Meet our

faculty & Staff

Brenda Colijn

Dr. Brenda B. Colijn, PHD

Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Theology

From the time she first stepped on campus as a student, Dr. Colijn has felt that being at Ashland Theological Seminary is like “coming home.” The atmosphere of Ashland Theological Seminary has allowed her to integrate her professional life and faith, deepening her own walk with God as she guides others down that same road. One of the most valuable events in Dr. Colijn’s walk with Christ has been the shift from a formulaic evangelical devotional life to a transformative friendship and companionship with Jesus, a connection she hopes to foster in students’ lives.

Dr. Colijn is a gifted teacher and a wise leader, which translates both within and beyond the classroom. She finds research and teaching to be very fulfilling and has a special interest in atonement, salvation, New Testament theology, and Anabaptist theology. Dr. Colijn is also ordained in the Brethren Church and enjoys serving on her church’s pastoral team. Dr. Colijn has a long list of her own work published in journals, magazines, and books. In particular, her book Images of Salvation in the Testament is a favorite.

Dr. Colijn met her husband Hendrik in a prayer group at Cornell University. Their family includes their son Chris, daughter Erika, son-in-law Lance, and grandsons Connor and Owen.

Dr. Colijn enjoys visiting new places around the globe, although she doesn’t get to travel nearly as often as she’d like. Her favorite destinations have been Bermuda, England, and Spain. Her other hobbies include watching soccer, riding her recumbent bike and walking, tackling the occasional crossword puzzle, and listening to classical, Celtic, and contemporary music. She also finds herself drawn to science fiction in all its forms.


  • “Atonement.” In Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, 2nd ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, forthcoming.
  • “Deification in the Anabaptist Tradition.” In With All the Fullness of God: Deification in Christian Traditions. Edited by Jared Ortiz. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield), 2020.
  • “Romans.” In Lexham Context Commentary: New Testament. Edited by Douglas Mangum. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020.
  • “Conversion,” “Faith,” “Justification, Nature,” “Justification, Timing,” “Regeneration,” and “Salvation, Permanence.” In Lexham Survey of Theology. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018.
  • “Theosis in the Anabaptist Tradition.” Paper presented at the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 21-24, 2015.
  • “Presence and Promise: A Biblical Theology of the Holy Spirit.” In Holy Spirit: Unfinished Agenda, p. 27-31. Edited by Johnson T. K. Lim. Singapore: Armour Publishing/Word N Works, 2015.
  • “Sanctification.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Ethics. 2 vols. Edited by Robert L. Brawley. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • “Incalculable Grace: A Covenantal/Relational Understanding of Atonement.” Paper presented at the Wesleyan Theological Society Conference in Nampa, Idaho, on March 7-8, 2014. “Word and Spirit.” In A Brethren Witness for the 21st Century, edited by Jason Barnhart and Bill Ludwig, p. 61-69. Ashland, OH: Brethren Church, 2013.
  • Invited plenary paper on “Word and Spirit in Brethren Spirituality” at the Brethren World Assembly in Brookville, Ohio, on July 11-14, 2013.
  • The Nonviolent Atonement, by J. Denny Weaver. Review article for the Ashland Theological Journal 44 (2012): 77-85.
  • Images of Salvation in the New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010. The Origin of the Schwarzenau Brethren, by Marcus Meier. Invited review for Mennonite Quarterly Review 84 (October 2010).
  • “Women in Ministry: Imaging the Triune God,” The Table, Summer 2010, pp. 3-6. “What Brethren Believe.” The Brethren Evangelist 130 (March/April 2008): 7-9.
  • “New Birth into a Living Hope: The Brethren Understanding of Regeneration.” Brethren Life and Thought 52 (Spring 2007): 101-120.
  • The Brethren Encyclopedia. 4 vols. Ed. Donald F. Durnbaugh and Dale V. Ulrich. Philadelphia: Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., 1983-1984, 2005. Selected articles in volume 4.
  • “A Parable of Calvinism.” Ashland Theological Journal 36 (2004): 101-108.
  • “Family in the Bible: A Brief Survey.” Ashland Theological Journal 36 (2004): 73-84.
  • “Open Theism: Framing the Discussion.” Ashland Theological Journal 34 (2002): 55-65.
  • “A Biblical Theology of Women in Leadership.” Ashland Theological Journal 34 (2002): 67- 80.
  • “Theological Foundations of Pastoral Ministry.” Presentation at the Roundtable on Excellence in Pastoral Leadership at the Sandberg Leadership Center, February 12, 2002.
  • “The End Times Among Evangelical Brethren Today.” Brethren Life and Thought 46 (Winter/Spring 2001): 124-133.
  • Pilgrimage of Faith: The Witness of the Brethren Church. With Dale R. Stoffer. Ashland, OH: The Brethren Church, Inc., 2000. Contributed half of the video scripts, wrote the teaching materials, edited the supplemental readings.
  • “The Faith of Family and the Family of Faith.” In Report of the Proceedings of the 1998 Brethren World Assembly, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA, July 15-July 18, 1998. Ashland, OH: Ashland Theological Seminary/Brethren Encyclopedia, 1999.
  • “Salvation as Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark.” Ashland Theological Journal 30 (1998): 11- 22.
  • “Let Us Approach: Soteriology in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” JETS 39 (December 1996): 571- 586.
  • “Baptism: Pledge of a Good Conscience.” The Brethren Evangelist 118 (September 1996): 15- 16.
  • “Nonconformity: Conformed to Christ.” The Brethren Evangelist 118 (May 1996): 3, 5.
  • “A Biblical and Contemporary Model of Ministry.” Ashland Theological Journal 27 (1995): 1- 14.
  • “Tradition and Biblical Interpretation.” The Brethren Evangelist 117 (December 1995): 4.
  • “The Form and Meaning of Baptism.” The Brethren Evangelist 117 (July/August 1995): 10.
  • “Jesus Our Example.” The Brethren Evangelist 117 (July/August 1995): 8-9.
  • “Revelation and the Bible.” The Brethren Evangelist 117 (April 1995): 10-11.
  • “The Hermeneutical Community.” The Brethren Evangelist 117 (January 1995): 9-10.
  • “The Relationship of the Old and New Testaments.” The Brethren Evangelist 116 (June 1994): 10-11.
    “The Vine and the Branches: Biblical Interpretation Among the Brethren.” In Report of the Proceedings of the Brethren World Assembly, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, July 15-July 18, 1992. Elizabethtown, PA: The Young Center for the Study of Anabaptist and Pietist Groups/Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., 1994.
  • “Principles of Biblical Interpretation.” The Brethren Evangelist 116 (February 1994): 9- 10.
  • “The Authority of Scripture.” The Brethren Evangelist 115 (October 1993): 8-9.
  • “What is the Word of God?” The Brethren Evangelist 115 (September 1993): 4-5.
  • “Incarnational Hermeneutics: The Brethren Approach to Scripture.” Brethren Life and Thought 36 (Fall 1991): 246-70.
  • Follow Him Gladly: A Brethren Course in Discipleship. With Dale R. Stoffer. Ashland, OH: The Brethren Church, Inc., 1991.
  • “Paul’s Use of the ‘In Christ’ Formula.” Ashland Theological Journal 23 (1991): 9-26.
  • “The Three Tenses of Salvation in Paul’s Letters.” Ashland Theological Journal 22 (1990): 29- 41.