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Roger D. Cotton, Ph.D.


I became Pentecostal through a college ministry in Ripon, Wisconsin, and soon developed a strong desire to study the Bible and minister the Word to others as a vocation. I became active in the local church with a conviction that it is God’s main place of meeting with people and where He matures those who let Him. I have been involved in pastoral leadership both part-time and full-time and find myself often discussing how we might improve our effectiveness in the leadership of God’s people.

My whole purpose vocationally is to help others understand the Word of God, the Bible, and to apply it to their lives and ministries. I believe the point of advanced education in biblical studies should never be to deny anything the Bible says, but simply to understand more clearly and fully what God is saying to us through the human writers. I believe an experiential daily walk in the Holy Spirit is essential to this process. God wants a balance of thorough study and prayerful dependence on the Spirit.

I see myself as a guide to the students on a journey deeper into the truth of Jesus Christ. I love helping people learn to think more clearly and deeply about the issues of Biblical interpretation and the application of theological truth to their lives. My science background has helped me to distinguish fact from theory, which I challenge my students to do as well. I enjoy being able to deal with issues from a conservative Pentecostal foundation and yet with openness to new, more careful understandings of what the Scriptures really mean. Our seminary has a great atmosphere of freedom, balance, and genuineness.

The students the Lord sends us here are sharp, motivated, and mature, as well as spiritual. It is exciting to see them grow and go on in dynamic ministries. Because our alumni go out from us to various places of fruitful service in the Lord’s harvest field, I feel like I am ministering to several times the actual number of students, all around the world.

It is a privilege to be a part of such a great team of Pentecostal educators, the faculty, staff, and administration of AGTS. God is doing great things among us and through us.

My specialization is in the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy). For my dissertation I analyzed the structure and theology of the law collections of Exodus 21-23, Leviticus 17-27, and Deuteronomy 12-26. I believe God inspired Moses to express eternal principles through the way he wrote these laws and the way they deal with the real-life situations of the Israelites. My strength is in doing Biblical Theology, by which I mean the understanding of God’s message through the Bible writers in their own terms and context. I feel called to help people see the relevancy of the Old Testament, and especially God’s intended relationship of the law of Moses to the Christian. When we learn how to hear God’s heart through the text there is an endless wealth of application for our lives and we never run out sermons. I believe being Pentecostal greatly enhances this process for me.