In addition to teaching at the college and seminary levels, Dr. Cotton has served as associate pastor and minister of Christian education. He is the author of a commentary on Leviticus and various word studies in The Complete Biblical Library. He has written chapters for They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament, Signs and Wonders in Ministry Today, Hear the Word of Yahweh, articles in Journal of Pentecostal Theology and denominational publications and a paper in Proceedings of the Inaugural Faith & Science Conference: Springfield, Missouri, June 27–28, 2011. He has also written courses on the Pentateuch for Global University. He is passionate about doing biblical theology and expounding principles from the Old Testament for Christians today. Dr. Cotton is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature.
“My passion is to unlock the riches of God’s message in the books of the Old Testament. My strength is relating to the principles behind God’s lays in the Pentateuch to today’s Christian. I believe in and have always been involved in the local church, working with children as well as adults. I love the personal interaction with mature, thinking, spiritual students at AGTS. I see myself as a ‘wilderness guide’ leading students into open discussions in class.” — Roger D. Cotton
In his own words…
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 Strengths in Teaching
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.