Dr. Peter Rhea Jones Announces Plans to Retire from McAfee School of Theology


ATLANTA – Dr. Peter Rhea Jones Sr., who has experienced a long and distinguished career as a professor, New Testament scholar and pastor, recently announced plans to retire from Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology at the end of July.

Dr. Jones, who currently serves as J. Truett Gannon Professor of Preaching and New Testament, was a member of the study committee that recommended establishment of the McAfee School of Theology prior to its founding in 1996.

He spent 15 years on the faculty at McAfee, preceded by 21 years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur and 11 years on the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has held pastorates and interim pastorates at churches in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, New Jersey and New York, and taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, Midwestern Seminary and Shorter College.

“Dr. Jones was one of the prime movers in the birth of the movement that led to the founding of the School of Theology at Mercer,” said Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, dean of McAfee. “He has distinguished himself as a New Testament scholar through his books on the parables, his commentary on the Johannine Epistles and his current writing on the Sermon on the Mount. His teaching has molded the exegetical and homiletical skills of several generations of seminary students, for whom he has modeled the life of a Christian minister, and to whom he and his wife, Ellen, have opened their home.”

Dr. Jones and his wife have endowed lectures in New Testament studies and a scholarship fund for students called to the ministry of preaching.

His books include Teaching of the Parables, Studying the Parables of Jesus, and the Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary on 1, 2 and 3 John. He has also authored numerous journal and periodical articles and book chapters.

Dr. Jones earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology in preaching from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a bachelor's degree from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta, on Mercer University's Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers degree programs leading to a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, M.Div.-Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and M.Div.-Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with a Concentration in Non-Profit. For more information, visit theology.mercer.edu.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.