Zylla portrait

Phil C. Zylla

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

Dr. Zylla is the Academic Dean of McMaster Divinity College and a faculty member in the area of pastoral theology.  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 eleven 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:

1996-2001   Senior Pastor   Sunshine Ridge Baptist Church, Surrey, B.C.

1995-1996   Field Director Urban Pastoral Education Mustard Seed Street Church, Edmonton, Alberta

1990-1995  Senior Pastor   Greenfield Baptist Church, Edmonton, Alberta

1984-1989  Senior Pastor   First Baptist Church, Arnprior, Ontario

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 and a theology of community.

Current Projects:

Dr. Zylla is currently doing research on communal approaches to congregational formation.  He has written in this area and is currently working on a book entitled, The Spiritual Formation of the Congregation.  In addition he has a research project on ministry challenges in the Canadian church and is jointly working on a book with Dr. Stanley Porter on this theme.  These books are scheduled to be launched in 2013.


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
North American Baptist College
Edmonton, AB

Current Course List

Course Title Instructors Term Year/Month Days
Advanced Research In Practical Theology W18 Phil C. Zylla Winter 2018

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