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I hope to encourage college students to discover, understand and live out their Christian vocation, whether in the workplace or in a cross-cultural setting.

Dr. Liebengood

Profile Photo: Kelly Liebengood, Ph.D.

Liebengood, Ph.D.

Phone: 903.233.3372

  • Dean, School of Theology & Vocation

  • Professor of Biblical Studies & Theology

Welcome to the School of Theology and Vocation. We exist because LETU is intentional about being a Christian university, where students, faculty, and staff deepen their commitment to Christian teaching, learning, and living.

We have an exciting mission. Not only do we prepare our majors to interpret the Bible and lead communities into deeper expressions of Christian discipleship in a variety of ministry contexts, we also are tasked with equipping students from every major to help them explore their Christian calling (or vocation) and how it is connected to their studies and their career aspirations. In addition to this, we work with faculty across campus to encourage reflection on the ways in which Christian faith informs our academic disciplines, and also the ways in which our shared and intersecting work as professors is mutually enriching both for faculty and for students.

Our prayer is that the work that comes out of the School of Theology and Vocation helps us all grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ; that we foster delight in God and His love for us; and that we are encouraged to embrace our calling to participate in God’s holistic mission of redemption and reconciliation in this world.

With gratitude, 

Kelly Liebengood



Ph.D., University of St. Andrews, Scotland
M.Div., Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
M.A., University of Kansas
B.S., San Jose State University


Kelly became a Christian in his junior year at San Jose State University. His world was turned upside-down. It is perhaps for this reason that Kelly considers the university years to be the most strategic and significant period of life for developing a holistic, globally-minded understanding of the Christian calling of life-long participation in God’s mission of love and reconciliation in the world. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve at LeTourneau University, where he seeks to encourage students to discover, understand, and live out their Christian calling wherever God places them.

Prior to joining LeTourneau University in 2009, Kelly taught New Testament and was dean of student life at Seminario ESEPA in San José, Costa Rica. Kelly and his wife met while serving as missionaries in Concepción, Chile. Together they have served as campus ministers at the University of Kansas and as missionaries with United World Mission in Costa Rica and Scotland. They have four children who teach them a lot about God and the meaning of life.

Courses Taught

  • Biblical Theology for the Christian Life
  • Biblical Literature
  • Beginning and Intermediate Greek
  • Romans
  • The Book of Revelation
  • The Life and Letters of the Apostle Paul
  • The Life and Witness of Peter
  • General Letters (Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John)
  • Physical Settings of the Bible: Israel, Turkey, Greece
  • Reading Ephesians the Marilynne Robinson’s “Lila”
  • Faith and Learning

Research Interests

  • 1 Peter
  • The use of the Old Testament in the New Testament
  • Israel and the Church in theology and biblical studies
  • Theological hermeneutics
  • The interface between Christian theology, work, economics, and vocation
  • A biblical theology of priesthood
  • Pauline letters and theology
  • Discipleship as hospitality. 

Publications and Presentations (representative)

  • Liebengood, Kelly D. 2023. “The Problem(s) of Reading 1 Peter after Supersessionism” Religions 14, no. 2: 206.
  • Kelly D. Liebengood. Reading 1 Peter after Supersessionism (New Testament Interpretation after Supersessionism Series; Cascade Books, under contract, due 2023).
  • Kelly D. Liebengood. The Eschatology of 1 Peter: Considering the influence of Zechariah 9-14; Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 157 (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  • Bruce W. Longenecker and Kelly D. Liebengood, eds. Engaging Economics: New Testament Scenarios and Early Christian Reception (Eerdmans, 2009).
  • Kelly D. Liebengood, “1-2 Peter”, “Jude” in the Baker Illustrated Background Commentary, ed. Duvall and Hays (2018)
  • Kelly D. Liebengood. “Confronting Roman Imperial Claims: Following the Footsteps (and the Narrative) of 1 Peter’s Eschatological Davidic Shepherd” in An Introduction to Empire in the New Testament, edited by Adam Winn (SBL: 255-272, 2016).
  • Kelly D. Liebengood and Aaron J. Kuecker. “The Paul of Acts and the Paul of the Epistles” in Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism, edited by Christopher M. Hays and Christopher B. Ansberry (SPCK: 182-204, 2013).
  • Kelly D. Liebengood. “Participating in the Life of God: Exploring the Trinitarian Foundation of 1 Peter’s Missional Identity”, Midwestern Journal of Theology (15.2:74-90). 2016.
  • Kelly D. Liebengood. “Paul’s Expectations of Generosity”, Christian Reflections October (Generosity): 19-28, 2015.
  • Kelly D. Liebengood. “Augustine con leche. Reading the Milk Metaphor of 1 Peter 2.2 with Help from Augustine’s Insights Regarding the Affections”, Leaven 20:3:127-132, 2012.
  • Kelly Liebengood. “¿Que quiere decir la pasión de Cristo? El significado del sufrimiento de Jesús, según las Escrituras.” Apuntes Pastorales 21:4 (2004): 8-12.
  •  Kelly Liebengood, Southwest Commission on Religious Studies, “The Problem of Reading 1 Peter as Christian Scripture”, March 11, 2018, Dallas, TX.
  •  Kelly Liebengood, invited respondent to “A New Commentary: Does Jude Really Defend the Faith against False Teachers?” by Herbert Bateman at the Evangelical Theological Society, November 16, 2017, Providence, RI.
  •  Kelly Liebengood, invited respondent to “A Canonical Approach to the Catholic Epistles” by Robert Wall, Evangelical Theological Society, November 17, 2016, San Antonio, TX