DBU Celebrates the Release of Dr. Philip Mitchell’s "The Shared Witness of C.S. Lewis and Austin Farrer"

Dr. Mitchell signing his book

"Part of my life's calling is to research, teach, and befriend students. It's what I was made for." (Dr. Philip Mitchell)

For the past 16 years, Dr. Philip Mitchell has faithfully served the DBU Family as the Director of the University Honors Program. DBU is proud to announce the publication of his first book, The Shared Witness of C.S. Lewis and Austin Farrer.

Born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Dr. Mitchell was raised in a hardworking, blue-collar family that loved the Lord. When he was two years old, his family moved to Texas. Shortly afterwards, they moved to the Pleasant Grove neighborhood in southeast Dallas, where Dr. Mitchell would be raised for the rest of his childhood. Growing up, Dr. Mitchell explains that he made conversion decisions in both 1st and 5th grade, but didn't fully understand the Lordship of Christ and become a serious follower until the summer before his 9th grade year. "I was something of a Jesus freak (or Jesus punk—this was the 80s) in high school," Dr. Mitchell admits unabashedly.

After graduating high school, Dr. Mitchell worked for two years before deciding to pursue higher education. "The irony is that I never planned to go to college," says Dr. Mitchell. After feeling a calling to go, Dr. Mitchell followed a number of his friends and began attending DBU for his undergraduate degree. After graduating, Dr. Mitchell was still unsure of what the Lord desired him to do with his life. He went on to pursue a Masters of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was here that Dr. Mitchell first discovered a number of books on Christianity and literature and Christianity and the arts- He had found his true passion.

Dr. Mitchell pushed further by attending Baylor University, where he obtained his Masters and Ph.D. in literature. While finishing up his doctoral studies, Dr. Mitchell was offered a position at DBU teaching literature, which he gladly accepted. After receiving his doctorate, Dr. Mitchell moved into the University Honors Director position, where he has been ever since.

Throughout his time at DBU, Dr. Mitchell has taught over 20 different courses. He actively teaches upper-level English courses focusing on specific 20th-century Christian authors, honors courses focusing on Great Texts throughout history, and Honors Developing a Christian Mind.

As the University Honors Program Director, Dr. Mitchell also hosts the weekly Friday Symposium on campus, works with his secretary to administer the program, and works with other honors professors in fulfilling the program's goals. The program aims to help students cultivate a desire for God's truth, goodness, and beauty as expressed in creation and human culture. Dr. Mitchell upholds the goals of the University Honors Program by emphasizing the importance of providing a challenging interdisciplinary experience that amplifies and complements the liberal arts mission of DBU and that stimulates curiosity, imagination, integrity, and faith.

"I teach at Dallas Baptist because I am convinced that our ways of knowing, of learning, and of understanding are community-based in structure," says Dr. Mitchell. "We have the opportunity to give students a Christian culture that does more than shape their personal character, it shapes their response to the world's pain and its often fallen ideologies. We do our work not for self-promotion, but for all who need to hear and be changed by the gospel."

Dr. Mitchell has used his position on campus as a platform upon which he shares the gospel and uses his talents and abilities to further God's kingdom. "When I came to DBU, I knew that eventually I would be trying to publish articles and write books," says Dr. Mitchell. "Happily, the Honors Program Director is expected to do that!" A true labor of love, written and composed over the past four years, Dr. Mitchell's book is the result of hours of studying, interpreting, comparing, contrasting, and composing.

The Shared Witness of C.S. Lewis and Austin Farrer magnifies the character of Christ through the analysis of the works of beloved apologist and novelist C.S. Lewis and the lesser known philosophical theologian and college priest Austin Farrer. The duo spurred one another on throughout their friendship as they "sought to defend a metaphysically thick universe in contrast to the increasingly secular culture all about them" (Dr. Mitchell).

"Dr. Mitchell has composed an intriguing and truly educational book analyzing the commonalities and distinctions of Lewis and Farrer's Christian witness," says DBU President, Dr. Adam Wright. "It's wonderful to be able to celebrate brilliant minds."

Dr. Mitchell has been married to his wife, Kristin, for 26 years. Together, they have two daughters, Noelle (21) and Grace (18). Outside of his work at DBU and his active involvement at his home church, Dr. Mitchell enjoys watching international and classic films and listening to jazz and classical music.

Dr. Mitchell's dedication to excellence is evident throughout his published works, his teaching philosophies, and his commitment to providing students with a truly Christ-based education. Together, the DBU Family celebrates the release of Dr. Mitchell's The Shared Witness of C.S. Lewis and Austin Farrer. His new book can be found in both print and electronic forms through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as most online outlets.


Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.