Philip O. Hopkins

PhD, lecturer


Philip O Hopkins has a PhD in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, North Carolina) and a PhD in Iranian History from the University of St Andrews (Scotland). He is associate professor of church history at Gateway Seminary and lecturer of Christianity and Islam at Russian-Armenian University.

Since the spontaneous candlelight vigil in Tehran for the victims of 9/11, Hopkins has worked to develop connections with Iranians to promote dialogue on substantive issues related to culture, history, philosophy, and religion. His research centres on ethnic Christian communities in Iran (specifically Armenians and Assyrians), ideology and nationalism among Christians in Iran, and perceptions of Western Christian missions by Iranians during and after the Pahlavi era. With the rise of American influence during the latter half of the twentieth century, he has a keen interest in American Christian missionary activity in Iran.

Refereed Journal Articles
  • “An Overview of the Missions Activities of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission Board in Iran,” Iran and the Caucasus 22:2 (2018): 168-76.
  • “Iran’s Ethnic Christians: The Assyrians and The Armenians,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 61:1 (2018): 137-52. Translation into Korean by Simon Lee in Silk Wave Mission (Sept 2021).
  • “Modern Western Christian Missions in Iran: The Connection Between Government and Missionary,” Iran and the Caucasus 19:4 (2015): 299-309.
  • “On Why the United States Should Not Attack Iran: A Conservative, Evangelical Christian Response,” co-written with Bruce R Ashford, The Quarterly Journal of Political Studies of Islamic World 1:1 [Imam Khomeini International University Qazvin, Iran] (Spring 2012): 21-33.  
Professional Presentations and Interviews
  •  “The Calvinist Understanding of the Doctrine of Election in Relation to the Proclamation of the Gospel,” International Conference on Practical Theology, Qom, Iran, 6-7 March 2022.
  • Interview with Mohsen Kadivar [research professor at Duke University and Iranian exile], “Theological Reflections of Islam in the Modern World,” Duke University, Durham, NC, 25 Feb 2022. 
  • Interviewed by Mohammad Memarian, “Christian Missions of a Dubious Nature,” Iran Daily [an English written Iranian newspaper published in Tehran], 24 January 2022: 6,
  • Interview with Fatima Tofighi [assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Religions in Qom, Iran], “Islam and Modernization, Theological Considerations: A Woman’s Role in Islam in Relation to a Woman’s Role in Christianity,” University of Religions, Qom, Iran, 9 Nov 2021,
  •  Interview with Seyyed Hossein Nasr [one of the most important Iranian Muslim academics in the world], “What is Islam and Its Relation to Christianity and the Modern World,” George Washington University, Washington DC, 28 Oct 2021. 
  •  “The Transitioning Model of American Christianity in Iran during the Last Years of the Pahlavis,” 25th Anniversary of Iran and the Caucasus (Brill), 1 June 2021, Yerevan, Armenia.
  •  “In the Absence of Evidence: Mill and James Against Hume’s ‘On Miracles’ in Conversation with Ancient Voices and Sacred Texts”, with Adam Groza, International Conference of Rationality, Theism and Atheism, The Institute of Iranian Philosophy, 1-2 March 2021, Tehran, Iran. 
  •  “Proselytization Efforts of American Protestant Missionaries in Iran during the Last Years of the Pahlavis,” 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, 21-24 Nov 2020, Boston, MA. 
  • “The Dangers of Expatriate Iranian Messianic Jews Being Deported from the United States to Iran,” unpublished paper, part of information used in a federal court case, 21 Aug 2019, East Palo Alto, CA.
  • “Christian Missions in Gorgan,” Association for Iranian Studies Biennial Conference; 14-17 Aug 2018, Irvine, CA.
  • “Worldviews in Concept: A Comparison of Christianity and Islam,” The Sixth International Conference on Contemporary Philosophy of Religion; 6-7 February 2018; Tehran, Iran, (submitted and accepted, but visa denied).
  • “Southern Baptist Missions in Iran,” The Association for the Study of Persianate Societies Biennial Conference; 8-11 Sept 2015, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • “Pain, Suffering, and Death to the Glory of God: An Explanation of Evangelical Theologian John Piper’s Understanding of the Problem of Evil,” The International Conference on Contemporary Philosophy of Religion;23-24 December 2012, Tehran, Iran, docs/abstracts.pdf (submitted and accepted, but visa denied).
  • “Geographical Issues Facing Israel and the Middle East: Eschatological Fulfillment of the Promises of Land Made to the Jews,” International Conference: Middle East: Language, Literature, and History, 20-21 Oct 2012, Yerevan, Armenia.
  • “A Conservative, Evangelical Response to US Foreign Policy towards Iran,” International Conference: The Turkic World, the Caucasus, and Iran – Crossroads of Civilizational Interaction, 10-12 July 2009, Yerevan, Armenia.
  • “Muslims and Christians Together: Pain Suffering and Death to the Glory of God,” International Conference: Iran and the Caucasus: Unity and Diversity, 6-8 June 2008, Yerevan, Armenia.  
  • “Inspiration,” Macmillan Publishing Company, 8 March 2007, Yerevan, Armenia.
  • Interview with Keith R Parks [former president of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention], Murfreesboro, NC, 4 April 2000. Transcript, Southeastern SBC Historical Missiology Oral History Collection, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC.

List of publications

  • “The Forgotten Armenians,” in The Ethno-Cultural Others of Turkey: Contemporary Reflections, ed. by Ahmet Kerim Gultekin and Cakir Ceyhan Suvari (Yerevan: Russian-Armenian University Press, 2021), 249-68. See:  Translated into Turkey by Erdogan Boz (Estimated in 2022) and Russian.
  • American Missionaries in Iran during the 1960s and 1970s (London: Palgrave MacMillan), 2020.
  • “Mission to Unreached People Groups,” in The Mission of God, ed. by Bruce R Ashford (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2011), 173-85.
  • God’s Desire for the Nations: The Missionary Theology of John Piper (Gonzalez, FL: Energion, 2010). 

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