Director of the Church Health Center for Recovery Studies

B.A. English, Memphis State University
M.A., English, Memphis State University
M.Div., Memphis Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Middlesex University, London, England

John Kilzer joined the faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary as an adjunct professor in 2007, became the Director of Theology and Arts at MTS in 2007, and is currently the Director of the Church Health Center for Recovery Studies at MTS. John is an Emmanuel Levinas scholar, having been mentored during his doctoral work by the renowned Levinas and Heidegger scholar Dr. Robert L. Bernasconi, the Edwin Sparks Professor of Philosophy at Penn State University. John has authored the book Responsibility as Emmanuel Levinas’s Mission to the Gentiles. Dr. Kilzer is an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church, where he is currently appointed to St. John’s United Methodist Church in Memphis. He leads a recovery service called The Way every Friday night at St. John’s at 6pm.

Dr. Kilzer was an All American basketball player in Jackson, Tennessee, a four-year letterman in basketball at Memphis State University, where he played in one NCAA tournament and one NIT tournament, and is a member of the West Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Dr. Kilzer is also an award-winning recording artist and songwriter. He had a top-ten record Memory in the Making on Geffen Records and toured the United States with The Moody Blues and Little Feat, and Europe with the band The Tragically Hip. He co-wrote Then Came the Night on Trace Adkins Platinum Record Comin’ On Strong. His song Marilyn Dean and James Monroe was used in the T V series Melrose Place, and his songs were also recorded by Rosanne Cash, Doobie Gray, and Maria Muldaur. He is a member of the West Tennessee Musicians Hall of Fame. His is currently a recording artist with Archer Records, where his latest release Hide Away won Record of the Year in England in 2015.

Learn more about Dr. Kilzer’s music

Learn more about Dr. Kilzer’s research, teaching, and ministry