Mark Dever: Growing Healthier with 9Marks

“When a person becomes a Christian, he doesn’t just join a local church because it’s a good habit for growing in spiritual maturity. He joins a local church because it’s the expression of what Christ has made him—a member of the body of Christ.”

Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Since his ordination to the ministry in 1985, Dr. Dever has served on the pastoral staffs of four churches, the second being a church he planted in Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Washington in 1994, Dr. Dever taught for the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University while serving two years as an associate pastor of Eden Baptist Church.

In an effort to build biblically faithful churches in America, Dr. Dever serves as the executive director for9Marks (formerly The Center for Church Reform, CCR) in Washington, D.C. 9Marks encourages pastors of local churches look to the Bible for instruction on how to organize and lead their churches. Dr. Dever also teaches periodically at various conferences, speaking everywhere from South Africa to Brazil to the United Kingdom to Alabama. Feeling a deep burden for student ministry, Dr. Dever often addresses student ministry groups at campuses throughout the country. He has also taught at a number of seminaries, including Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Dr. Dever’s scholarly interests include Puritanism and ecclesiology.

Dr. Dever currently serves as a trustee of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; he also serves as a member of the board, vice-chairman, and chairman of the Forum for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. From 1995 until 2001, he served on the steering committee for Founders Ministries, a pastoral movement for biblical teaching and healthy church life within the Southern Baptist Convention. As Guest Senate Chaplain for two weeks in 1995, Dr. Dever opened the daily sessions of the United States Senate in prayer. He is a member of the American Society of Church History and the Tyndale Fellowship. He also held the J.B. Lightfoot Scholarship at Cambridge University from 1989 to 1991.

Dr. Dever has authored several books including a historical study entitled Richard Sibbes (Mercer University Press, 2000), four editions and two foreign language translations of a booklet entitled Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (CCR, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, Korean translation 2000, Spanish translation 2004), and a full-length book of the same title (Crossway, 2000, 2 nd ed., 2004). He co-authored a book entitled The Church: One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic with Richard D. Phillips & Philip G. Ryken. Dr. Dever also edited a collection of historic Baptist documents on ecclesiology entitled Polity: Biblical Arguments on How to Conduct Church Life (CCR, 2000; 9Marks Ministries, 2004, 2 nd. ed.). Also published in 2001 by CCR was Dr. Dever’s A Display of God’s Glory—Basics of Church Structure: Deacons, Elders, Congregationalism, and Leadership. The Deliberate Church, co-authored by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander is now available.

Dr. Dever has a been contributing editor to the Cambridge Papers, and his works have been published in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Christian Arena magazine, theFounders JournalLeadership Journal, Regeneration Quarterly, Modern Reformation, The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, Tabletalk, the Disciple’s Study Bible, andBuilding on a Sure Foundation (The Westminster Conference, 1994). Dr. Dever has also contributed an article on John L. Dagg to Theologians of the Baptist Tradition(Timothy George and David S. Dockery, eds., Broadman, 1990). More recently, he has contributed to many books including The Compromised Church (John H. Armstrong, ed., Crossway, 1998), Telling the Truth (D.A. Carson, ed., Zondervan, 2000),Christianity in a Changing World (Michael Schluter, ed., Marshall Pickering, 2000),Reclaiming the Gospel and Reforming Churches (Tom Ascol, ed., Founders, 2003), Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship, (Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W.H. Thomas, J. Ligon Duncan III, eds., P&R Publishing, 2003), Christ and His Church (together with Richard Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, P&R, 2004), A God-Entranced Vision (John Piper and Justin Taylor ed., Crossway, 2004), Dear Timothy, Letters on Pastoral Ministry (Thomas K. Ascol, ed., Founders Press, 2004), “ A Theology for the Church” (Danny Akin and David Dockery eds., forthcoming from Broadman and Holman), and Sex and the Supremacy of Christ (John Piper and Justin Taylor ed., forthcoming, Crossway). He also has articles in Reforming Pastoral Ministry (John H. Armstrong, ed., Crossway, 2001), Why I am a Baptist (Tom Nettles and Russ Moore, eds., Broadman, 2001), and The Westminster Confession into the 21 st Century, vol. 1, (J. Ligon Duncan III, ed., Christian Focus, 2003).

Dr. Dever received his Doctor of Philosophy in ecclesiastical history from Cambridge University. He also has a Master of Theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity, summa cum laude, from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Duke University.

He and his wife Connie live and minister with their son, Nathan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Why do I have such affection for Dever’s ministry?  Because through it God taught me what a healthy church looks like, focuses on, and seeks to do.  9Marks is a phenomenal resource to have at your side.  Anytime I step into a Dever book or a 9Mark resource I know I am growing healthier as a pastor.

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