Darryl W. Stephens


Director of United Methodist Studies, Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry at Lancaster Seminary, Adjunct Instructor of Ministerial Ethics & Healthy Boundaries

BA, Rice University, 1991

MDiv, Perkins School of Theology, 2001

PhD, Emory University, 2006

The Rev. Dr. Darryl W. Stephens is Director of United Methodist Studies and teaches Ministerial Ethics and Healthy Boundaries at Lancaster Theological Seminary, where he has been since 2014. 

Ordained in the United Methodist Church (UMC), he holds a PhD in Christian Ethics from Emory University. He has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and is former Assistant General Secretary for Advocacy and Sexual Ethics at the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women in the UMC. 

Darryl researches and writes about ethics and ministry, for church and academic audiences. He is interested in the public church, ecclesial social witness, and how churches navigate social change. He lectures and leads workshops on sexual ethics, Methodist polity and doctrine, professional ethics for ministry, open and affirming ministry, and healing congregations. He is also a sought-after editor. 

Darryl is the husband of Deaconess Myka Kennedy Stephens, Lancaster Seminary librarian. They are the parents of two children. He enjoys classical and jazz music and occasional home renovation projects.



  • Christian Social Ethics
  • Professional Ethics for Ministry
  • Sexual Ethics
  • Methodist History, Doctrine, and Polity
  • The Public Church and Its Witness

Guest editor, special issue “Reenvisioning Christian Ethics,” Religions. Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019.

Out of Exodus: A Journey of Open and Affirming Ministry, with Michael I. Alleman, Andrea Brown, Ruth A. Daugherty, and Mary Merriman. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018.

Methodist Morals: Social Principles in the Public Church’s Witness. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2016.

Professional Sexual Ethics: A Holistic Ministry Approach. Co-edited with Patricia Beattie Jung. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013.

“A Charismatic Learning: Open and Affirming Ministry in a Methodist Congregation,” International Journal of Practical Theology (forthcoming).

“From Environmental Stewardship to Environmental Holiness: The Evolution of Methodist Environmental Witness, with a Focus on Climate Change,” Journal of Religious Ethics (forthcoming).

“Teaching about Teaching Sexuality and Religion,” Teaching Theology & Religion 20:2 (April 2017): 189–99.

“A Cross-Cultural Dialogue of Social Principles,” Methodist History 54:2 (Jan 2016): 102–16.

“A Comprehensive, Holistic, and Integrated Approach to Professional Sexual Ethics in Theological Education,” co-authored with Patricia Beattie Jung. Theological Education 50:1 (2015): 53-68.

A Deacon’s Eye for Healing Congregations,” Currents in Theology and Mission, 42:3 (July 2015): 213–19.
“Teaching Professional Sexual Ethics Across the Seminary Curriculum,” Religious Education, 108:2 (2013): 193–209.

Dr. Stephens’s most recent publications are shared at https://www.facebook.com/darrylwstephens.