Westar Institute

Institutional Affiliation
Charter Member

Stephen Patterson

Institutional Affiliation

Geo. H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies

Willamette University, Salem, Oregon


Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School M.A., Claremont Graduate School M.T.S., Harvard University B.A., Yankton College


Stephen J. Patterson grew up the child of a pastor and schoolteacher in rural South Dakota. He received a B.A. from Yankton College in South Dakota, and holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Claremont Graduate School, where he received a Ph.D. in New Testament in 1988. In 1986 he was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.Patterson specializes in the study of the historical Jesus, Christian origins, and the Gospel of Thomas, an early Christian gospel not found in the New Testament. Most recently he has written about the theological significance of the newest phase in the quest for the historical Jesus.

• Fulbright Fellow, West Germany, 1986-1987

Academic Appointments

• Geo. H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University, 2010–• Professor of New Testament, Eden Theological Seminary, 1988–2010

Professional Service

• Chair of the Steering Committee, The Jesus Seminar on Christian Origins• Fellow, The Jesus Seminar• Member, The Society of Biblical Literature• Contributing Editor, The Bible Review