Curriculum Vitae


E-mail: darren.sumner [at] gmail [dot] com



  • Doctor of Philosophy. School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen (2013)
    Dissertation: Karl Barth’s Critical Appropriation of the Doctrine of the Incarnation
    Supervisor: John B. Webster
  • Master of Divinity. Princeton Theological Seminary (2009)
    Honor: Jagow Prize in Preaching (2008)
  • Master of Arts. Wheaton College Graduate School (2006) (Historical and Systematic Theology)
    Honor: Magna cum laude
  • Bachelor of Arts. Seattle Pacific University (1998) (Religious Studies)
    Honors: Magna cum laude, Dean’s List, Alpha Kappa Sigma honor society


Fuller Seminary Northwest, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Theology (2013-Present)

  • “The Church’s Understanding of God and Christ in its Historical Development” (HT 500)
  • “The Church’s Understanding of the Church, Humanity, and the Christian Life in its Historical Development” (HT 502)
  • “Historical Theology I: God and Christ in the Church’s Theological Reflection” (HT501)
  • “Historical Theology II: Church and Humanity in the Church’s Theological Reflection” (HT503)
  • “Modern Theology in a Global Context” (HT504)
  • “Systematic Theology II: Christology and Soteriology” (ST502)
  • “Systematic Theology III: Ecclesiology and Eschatology” (ST503)
  • “Karl Barth and Evangelicalism” (ST530)

The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, Affiliate Professor (2013-Present)

  • “Church History I” (TCE 506, First Century to the Eve of the Reformation)
  • “Church History II” (TCE 507, From the Reformation to the Present)
  • “The Road to Nicaea and Beyond: A Historical Look at a Developing Theology” (TCE 514)
  • “Advanced Seminar: Karl Barth Engaging Culture” (TCE513B)

St. Martin’s University, Senior Lecturer (2014-Present)

  • “Comparative Religion” (RLS 302 – Online)
  • “Introduction to the New Testament” (RLS 202)
  • “Moral Choices” (RLS 304)

Seattle Pacific University, Adjunct Instructor (2013)

  • “Christian Theology” (UFDN 3100)

University of Aberdeen, Instructor (2012)

  • “Theology of Karl Barth” (DR4069, with John Webster)

Selected Guest Lectures

  • Trinity Lutheran College, “The High Middle Ages” (2013)
  • University of Aberdeen, “Reformed Protestantism” (2012); “Karl Barth and Eternity” (2012); “Barth’s Mature Christology” (2011); “Bruce McCormack on Divine Freedom” (2011)



  • The Reformation Christ: Chalcedonian Christology in the Sixteenth Century (Fortress Press, forthcoming)
  • Karl Barth and the Incarnation: Christology and the Humility of God (T&T Clark, Studies in Systematic Theology, 2014)

    “Historically informed, interpretatively judicious, and systematically discriminating, Karl Barth and the Incarnation is a terrific contribution to Barth studies.  Those seeking to understand Barth’s complex relationship to his forebears and those looking to appreciate the innovative christological perspective of the Dogmatics will profit greatly from Sumner’s elegant and suggestive work.”  ~ Paul Dafydd Jones, University of Virginia

Book Chapters:

  • “Christology,” in Jonathan Edwards and Karl Barth: Innovations and Dialogue in the Reformed Tradition, ed. Uche Anizor and Kyle Strobel (Fortress Press, forthcoming)
  • “Obedience and Subordination in Karl Barth’s Trinitarian Theology,” in Advancing Trinitarian Theology: Essays in Constructive Dogmatics, ed. Oliver D. Crisp and Fred Sanders (Zondervan, 2014)
  • “Karl Barth and ‘the Fullness of Time’: Eternity and Divine Intent in the Epistle to the Galatians,” The Epistle to the Galatians and Christian Theology, ed. Mark W. Elliott, Scott Hafemann, N. T. Wright, and John Frederick (Baker Academic, 2014)

Journal Articles:

