Jim Watkins, PhD 

A headshot of Jim Watkins

Jim Watkins, PhD

Director of Distributed Education / Affiliate Professor of Theological Aesthetics

jwatkins@nashotah.edu | (262) 256-0982

PhD in Theology, University of St Andrews
MCS in Christianity and the Arts, Regent College
BA in Studio Art, Wheaton College

Get to Know Dr. Watkins

Dr. Watkins joined Nashotah House in 2020 and directs the hybrid distance and advanced degree programs. He provides administrative support for both students and faculty to implement and develop the CAS-HD, MM, MTS-HD, MPM, STM and DMin degrees. His research interests include theology and the visual arts, a theology of creativity, and the doctrine of creation. He has presented papers in both the United States and Europe, and in 2015 his PhD thesis was published in Fortress Press’ Emerging Scholars series as Creativity as Sacrifice: Toward a Theological Model for Human Creativity and the Arts.

Dr. Watkins served for many years in K-12 Christian schools. He taught Bible, theology, humanities, and rhetoric courses at Veritas School in Richmond, Virginia. In 2017, he joined a team to launch St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a large K-12 Christian school on the south side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that serves primarily low-income families that immigrated from Central and South America. As Director of Christian Formation, he directed worship, instruction in Bible and theology, and the integration of faith and learning. For the past twenty years, Dr. Watkins has attended and served in churches in the Anglican Mission in America, Episcopal Church U. S. A., Anglican Church of Canada, and the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Dr. Watkins was born in Southern California, and his family moved near Houston, Texas, when he was a teenager. During his childhood, he had formative experiences in both Assemblies of God and non-denominational evangelical churches. He discovered Anglicanism, and – far more importantly – his wife Emily, as an undergraduate student. He and Emily were married in 2004. They have four children, and a dog named Sherlock. They live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attend Trinity Episcopal Church in Wauwatosa.

Selected Publications

  • Books
    • Creativity as Sacrifice: Toward a Theological Model for Human Creativity in the Arts.  Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2015.

  • Articles
    • Review of W. David O. Taylor, ed., For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts (Baker, 2010) for Crux (Winter, 2011).

    • “Andy Goldsworthy and the Opacity of Nature,” SEEN Journal, XV:1 (2015).

    • “Creativity as Sacrifice: An appreciation and critique of Jeremy Begbie’s Voicing Creation’s Praise.” Imaginatio et Ratio: A Journal of Theology and the Arts 3 (2014): 2-12.

    • “Possible Worlds and God’s Creative Process: How a Classical Doctrine of Divine Creation Can Understand Divine Creativity.”  Co-authored with Shawn Bawulski.  Scottish Journal of Theology 65 (2012): 174-91.

    • “The Liberating Myth: Joseph Beuys’ I Like America and America Likes Me.”  Art as Spiritual Perception: A Festschrift for Dr. E. John Walford.  Ed. James Romaine.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012: 255-270.

    • “John Polkinghorne’s Kenotic Theology of Creation and Its Implications for a Theory of Human Creativity.”  God and the Scientist: Exploring the Work of John Polkinghorne.  Ed. Fraser Watts and Christopher Knight.  Farnham, Uk: Ashgate, 2012: 217-42.

    • Review of Laura Simmons, Creed without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers (Baker, 2005), for The Journal of Inkling Studies, I , no. 2, (2011):129-32.