Phil C. Zylla

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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.