Zylla portrait

Phil C. Zylla

Professor of Pastoral Theology, J. Gordon and Margaret Warnock Jones Chair in Church and Ministry

Dr. Zylla is Professor of Pastoral Theology and holds the J. Gordon and Margaret Warnock Jones Chair in Church and Ministry.  Dr. Zylla has served as Senior Pastor in three congregations over seventeen years in three regions of Canada and has been involved in theological education for over eighteen years.  His interests are in the theology of suffering, theology of ministry, spirituality, and pastoral care.  He is married to Melodie and lives in Ancaster, Ontario.

Practical Ministry Experience:

Dr. Zylla was Lead Pastor at First Baptist, Arnprior, ON (1984-89); Lead Pastor at Greenfield Baptist Church (1990-95); Field Director at Mustard Seed Street Church, Edmonton, AB (1995-1996; and Lead Pastor at Sunshine Ridge Baptist Church, Surrey, BC (1996-2001). He was Principal of ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University (2001-2007) and is currently VP Academic at McMaster Divinity College (2007-present)

Research Interests:

Dr. Zylla is an active member of the Society of Pastoral Theology and the British and Irish Association of Practical Theology.  His current research is on the topic of spiritual formation in congregational life.  He also has research interests in pastoral theology, pastoral care, theology of suffering, and theopoetics.


Virtue as Consent to Being: A Pastoral-Theological Perspective on Jonathan Edwards’s Construct of Virtue.  Eugene, Oregon:  Pickwick Publications with McMaster Divinity College Press.

The Roots of Sorrow: A Pastoral Theology of Suffering.  Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press.


University of South Africa Pretoria
South Africa
Princeton Theological Seminary
Princeton, NJ
North American Baptist Seminary
Sioux Falls, SD
BA Rel
North American Baptist College
Edmonton, AB

Current Course List

Course Title Instructors Term Year/Month Days
The Ministry of Pastoral Care Phil C. Zylla Fall 2023 Tues
The Pastoral Theology of Henri Nouwen Phil C. Zylla Fall 2023
Theology of Suffering Phil C. Zylla Winter 2024 Mon
Advanced Research in Practical Theology (DPT only) Phil C. Zylla Winter 2024 Tues
Spiritual Formation in the Church Phil C. Zylla Spring 2024 Mon

Recent Publications

Title Professor Name Year
the roots of soorow book cover The Roots Of Sorrow Phil C. Zylla 2012
virtue as consent to being book cover Virtue As Consent To Being Phil C. Zylla 2010