B. Alan Ross (Brian) is a Professor of Pastoral Ministries at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary in central CA, serving as the Program Director for the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Ministries degree programs.
Prior to starting an academic career in August of 2014, he served in pastoral ministry for 16 years (beginning full-time while still an undergraduate student.) He ministered as an Associate Pastor for 6 years in an established, small-town church, and then invested 10 years as the founder and Senior Pastor of a now thriving church in the rust-belt (church planter’s graveyard) of Reading, PA.
Brian’s pastoral ministry has always been characterized by an usual combination of philosophical and theological rigor, an authentic exploration of the human condition, a deep understanding of the everyday secular American experience, an interest in popular culture, and yet always communicating the relevancy of Jesus of Nazareth with deep clarity for “normal” people.
What Brian has learned about the mash-up of 21st century, late-modern American experience, and The Ways of Jesus have been wrestled from deep challenge. He grew up as a somewhat bright and yet struggling kid in a lower-middle class, single-parent home in Columbus, Ohio finding Jesus and his teachings through a desperate search for meaning. Though he has always served in outreach oriented church ministry leadership positions, he was never a “natural” talent where everything he touched turned to gold. Through years of experimenting, failing, researching, praying, and trying again, he eventually began to understand what thriving Jesus-shaped mission looks like in our current “post-christian” culture. In basketball terms, he is more of a Phil Jackson (hard-working player and later a wise coach) than a Michael Jordan (God-given ability).
Brian has coached and consulted numerous church leaders over the years in various roles and capacities and has gained a reputation as a thought-leader in his Anabaptist denomination: The Brethren in Christ Church (http://www.bic-church.org/) serving on various teams, boards, and as a continuing education instructor for other pastors nationally. He completed a Doctorate in Leadership and Culture from George Fox University, a Master’s degree in Leadership Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and Pastoral Studies, all while serving in ministry full-time. He has taught several different courses as an adjunct professor at different colleges and seminaries including: Missional Ministry, Church-Planting, and Spiritual Formation among others.
Brian is married to Stephanie and is the father of four children. Besides reading widely in the humanities, he considers himself and amateur film critic, and loves it when his hometown Buckeyes are on their way to winning another national championship.