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Alden Thompson

(B.A. [1965], Walla Walla College; M.A. [1966] and B.Div. [1967 = M.Div.], Andrews University; Ph.D [1975], University of Edinburgh)

Alden Thompson is currently professor of Biblical Studies at Walla Walla University. He has been a faculty member at WWC since 1970. From 1972 to 1974, he was on college-sponsored doctoral study leave at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. In 1980-81 he was an exchange teacher at Marienhöhe Seminary in Darmstadt, Germany. After serving as WWC academic vice president for four years (1986-90), he returned to full-time teaching in the School of Theology.  He formally retired on July 1, 2009, but continues to teach half time.

An ordained minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Thompson is a graduate of Walla Walla College (BA 1965) and Andrews University (MA 1966; B.Div. 1967). Before joining the faculty at WWC/WWU, he pastored in Southeastern California (1967-1970). He received his doctorate in Old Testament and Judaic Studies from the University of Edinburgh in 1975. His dissertation, Responsibility for Evil in the Theodicy of IV Ezra was published by Scholars Press in 1977.

He is in frequent demand as a speaker and seminar presenter. His primary interests are the Bible, especially the Old Testament, Ellen White studies, "Inspiration," and Adventist History. He has written extensively for Adventist publications. His five-part "Sinai to Golgotha" series was published in The Adventist Review (December 1981). The Review also published a four-part series, "Adventists and Inspiration" (September 1985) which resulted in the invitation to write Inspiration: Hard Questions, Honest Answers (Review and Herald, 1991), now translated into German (1998) and Dutch (2002).

His first semi-popular book, Who's Afraid of the Old Testament God? was published initially by Paternoster Press in Britain (1988) then by Zondervan in the US (1989).  It has since been published in Icelandic, Norwegian, and Russian.  The fifth English edition appeared in 2011. In 2005, his Escape from the Flames: How Ellen White grew from fear to joy and helped me do it too, was published by Pacific Press. Available in German, Norwegian, and Russian, as well as in English, it contains a significant autobiographical element, focusing on the role of Ellen White in his own experience.  Beyond Common Ground: Why Liberals and Conservatives Need Each Other was published by the Pacific Press in 2009.  It is available in English and French.

Thompson is also a frequent participant and study guide editor for "The Good Word," a weekly 15-minute dialogue commentary on the Sabbath School Lesson, produced by KGTS, the WWC radio station, and the WWU School of Theology. Study guide and audio are available at Many of Thompson’s articles and papers can be accessed at his web site,

Office:Administration Building School of Theology Rm 324
Office Hours:By Appointment
Phone:Office: (509) 527-2195
Theology Dept: (509) 527-2194

Last update on May 1, 2018