J. Ellsworth Kalas was born on February 14, 1923, and died on November 12, 2015.
He was the former president and a former professor of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Ellsworth also served as pastor for 38 years in the Wisconsin and Ohio Conferences of the United Methodist Church and was associated for 5 years with the World Methodist Council.
Ellsworth obtained his Bachelor of Science at University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1951; his Bachelor of Divinity at Garrett Theological Seminary in 1954; and did additional graduate studies at University of Wisconsin–Madison (1954 to 1955), and Harvard University (1955-1956).
Dr. Kalas also held honorary degrees from Lawrence University, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Ellsworth tenure with Asbury began in 1993 and he had taught Preaching there since 2000.
He was the author of multiple Bible Studies published by the United Methodist Publishing House as well as a groundbreaking study called “Christian Believer” which attempts to teach Methodist laity systematic theology.
His addition to the field of homiletics is the concept of the Biographical Sermon, teaching a doctrine or biblical concept through the story of a real person’s life.
Biographical preaching can model methods for dealing with suffering and pain by telling the story of an exemplar’s struggle with suffering and pain.
J. Ellsworth passed away at age 92 in November 2015.