Where They Go: Ken Magnuson '80 Tackles the World of Ethics

Sara Jacobson
  • Graduated from Bethel Seminary with a Masters of Divinity
  • Obtained a PhD in theology and ethics from Cambridge University
  • Currently a professor of Christian Ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville
  • Chairs the department of Worldview and Culture
  • Writing his first book

Joining a Welcoming Community

Even brief experiences can create a lasting impact: Ken Magnuson (‘80) transferred from his public high school to Minnehaha Academy for his senior year, but he never regretted the decision.

“Some people thought it would be difficult to transfer just for one year, but I loved it. I felt welcomed right from the start,” he says.  He jumped into campus life, playing tennis and singing in the choir, as well as developing friendships.

“The amazing thing to me is that even though I was only at Minnehaha for one year I was blessed with some great friendships. And even though I don’t see people often, the bond of friendship has lasted across the years and miles.” 

Entering the World of Ethics

Initially Magnuson went to Bethel College to study anthropology, but after working for a couple of years he decided to go back and study for his Masters of Divinity. From there he crossed the ocean to Cambridge University where he received a PhD in theology and ethics.

This program of study opened the doors fo him to become a professor of Christian Ethics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he’s also chair of the department of Worldview and Culture.  

It is such a privilege to have a part in training future pastors and scholars! My biggest current project is that I am  writing a book introducing readers to Christian ethics and contemporary moral issues,” he said. 

Volunteering Within and Outside the Walls of Academia

Magnuson currently serves on the board at a local crisis pregnancy center and at Tyndale House, a residential research center in Cambridge, England, that provides tools and resources for biblical studies.

These roles all grow out of his deep spiritual roots, which were also impacted during his time at MA.

“MA had a positive effect on my spiritual growth because of teachers who loved the Lord and brought that love into the classroom,” he says. “Coming from a public high school, it was also great to have chapel and a strong spiritual environment. That is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted!” 

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