Bill McAlpine, PhD, MDiv, BA

Professor of Practical Theology
+1 (403) 410-2000 ext. 4901
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PhD (Aberdeen University)
MDiv (Canadian Theological Seminary)
BA (Columbia Bible College)


Born in Chad, Africa, to missionary parents, Rev. George and Frances McAlpine, I have always been immersed in an environment revolving around a love for the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word, His Bride, the Church, and for lost people. Most of my growing up years (1955 - 72) took place in a pastor's home as my Dad provided excellent pastoral leadership to Oakwood Baptist Church in Toronto. I have been privileged to study at Capernwray Hall, England, Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University) in Columbia, South Carolina, Canadian Theological Seminary, and defended my PhD dissertation through University of Aberdeen in Scotland in October 2006. It has been my delight to serve in pastoral ministry for just under 16 years in Alliance Churches in Ontario and Saskatchewan. I also served for the first year of my ministry with Capernwray Missionary Fellowship in Canada. It was in the hearth of pastoral ministry that my passion for a missional, theologically based approach to church built environments had its genesis. An awareness gradually began to emerge in my thinking that the majority of building projects in which I had been involved were, for all intents and purposes, engaged in the absence of intentional, sound theological reflection. My journey and my convictions can be explored further in my book, Sacred Space for the Missional Church.

I have been married to the wife of my youth, Heather, since 1974. We have four wonderful adult children, two lovely daughters-in-law, and the most amazing granddaughter. One of my major downfalls, according to some of my peers, is that I remain an avid Leafs fan with a rapidly developing loyalty to the Calgary Flames!

I can honestly think of no other ministry and/or place I would rather find myself in than my role at Ambrose University. Besides teaching I find great joy in wood working, painting (water colours, acrylic and occasionally oils), music, sports, reading, and walks with my bride, Heather.

Recent Publications

Current Research

The theological significance of worship environments
The relation between practical theology and the social sciences
The theology of mission
The theology of worship
The history and development of preaching
The theology and ethics of adoption

Scholarly & Professional Activity

Other activities have included the scholarship of application and teaching. These have included consultations with local churches as they have pursued expansion and/or renovation projects and seminars at the District level. For example:

"Managing your Personal Life with a View to Longevity." Seminar presented at the Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada, Red Deer, Alberta, 27 April 2007.

"Sacred Space as it Relates to Living Hope’s Present and Future." Workshop conducted with the Elders’ Board of Living Hope Alliance Church, Regina, Saskatchewan, September 19 -21, 2007

"Pastoral Soul Care." Seminar taught with Dr. Morris Dirks in Grande Prairie, Edmonton, and Calgary. My emphasis was on two subjects: "Stress in Ministry: Understanding God-given Signals," and "Sabbath Rest: The Essential for the Long Haul." October 11–13, 2007.

I still enjoy and am more than glad to make myself available, as time permits, to provide such seminars and development opportunities as well as pulpit supply and teaching series both in the local church and at District events.

Recent Conference Presentations

"Religion Beyond the Church: The Impact of Cyberspace on Human Spirituality." Paper presented at Regional Meeting of the Pacific Northwest, AAR/SBL and ASOR, 7–9 May 2010, Victoria, BC

"From Sacred Text to Plexiglass: The Impact of the Built Environment on the Preaching Event." Paper presented at the Wesleyan Theological Society, 45th Annual Meeting, Azusa Pacific University, 5 March 2010.

"Mystery in Preaching and Worship." Paper presented at the Evangelical Homiletics Society Conference, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill., 16 October 2010.

"Reading the Built Environment: Sacred Space as Text." Paper presented at Post-graduate Day Conference, New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 11 June 2001.

"The Theology of the Pulpit." Paper presented at Post-graduate Day Conference, Kings College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, 9 June 2002.