The Reverend Dr. Stephen Butler Murray is the 29th Senior Pastor of The First Baptist Church of Boston and the American Baptist Chaplain to Harvard University. Dr. Murray previously served as the chaplain, director of religious life, and member of the faculty at Endicott College, Skidmore College, and Suffolk University, and served as Magee Fellow and Director of the Public Service Internship Program at the Dwight Hall Center for Public Service and Social Justice at Yale University. He also has taught theology and preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York and Auburn Theological Seminary.
Dr. Murray earned the B.A. in philosophy and religion from Bucknell University, the M.B.A. from Endicott College, the M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School, and the M.Phil. and Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, a Protestant seminary historically affiliated with Columbia University. Currently, he is pursuing his post-doctoral habilitation (Dr. Theol. Habil.) in systematic theology at the University of Vienna in Austria, under the supervision of Professor Christian Danz, the Dean of the Faculty of Protestant Theology. He received his Clinical Pastoral Education training at the Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, trained as a rape crisis counselor at Susquehanna Valley Women in Transition in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and studied theater at King’s College, University of London in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Center in London.
Currently the Moderator of the Samuel Stillman Association of The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts, Dr. Murray also serves on the Committee on Ordained Ministry and Chair of Subcommittee on Ministerial Leadership for TABCOM. On the national level, he serves on the Emerging Theologians Task Force of the American Baptist Churches USA, charged with developing opportunities for theological discussions in the denomination. From 2004-2007, he was a denominational delegate to the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches. His current board work involves serving on the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Bible Society, the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts American Baptist Historical Society, and the Board of Advisors of Religious Freedom USA. The founding Managing Editor of The Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, he currently serves on the academic Think Tank of the Elijiah Interfaith Institute, an international, interfaith institute based out of Jerusalem which seeks to foster peace between the world’s diverse faith communities through interfaith dialogue, education, research and dissemination.
Dr. Murray is active as a scholar in the fields of historical and systematic theology, Christian ethics, homiletics, and interfaith dialogue. Along with articles in academic journals and chapters in books, he is the author of Reclaiming Divine Wrath: A History of a Christian Doctrine and Its Interpretation (Peter Lang, 2011) and was co-editor with David L. Bartlett and Claudia Highbaugh of the book, Crossing By Faith: Sermons on the Journey from Youth to Adulthood (Chalice Press, 2003), compiled in honor of Harry Baker Adams, a longtime professor of preaching at Yale Divinity School and a former University Chaplain of Yale University. In 2008, he delivered the Smith Lecture in Reformed Church History at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and serves as Chaplain-of-the-Week at the Chautauqua Institution. In 2005, he was awarded a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship for the project, "Renewing Liberal Arts College Worship Through the Arts."
Here at the First Baptist Church of Boston, Dr. Murray looks forward to working with our congregation and our neighbors to develop a lively array of faithful ministries, from celebrations of religion and the arts to a deep concern for urban poverty.
Dr. Murray lives in Salem with his wife, Cynthia, an accomplished harpist, and their son, Hunter.
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