Dr. Ken Cleaver

Dr. Ken CleaverAssociate Professor, School of Divinity

Discipline: Church History & Theology


  • Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
  • Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary
  • B.A., Bryan College

Recent Courses

  • CHHI 520: Church History I
  • CHHI 620: History of Global Christianity
  • THEO 525: Systematic Theology I


Dr. Cleaver grew up in the Chicago area and has been actively involved in a wide array of the local church and parachurch ministries throughout his life. He attended Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, where he met his wife, Amy, and earned his BA in Biblical Studies (with minors in Greek and French). He then earned his ThM in Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and returned to the Chicago area to earn his Ph.D. in Theological Studies with a concentration in Church History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. As an adjunct instructor, he taught undergraduate courses in history for the College of Lake County (Illinois) and graduate courses in church history and systematic theology for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

In 2005, he began teaching undergraduate courses in systematic theology and church history for the School of Divinity at Liberty University on a full-time basis. For several years he also taught an increasing number of graduate and post-graduate courses in historical theology, church history, and systematic theology as an adjunct professor at Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2014, he joined the School of Divinity on a full-time basis to teach courses in church history and systematic theology in the graduate and Ph.D. programs.

He, his wife, and their four children live in Lynchburg and are actively involved in worship, drama, children’s, and financial ministries at Thomas Road Baptist Church. He has taught Sunday school classes for over 25 years, and he and Amy teach a Financial Peace University class at TRBC. He regularly teaches church history courses for Word of Life Bible Institute in New York and Florida; and, to the best of our knowledge, is the only avid unicycle rider at the Rawlings School of Divinity.

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor of Church History and Theology
    Liberty University, Rawlings School of Divinity; Lynchburg, VA
  • 2005 – present
  • Part-Time/Adjunct Faculty
    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Deerfield, IL
    Systematic Theology and Church History courses
    College of Lake County; Grayslake, IL,
    Western Civilization and U.S. History courses
    American-Bavarian Exchange; Regensburg, Germany
    “History of the Reformation”
    Liberty University Online; Lynchburg, VA
    Church History and Systematic Theology courses
    2003 – present
  • Guest Lecturer & Pulpit Supply
    Topics have included church history, historical and systematic theology, world religions and cults, and expository preaching in a variety of denominations.
    1998 – present
  • Sunday School Teacher (married adults ages 18-50)
    Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA; Crossroads Church (SBC), Grayslake, IL; Libertyville Evangelical Free Church (EFCA), Libertyville, IL; First Baptist Oak Cliff (SBC), Dallas, TX.
    1991 – present
  • Teaching Assistant to Dr. Stephen Spencer (Historical Theology)
    Dallas Theological Seminary; Dallas, TX
    Spring 1993
  • Instructor of Biblical Studies
    Dallas Theological Seminary Lay Institute; Dallas, TX “Themes in the Pastoral Epistles”
    Fall 1992

Ministry Experience

  • Drama and Multimedia Ministries: First Baptist Church Oak Cliff, Crossroads Church, and Thomas Road Baptist Church; 1990 – present.
  • Vacation Bible School: Libertyville Evangelical Free Church, Crossroads Church, Thomas Road Baptist Church; 1995 – present.
  • Pastoral Ministries: Preaching supply for pastors on leave, funeral and interment services, family and student counseling, and regular discipleship of select students; 2000 – present.
  • Awana Leader: Crossroads Church; 2002 – 2003.
  • Associate Editor: Bolander Marks Football Weekly, DesPlaines, IL; 1996 – 1998. 
  • Texas Baptist Men: First Baptist Oak Cliff; 1990 – 1993. 
  • Interim Senior Pastor: Bonham Baptist Church (Independent Baptist), Spring City, TN; 1990.
  • Puppet Ministries: Bryan College, Sarasota Evangelical Free Church; 1984 – 1990.
  • Student Body Chaplain/VP: Bryan College; 1987 – 1988.
  • Bass Player: “Wings” (Christian Contemporary Band), Sarasota Evangelical Free Church; 1984 – 1986.
  • Friday Morning Baseball Chapel Speaker: Summer Gulf Coast League teams for the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays, Sarasota, FL; 1985.
  • Co-Founder: Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Sarasota, FL chapter; 1984 – 1985.


  • “Jesus on American Slavery: What He Said, What He Did Not Say, and What He Was Said to Have Said.” A paper presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Atlanta, Georgia. November 20, 2003.
  • “Albert Barnes” in An Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006.
  • “The Biblical Context of the Runaway Slave Debates in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America.” A paper presented at the Christianity and American History Conference at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia. April 20, 2007.
  • “House Churches in the Patristic Era.” Japan Harvest (Spring 2007).
  • “The Use of Slavery in Modern, Biblically-Based Gender Discussions.” A paper presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego, California. November 14, 2007.
  • “The Practical and Ethical Considerations in Labeling a Religious Group as a ‘Cult.’” A paper presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in New Orleans, Louisiana. November 19, 2009.