James Skillen

Biography of James Skillen

James W. Skillen is a Christian theologian and author. He was the executive director of the Center for Public Justice (a Christian policy thinktank) from 1981 to 2000, at which time he became president. He helped found the organization in 1977.


He pursued undergraduate studies at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, majoring in philosophy. He received a Bachelor of Divinity from the Westminster Theological Seminary, Chestnut Hill, outside Philadelphia. Skillen then studied philosophy at the Free University of Amsterdam where he attended lectures in the courses of Herman Dooyeweerd, Professor of Law and renowned Christian philosopher. Skillen completed a doctorate in political science at Duke University under John Hallowell. Today Skillen is a scholar-practitioner in political science.

Skillen as author

Skillen has written much, both for the Christian public and for academic journals. His works include The Scattered Voice: Christians at Odds in the Public Square, which was described as "remarkable" and "meticulously fair" by Mark Noll, then professor of Wheaton College. Bruce Wearne has complied an extensive annotated bibliography of Skillen's writings: Public Justice for All:An annotated bibliography of the works of James W Skillen 1967-2008.


In 2009, he signed a public statement encouraging all Christians to "read, wrestle with, and respond to Caritas in Veritate" the social encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI.

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