You are here: HomeAbout UsOur People › Associate Professor Glen Obrien

Reverend Associate Professor Glen O'Brien

Glen O'Brien -  EBC Associate Professor

Research Coordinator / Lecturer

BTh (Kingsley), MA Biblical Studies (Kingsley), MA Theological Studies (Asbury), PhD (La Trobe) 


Glen O’Brien has been on the College teaching staff since 2009, having formerly served at Booth College, Sydney, as Head of Humanities and Head of Theology. He is a Uniting Church minister in the Yarra Yarra Presbytery with a placement to full time theological education in The Salvation Army. As Research Coordinator at Eva Burrows College he administers the University of Divinity’s Higher Degrees by Research offered through the College as well as lecturing in Christian History and Theology, specialising in Wesleyan studies. He is Chair of the Research Committee of the University of Divinity and a Deputy Chair of Examiners in the University. He is also a Member of the University of Divinity’s Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy, Vice-President of the Religious History Association, President of the Uniting Church National History Society, a Research Fellow of the Australasian Centre for Wesleyan Research (ACWR), an Honorary Fellow of the Manchester (UK) Wesley Research Centre, Member of the Australian Historical Association, and Member of the American Academy of Religion. He is a member of The Salvation Army / Uniting Church Dialogue.

A graduate of Kingsley College (Bachelor Theology and Master of Arts in Biblical Studies), Asbury Theological Seminary (Master of Arts Theological Studies) and La Trobe University (PhD in history), Glen has engaged in postdoctoral research on John Wesley’s political writings at Duke Divinity School (2011), Asbury Theological Seminary (2013), Oxford Brookes University (2014). He continued that research as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Manchester Wesley Research Centre for six weeks in the summer of 2015, and was elected a Member of the Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies in 2013 and 2018.

He has published widely on Wesleyan and Methodist themes, including two volumes in the Ashgate Methodist Studies Series, many articles and book reviews in scholarly journals including The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, The Journal of Religious History, Methodist Review, Wesley and Methodist Studies, and the Wesleyan Theological Journal, as well as contributing numerous chapters to edited collections. In addition to his many publications (see below), he is the editor of The Journal of Wesleyan Thought (formerly Aldersgate Papers) the peer reviewed journal of the ACWR and has recently completed a full length monograph on John Wesley’s political writings.

Glen is co-supervising five doctoral students and is available for further supervision in the fields of Wesleyan thought, Methodist history, the Holiness Movement, Australian religious history, eighteenth-century studies, Trinitarian theology, or the doctrine of sanctification. 

Areas of Expertise 

  • Wesley Studies
  • Methodist History
  • History of Evangelicalism
  • Eighteenth-century Religion and Politics
  • Australian Religious History
  • The Trinity and the Doctrine of Sanctification

Media & Publications 

  • Wesleyan-Holiness Church in Australia: Hallelujah under the Southern Cross (London and New York: Routledge, 2018).
  • Methodism in Australia: A History (edited with Hilary Carey) (Farnham, Surrey and Burlington, VA: Ashgate, 2015)
  • Christian Worship: A Theological and Historical Introduction (Melbourne: Uniting Academic Press, 2013).
  • ‘George Whitefield, John Wesley, and the Rhetoric of Liberty,’ in New Approaches to Religion and the Enlightenment, ed. B.C. McInelly and Paul E. Kerry (Vancouver: Fairley Dickinson University Press, 2018), 105–128.
  • ‘Freedom in the Atlantic World: John Wesley and George Whitefield on Slavery,’ in Wesley and Whitefield? Wesley vs. Whitefield? ed. Ian Maddock (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2018), 161-182.
  • ‘“A Good and Sensible Man”: John Wesley’s Reading and Use of Jonathan Edwards,’ in The Global Edwards: Papers from the Jonathan Edwards Congress held in Melbourne, August 2015, ed. Rhys Bezzant (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2017), 247-60.
  • ‘A Trinitarian Theology of Sanctification for the Wesleyan Tradition,’ Phronema 33:2 (2018): 63–81.
  • ‘Methodist, Congregationalist, and Uniting Church Theologians, 1916-2016,’ St. Mark’s Review no. 242 (Dec 2017): 99-113.
  • ‘“A Divine Attraction between Your Soul and Mine”: George Whitefield and Same Sex Affection in Eighteenth-Century Methodism,' Pacifica 30:2 (2017): 177-192.
  • ‘Irving Benson: Preacher, Writer, Mission Superintendent (1897–1980),’ in Out of the Ordinary: Twelve Australian Methodist Biographies, ed. William Emilsen and Patricia Curthoys (Adelaide: Mediacom, 2015), 217-38.
  •  ‘John Wesley, the Uniting Church, and the Authority of Scripture,’ Pacifica 27 (June 2014): 170-83.
  • ‘Methodist Encounters with Other Religious Traditions in the Southern World,’ Australian Journal of Mission Studies 8: 1 (June 2014): 42-53.
  •  ‘Christian Perfection in Australian Methodism,’ in Sean Winter, ed. Immense, Unfathomed, Unconfined: Essays on the Grace of God in Honour of Norman Young (Melbourne: Mosaic Press, 2013).
  • ‘John Wesley and Athanasius on Salvation in the Context of the Debate over Wesley’s Debt to Eastern Orthodoxy,’ Phronema 28:2 (2013): 28-54. 
  • ‘Not Radically a Dissenter: Samuel Leigh in the Colony of New South Wales,’ Wesley and Methodist Studies 4 (2012): 51-69.
  • ‘John Wesley’s Rebuke to the Rebels of British America: Revisiting the “Calm Address,”’ Methodist Review: A Journal of Methodist and Wesleyan Studies 4 (2012): 31-55.
  •  ‘The Empire’s Titanic Struggle: Victorian Methodism and the Great War,’ Aldersgate Papers vol. 10 (Sept 2012): 50-70
  •  ‘The Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia,’ Uniting Church Studies 17:2 (December 2011): 67-81
  •  ‘Anti-Americanism and Wesleyan-Holiness Churches in Australia,’ Journal of Ecclesiastical History 61:2 (April 2010): 314-343.
  • ‘Reading Wesley’s Sermons in Edwardian Melbourne,’ in The Master: Life and Times of Edward Sugden, ed. Renate Howe (Melbourne: Uniting Academic Press, 2009), 109-124.
  • ‘Methodism in Australia,’ Sunday Nights, ABC Radio, 4 October 2015
  • ‘Fires of Faith and Understanding the Holy Spirit in the Churches,’ Sunday Nights, ABC Radio, 27 May 2012
  • ‘Nature vs Nurture’ dialogue with David Hohne of Moore College on Calvinism and Arminianism, Sunday Nights, ABC Radio, 9 March 2008


To contact Glen please fill out this Enquiry Form