Dr. Wade Johnston
Assistant Professor of Theology (2014)


  • B.A., Martin Luther College
  • M.Div., Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary
  • M.A., Central Michigan University
  • M.A., Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
  • Ph.D., Joint, Central Michigan University and Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam


I was born and raised in Metro Detroit and am forever a proud son of the Mitten. My parents worked hard to provide my brother and me not only with a roof over our head, but also a solid education. Raised Roman Catholic, I was confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church December 31, 1995. I then enrolled in Martin Luther College, where I met my lovely wife, Tricia, an accountant. Upon graduation from seminary I was assigned to Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saginaw, Michigan, where I was privileged to serve as a parish pastor for ten years. Tricia and I have five children: Magdalen, Nicholas, Isaiah, Augustana, and Sophia. We live in Milwaukee and belong to Nain Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Allis, where I teach Sunday School. I also serve as a pulpit assistant at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mukwonago. I enjoy commuting by bicycle as often as possible and am a member of the Wisconsin Bike Fed.

Academic Interests/Specialties

  • Martin Luther
  • Reformations in Europe
  • Post-Reformation Lutheranism
  • Gnesio-Lutheranism
  • Confessionalization
  • Adiaphoristic Controversy
  • Formula of Concord
  • Hermann Sasse and Lutheranism under Nazism
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Late Antiquity
  • Monasticism and Asceticism
  • Greek and Roman Religion
  • Pauline Epistles
  • Lutheran Ethics

Courses I Teach

  • THE 110 – Introduction to Theology
  • PHI 201 – Ethics
  • HON 201 - Renaissance and Reformation
  • THE 308 – Pauline Epistles
  • THE 401 – Basic Teachings of the Bible 1
  • THE 441 – History of Christianity
  • THE 442 – History of the Reformation

Research Interests

My dissertation is a comparative work examining the writings of Matthias Flacius Illyricus in the Adiaphoristic Controversy in Germany and John Hooper in the Vestment Controversy in England. I am also very interested in the Lutheran Confessions (their historical context and their content, to which confessional Lutherans subscribe). I have presented and will be presenting at a variety of conferences on the continued vitality and relevance of the Book of Concord in the twenty-first century. My minor fields are the Ancient Mediterranean and Modern Europe and I read regularly and with great interest in both fields. I am especially interested in challenges to Christianity and the response of Christian churches in each of these periods of church history as well as the Reformation and post-Reformation understanding and utilization of early periods of church history.


  • Family time
  • Bicycling
  • Travel
  • Sports in general (playing and coaching)
  • Detroit sports (watching and cheering)
  • Reading