  • “Fallenness and Anhypostasis: A Way Forward in the Debate Over Christ’s Humanity,” Scottish Journal of Theology 67 no. 2 (2014): 195-212
  • “The Twofold Life of the Word: Karl Barth’s Critical Reception of the Extra Calvinisticum,” International Journal of Systematic Theology 15 no. 1 (2013): 42-57
  • “The Instrumentalization of Christ’s Human Nature in Athanasius of Alexandria,” Studia Patristica Vol. LII (2012): 129-38
  • “Common Actualization: Karl Barth’s Recovery and Reappropriation of the Communication of Natures,” Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie 53 no. 4 (2011): 465-479
  • “Theory and Metaphor in Calvin’s Doctrine of the Atonement,” The Princeton Theological Review no. 37 (2007)

Book Reviews:

  • “The Son of God Beyond the Flesh: A Historical and Theological Study of the Extra Calvinisticum – By Andrew M. McGinnis,” Journal of Reformed Theology (forthcoming)
  • “The Freedom of God for Us: Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Divine Aseity – By Brian D. Asbill,” Scottish Journal of Theology (forthcoming)
  • Dominus Mortis: Martin Luther on the Incorruptibility of God in Christ – By David J. Luy,” International Journal of Systematic Theology (forthcoming)
  • “A Kryptic Model of the Incarnation – By Andrew Ter Ern Loke,” Reviews in Religion and Theology (forthcoming)
  • “The Oxford Handbook of Christology – Edited By Francesca Aran Murphy,” American Academy of Religion: Reading Religion (forthcoming)
  • “Karl Barth and the Future of Evangelical Theology – Edited By Christian T. Collins Winn and John L. Drury,” Center for Barth Studies, (2016)
  • “The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology – By Thomas Joseph White, OP,” Modern Theology 32 no. 2 (2016): 296-297
  • “Law and Gospel in Emil Brunner’s Earlier Dialectical Theology – By David Gilland,” Journal of Theological Studies 66 no. 2 (2015): 877-880
  • “Covering Up Luther: How Barth’s Christology Challenged the Deus Absconditus that Haunts Modernity – By Rustin E. Brian,” Reviews In Religion and Theology 21 no. 4 (2014): 466-471
  • “Karl Barth and the Legacy of Wilhelm Herrmann,” invited contribution to the Syndicate online symposium for “Karl Barth on Theology and Philosophy – By Kenneth Oakes,” (June, 2014)
  • “Christ and Reconciliation (Volume 1 of A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World) – By Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen,” Theological Book Review (forthcoming)
  • “Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology – By Edward T. Oakes, SJ,” International Journal of Systematic Theology, (forthcoming)
  • “Christ and Reconciliation (Volume 1 of A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World) – By Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen,” Theological Book Review (forthcoming)
  • “Trinitarian Theology After Barth – Edited by Myk Habets and Phillip Tolliday,” Journal of Theological Studies 63 no. 1 (2012): 402-404
  • “Cross Theology: The Classical Theologia Crucis and Karl Barth’s Modern Theology of the Cross – By Rosalene Bradbury,” Journal of Theological Studies 63 no. 1 (2012): 405-408
  • “Reconciled Humanity: Karl Barth in Dialogue – By Hans Vium Mikkelsen,” Center for Barth Studies, (2012)
  • “The Christ’s Faith: A Dogmatic Account – By R. Michael Allen,” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 29 no. 2 (2011)
  • “The Humanity of Christ: Christology in Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics – By Paul D. Jones,” Center for Barth Studies, (2010)
  • “Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity – By Richard Bauckham,” Reviews In Religion and Theology Vol. 17 no. 2 (2010)



I am preparing a monograph that analyzes Lutheran and Reformed Christologies in the polemical context of the sixteenth century, with primary attention to the treatises of Martin Chemnitz and Peter Martyr Vermigli.  I examine the Eucharist controversy as the primary context in which their respective doctrinal positions were formed in opposition to one another, and critically evaluate the groups’ competing claims to the legacy of Chalcedonian orthodoxy.  The book is under contract at Fortress Press.

I am also engaged in research for a monograph under the working title Modern Christologies: Studies in the Trajectory of Schleiermacher, which examines the Christologies of seven figures with respect to the relative proximity of their projects to the language and canons of the ancient church, as well as Schleiermacher’s enduring influence upon modern thought.

