0 J.L. Miller

J.L. Miller

Houghton professor J.L. Miller with blue polo shirt.

J.L. Miller

Interim Dean of Spiritual Life and Chair of Religion

J.L. served as a youth pastor for a total of 11 years in Pittsburgh, Ithaca, Kentucky, and Buffalo before arriving here at Houghton in 2010. Ordained in the Wesleyan Church, J.L. serves as the Chair of Religion, Associate Dean of the Chapel, and teaches Youth Ministry.

J.L. and his wife, Heidi, along with their four kids make their home in Houghton and love to take long road trips, play board games, and cheer for the Bills!

After over a decade of serving in the local church, I came to two significant realizations. First, most of my interactions with people in the church boiled down to questions of spiritual formation. While the circumstances were often very unique, the core concern was the same- how do I make sense of what God is doing in my life and how can I grow in my faith? This realization led me to pursue further education in the field of Spiritual Formation.

The second realization was the desperate need for spiritually healthy ministers. Ministry is incredibly complex these days and unbelievably taxing on pastors. I love the local church and want to see congregations thriving as a result of leadership that is well-trained and spiritually healthy. I love educating future pastors because I want to play my small part in helping the local church be a force for God’s Kingdom work in the world.

I love doing this work at Houghton because a residential Christian Liberal Arts education is one of the best places for deep personal formation and rigorous academic learning. It is thrilling to watch students integrate their personal spiritual growth, content from classes outside of their discipline, and their particular passion for ministry. This type of robust and dynamic development is what the church needs and is what Houghton does best.


  • B.A. in Student Ministries | Geneva College
  • M.A. in Youth Ministry | Asbury Theological Seminary
  • D.Min. in Spiritual Formation | Tyndale Seminary Toronto

Courses Taught

  • Foundations of Youth Ministry
  • Foundations of Educational Ministry
  • Christian Formation of Youth
  • Theological Explorations of Youth Culture
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Emmanuel Scholars

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