, church, and secular world. We also believe that gospel labors are too important to be shouldered alone. Christians need a center for evangelical collaboration. We hope that experts of all specialties and backgrounds, in partnership with the HCTU, will work together to engage the pressing challenges of our day, both in the U.S. and around the world. We therefore provide unique opportunities for ministers, professionals, and academics to collaborate with seminary faculty for the promotion of gospel-centered thinking and living.
We live in an information age with more knowledge than ever at our fingertips, yet some social prophets warn of new Dark Ages to come. Although we remain ever-connected to Wikipedia through our personal devices, do we know what to do with all that information? T. S. Eliot asks:
“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
Wisdom, the ability to apply knowledge and “do the truth” in order to live fruitfully (1 Jn. 1:6; 3:18), is one of the first casualties of our over-saturated world. While moving further from our Judeo-Christian roots, western culture’s worldview and values have disintegrated. The gospel no longer undergirds the intellectual framework of society, and most people cannot properly articulate or understand their own thoughts about truth, goodness, or beauty.
In a context where every important discussion appears political, where decisions are made on the basis of short-term pragmatism, and where uncertainty about truth breeds indifference and cynicism, individuals from different camps have lost the ability to communicate meaningfully with each other. Even evangelicals have been affected, with many local churches adrift in this cultural current. Seminaries, too, struggle to overcome fragmentation, with specialization frustrating scholarly conversation between departments.
Christians need a place to come together and converse clearly about biblical wisdom in today’s world. At the Henry Center, we are looking to make this place into a reality, catalyzing partnerships that orbit around three main areas: church, academy, and world. Focused on these domains, we’re harnessing Trinity International University’s impressive faculty and resources to rebuild dissolved foundations and establish unifying communication.
- Providing an articulate evangelical voice
- The Henry Center acts as a multicultural base for excellent, biblically-informed reflection, providing an articulate evangelical voice in the church, academy, and world.
- Creating a forum for mutual dialogue and collaboration
- Both through our perennial ministries and our faculty-led initiatives, the Henry Center provides a forum in which biblical and theological scholars are able to interact with other experts — ministry practitioners, minority voices, scholars from non-theological disciplines — about the diverse social and cultural factors which complicate or enrich our modern-day biblical understanding.
- Financially and institutionally supporting wisdom-oriented theological reflection
- We aim to support each of our initiatives by offering various forms of institutional aid while constantly pointing all our efforts toward our central mission: the pursuit of biblical wisdom for the whole body of Christ.
- Identifying and responding to crucial points of cultural crisis
- Our initiatives seek to identify crucial points of cultural crisis and develop practical response strategies for the church, academy, and world.
- Developing faith-based, wisdom-oriented methods of theological understanding
- We’re dedicated to developing methods of theological interpretation that will serve as paradigms of excellent evangelical practice.
- Promoting the reform of theological education
- Starting at TEDS and spreading to other confessionally-based academic institutions around the world, we hope to catalyze a new wisdom-oriented model of higher theological education.
- Establishing a legacy
- Our goal is to train a new generation of wise interpreters of the Word, lay persons and scholars alike, for the sake of tomorrow’s church, academy, and world.
Geoffrey Fulkerson — Director
Prior to walking with the Lord and thus his love for theology, Geoffrey studied Communications at University of Illinois (UIUC). Feeling a burden for Christ’s bride, the church, Geoffrey has spent the last nearly 10 years of his life pursuing theological education, completing a Master of Divinity and PhD in Systematic Theology at TEDS. His interests lie in the intersection of spatial theory, ecclesiology, doctrine of creation, and cultural engagement. Having communication experience both with Beta Theta Pi General Fraternity and the Great Lakes District of the Evangelical Free Church of America, Geoffrey enjoys combining his love of theology with his knowledge in communications.Geoffrey and his wife, Katherine, live in Deerfield with their four children, Sophia, Anastasia, Nathan, and Lucy.
Heather Cordero — Events Coordinator
Heather Cordero serves as the Henry Center Events Coordinator. She is from a small town in Illinois and studied Elementary Education at Wheaton College. She earned her Master of Arts in Counseling at Trinity in 2006. Before working with the Henry Center, Heather served in Student Life at Trinity for many years, where she directed and mentored students while employing her love of event planning and organization. In her current role, she enjoys creating spaces for learning, cultural engagement, and relational connections. Heather and her husband, Rich, live in Highwood with their two children.
Ian Prince — Senior Program & Operations Manager
Ian is eager to serve the church by combining his theological, academic, and administrative experience. He joined TEDS in 2020, previously having served as Program Director at the Center for Faith & Work Saint Louis. Ian first engaged the ideas of faith, the marketplace, and culture while serving in the systems of the federal government. Prior to his theological training, Ian labored as a medical researcher at Johns Hopkins University and a legislative policy advisor in the United States Senate. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Grove City College and a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary. Ian and his wife now reside in Deerfield.
Joel Chopp – Project & Communications Manager
After being awarded an MA in Systematic Theology from TEDS in 2014, Joel enrolled at the University of Toronto to pursue a PhD in Systematic Theology, studying at Wycliffe College with Ephraim Radner. Having completed the coursework and residency requirements of the program, Joel returned to TEDS in the summer of 2016 to assume the role of Project & Communications manager for the Henry Center. His current research is on the role of scripture in Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of divine freedom. Alongside Geoffrey Fulkerson, he is the editor of Science and the Doctrine of Creation: The Approaches of Ten Modern Theologians (IVP Academic, 2021), and has published in Nova et Vetera (forthcoming) and the Journal of Theological Interpretation.Joel and his wife Amber reside in Chicago with their two sons, Matthias and Isaac.
Matthew Wiley — Content Manager & Managing Editor
After studying theology at Moody Bible Institute, Matt came to Trinity in 2016 for his Master of Divinity, which he earned in 2019. During that time, he began serving as a Graduate Assistant for the Henry Center, eventually taking on the role of Digital Content Manager and Managing Editor for Sapientia. He is now pursuing his PhD in Systematic Theology at TEDS, researching ecclesial disunity and pneumatology. He is interested in theology for the sake of the local church, and serves as Pastoral Apprentice at Evanston Bible Fellowship. Matt lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.
As an outreach ministry of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and the TEDS faculty, we subscribe to the doctrinal standards of the Evangelical Free Church of America (the parent denomination of TEDS and the Henry Center). The Henry Center’s identity reflects that of Trinity’s faculty, which includes Calvinists and Arminians, Lutherans and Anabaptists, egalitarians and complementarians, and much more. Trinity not only includes North Americans, but also employs, affirms, and is indebted to the work of scholars and ministers from all around the world.
From time to time we will feature speakers or writers who do not share the doctrinal commitments of TEDS, but who deserve a thoughtful hearing and an informed, biblical response. Our center is happy to partner with ministries and individuals with differing stances, so long as we are all primarily committed to the advancement of God’s glorious gospel.
In keeping with the vision of Carl Henry, we believe that a robust evangelical Protestantism must confidently stand on the Word of God, no matter the challenges that the world presents.