Long-Term:  I will pursue research into Reformed ecclesiology and particularly the regulative function of creeds and confessional statements in the Reformed tradition (and across a diverse breadth of Christian traditions).  This includes the place of confession in a church body’s teaching authority and ordination process, its adaptability over time, and the ways in which these impact ongoing practices such as worship, preaching, catechesis, and discipline.

Further Interests: Liberation theologies (especially the appropriation of classical categories);  history of Christology;  kenosis;  theological ontology;  British and North American reception of Karl Barth;  Martin Chemnitz;  Gottfried Thomasius


  • “Christocentrism and the Immanent Trinity: Identifying Theology’s Pattern and Norm,” Los Angeles Theology Conference, Biola University (2017)
  • “Schleiermacher’s Free Christology: Doctrinal Revision Within (and Without) the Churches,” American Academy of Religion Annual Conference (Co-Sponsored Session, Martin Luther and Global Lutheran Traditions Group and Schleiermacher Group), San Antonio (2016)
  • “Incarnation: Conversations on Theology and Art,” Fuller Seminary Northwest (2016)
  • “Kenosis as a Mediating Christology: The Erlangen School and the Logic of Incarnation,” American Academy of Religion Annual Conference (Co-Sponsored Session, Nineteenth-Century Theology Group and Schleiermacher Group), Atlanta (2015)
  • “Jesus the Imago Dei: Does Humanity Have An Innate Capacity for Divine Incarnation?,” American Academy of Religion Annual Conference (Christian Systematic Theology Section), San Diego (2014)
  • “‘Functional’ Subordination and Eternity: The Father-Son Relation In Karl Barth’s Trinitarian Theology,” Los Angeles Theology Conference, Fuller Theological Seminary (2014)
  • “On the Merits of Scrupling: Unity and Uniformity in American Presbyterianism,” American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, Chicago (2012)
  • “‘The Fullness of Time’: Time, Eternity, and Divine Intent in the Epistle to the Galatians,” St. Andrews Conference on Scripture and Theology, University of St. Andrews (2012)
  • “Actualism as Theological Methodology and Ontology,” Society for the Study of Theology Annual Conference, York University (2012)
  • “Theology As Confession: Doctrinal Certitude and the Task of Reformed Theology,” Theologians and the Church: Society for the Study of Theology Postgraduate Conference, University of Edinburgh (2011)
  • “Jesus Christ’s Fallen and Glorified Nature As The Pattern For Christian Sanctification,” Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference, University of Edinburgh (2011)
  • “On the Dispensability (and Indispensability) of the Extra Calvinisticum,” Society for the Study of Theology Annual Conference, York University (2011)
  • “The Instrumentalization of Christ’s Human Nature In Athanasius of Alexandria,” Third British Patristics Conference, Durham University (2010)


  • Peer Reviewer, International Journal of Systematic Theology; Modern Theology; Bloomsbury / T&T Clark; IVP Academic
  • Conference Advisor, Christ and Cascadian Culture, Fuller Institute of Theology & Northwest Culture (2014)
  • Research Assistant, Professor John Webster (2011-12)
  • Conference Assistant, Society for the Study of Theology, York University (2012)
  • Editorial Assistant, Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology (2008-09)
  • Associate Editor, Princeton Theological Review (2007-08)


  • Pulpit Supply – Lacey Presbyterian Church (Lacey, Washington); Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (Seattle, Washington); First Presbyterian Church of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, Washington)  (2013 – Present)
  • Adult Education Teacher – Lacey Presbyterian Church, Lacey, Washington (2014 – Present)
  • Small Group Leader – Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, Scotland (2010 – 2011)
  • Intern – GreenFaith, New Brunswick, New Jersey (2008)
  • Pastoral Intern – First Presbyterian Church of Hamilton Square, Hamilton, New Jersey (2007 – 2008)


Learned Societies: American Academy of Religion, Society for the Study of Theology, Karl Barth Society of North America

Religious Affiliations: Presbyterian Church (USA)

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