Ben Holdsworth

Ben Holdsworth

Professor of Religion

Division of Religion
402.486.2600 x2371
Dick Building 412-D

Back to the employee directory.

Dr. Holdsworth teaches Christian Ethics, NT Greek 1 & 2, Christian Health and Bioethics, Pauline Epistles (Romans), New Testament Epistles and Global Environment and International Policy.

Academic Background

Dr. Holdsworth graduated with a BA in Theology from Columbia Union College in 1980, with minors in Secondary Education, Social Studies, and History. In 1987, he completed an MBA at Florida Institute of Technology, and in 2003 earned an MA in New Testament Studies at Newbold College (UK); his Masters thesis focused on the book of Ephesians. He completed his PhD at Durham University (Northern UK) in 2010. His graduate research concentrated on the book of Romans within its first-century context.

Campus & Community Involvement:

Dr. Holdsworth serves on a number of Union College’s committees and is part of the spiritual mentoring program (Heartscan). He is also a member of the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church. He has spoken at many campus and community events.

Professional Background:

Dr. Holdsworth spent a year as a student missionary, teaching conversational English and Bible. His teaching career continued at Orlando Junior Academy and Forest Lake Academy, in Orlando, Florida. Later, he worked for Florida Hospital and Adventist Health System for 11 years, eventually becoming director of Corporate Planning. This was followed by two years of consulting with Lant-Holdsworth Associates in Strategic Planning, Change Management and Organizational Behavior.

Regardless of his occupation, his passion to teach the Bible continued by facilitating adult Sabbath School classes at Markham Woods and Florida Hospital Churches in Orlando, Florida, and at Newbold College and in Durham, UK.

From 1998 to 2001 Dr. Holdsworth pastored two churches — Plant City and Carrollwood, in Tampa, Florida. He is an ordained minister.

Dr. Holdsworth has taught at Union College since Fall, 2009.


November, 1997: Seventh-Day Adventist Adult Sabbath School Quarterly, Lessons for November 16-22, 1997

January, 2003: M.A. Dissertation: Stealing Social Language: Determining Potential Destinations for Ephesians Based on A Socio-Cultural and Semantic Reading of Ephesians 1 to 3 in Context of the Greco-Roman World (Available from Newbold College)

Autumn, 2004: Andrews University Seminary Studies: The Other Intercessor: The Holy Spirit as Familia-Petitioner in the Father’s ‘Imperial’ Household in Romans 8.26-27

July, 2010: PhD Thesis, University of Durham, UK. Reading Romans in Rome: A Reception of Romans in the Roman Context of Ethnicity and Faith.

July, 2010: “Reading Romans in Rome: An Introduction”, A Submission for Spectrum Magazine Online for the July 3, 2010 Sabbath School Lesson Commentary,

July, 2010: “Reading Romans in Rome: The Law and Justification”, A Submission for Spectrum Magazine Online for July 31, 2010 Sabbath School Lesson Commentary,

February, 2011: “Good Thinking, Good Behavior – Imitating Excellence?” A Submission for Spectrum Online Magazine for February 5, 2011 Sabbath School Lesson Commentary,

November, 2011: Galatians 3:26-4:11: Tutored, Adopted and Inheritors – Living Faith in Christ”, A Submission for Spectrum Magazine Online for November 19, 2011 Sabbath School Lesson Commentary,

February, 2012: “Creation Care or Could Care-less”, A Submission for Spectrum Magazine Online for February 25, 2012 Sabbath School Lesson Commentary,

July, 2012: “The Thessalonian Letters: The Greco-Roman Context”, A Submission for Spectrum Magazine Online for July 21, 2012 Sabbath School Lesson Commentary,

March/April, 2014: “A Roman Believes” in  Light, Christian Record, Lincoln, Nebraska, 2014.

April, 2014: “Paul and Remnant in Romans 9-11, “Inclusively Exclusive” or :”Exclusively Inclusive?””, Andrews University Seminary Studies, Berrien Springs, Michigan, 2014.

November 21, 2014: Paper Presentation, “Rethinking Adventist Ecclesiology for a Climate-Impacted World”, Adventist Society of Religious Studies, San Diego, CA, Published online:

2016/2017, Winter. The lifecycle of a theology student, CORD Magazine, 4.


November, 1993: Sabbath in the Old and New Testament and its Application to Celebration Health,(Position paper, presented, unpublished)

April, 1997: Downtown Community Outreach Focus Groups and Results for Florida Hospital Seventh-Day Adventist Church

May, 2000: Standard Operating Procedures for the Regional Relief Center warehouse management manual for the Florida Conference and State of Florida Division of Emergency Management

October, 2000: Paper Presentation: The Enigma of Four Women in Matthew 1, Newbold College, UK

July, 2003: Paper Presentation: Paul and Sosthenes in Acts 18, International Society of Biblical Literature at Cambridge, UK

September, 2005: Paper Presentation: Economic Disruption: A Catalyst for Violence Among Communities of Faith in Roman PalestineBritish New Testament Society, University of Cambridge, UK.

November, 2005: Paper Presentation: Economic Disruption: A Catalyst for Violence Among Communities of Faith in Roman Palestine, Newbold College, Bracknell, UK

November, 2005: Paper Presentation: Economic Disruption: A Catalyst for Violence Among Communities of Faith in Roman Palestine, Adventist Society of Religious Studies, Philadelphia, PA

November, 2007: Thesis Chapter Presentation: University of Durham, New Testament Seminar.

November, 2011: Paper Presentation: Paul and Remnant in Romans 9-11: “Inclusively Exclusive” or “Exclusively Inclusive”?, Adventist Society of Religious Studies, San Francisco, CA.

November 21, 2014: Paper Presentation: Rethnking Adventist Ecclesiology for a Climate Impacted World, Adventist Society of Religious Studies,San Deigo, CA.

November 24, 2014: Paper Response Presentation: Society of Biblical Literature Paper Respondent to Sarit Kattan Gribetz Paper, Between Narrative and Polemic: The Sabbath in Genesis Rabbah and the Babylonian Talmud, San Diego, California.

November 20, 2016: Paper Presentation: Sabbath: The Interaction of Divine, Human and Environmental Rest, Restoration and Worship in the New Testament,​ Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX.

February 4, 2017: Presentation: The Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1-10, Wichita Convocation of Seventh-Day Adventists

April 8, 2017: Presentation: The Intersection of the Holy Spirit and Prayer in Acts 1-10, Mid-America Prayer Conference – Revive Us Again, Nebraska City, NE.

April 8, 2017: Presentation: The Holy Spirit and Transformational Living, Mid-America Prayer Conference – Revive Us Again, Nebraska City, NE.

April 25, 2017: Presentation: International Relations: More Essential Than Ever!, Union College International Relations and Communications Symposium

Research Interests:

Dr. Holdsworth has ongoing interest in Romans and its initial audience reception, the interaction of Judeans and Egyptians in Rome, and the semantics of faith, piety, and other language in the Pauline epistles primarily borrowed from non-Judean culture. Other topics of interest include the interaction of climate, economics, healthcare, agriculture, geo-politics, religion and cultural change.

Speaker’s Bureau:

The Epistle of Romans and other Pauline Letters

Acts and the Early Christian Church

The social context of the New Testament and the Greco-Roman world

Climate change impacts on the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Personal Information:

Two other occupants of the Holdsworth home are rescue cats – Blizzard and Delphi. They think they own us!

The Holdsworths enjoy walking, music, international food, and travel (not camping). They have nostalgic memories of 8 years in England. They think the Midwest and Union College are great places to live and work.


Dr. Holdsworth’s wife, Ani, is of Armenian descent and was born and raised in Cyprus, with a short stint in Lebanon. She studied at Newbold College and graduated from Columbia Union College in 1980 with degrees in Communications and Commercial Art. She is a freelance graphic designer.

Employee ...