Religion faculty

Jackie L. Smallbones, Th.D.

Professor of Religion/Christian Education

Th.D., Durban-Westville University, South Africa
M.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Illinois
B.A., Washington Bible College, Maryland

VPH 115


Dr. Smallbones is a native of South Africa and an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of America. She teaches biblical studies, Christian education and Christian spirituality at Northwestern. She is the author of Keeping Company with Jesus: Reflections on Gospel Stories (Augsburg Books, 2005) and Knit Together: Many Colors, One Life (2014). She also has written articles for Christian Education Journal and Church Herald. She occasionally presents seminars and leads retreats on such topics as teaching, Christian spirituality and spiritual disciplines. Prior to joining Northwestern’s faculty, she taught at a college and seminary in South Africa.


  • Christian Spirituality

    Christian Spirituality

    (2 credits) A study of the meaning, purpose and practices of Christian spirituality as this has been understood in the Christian tradition. The course emphasizes the practice of spiritual disciplines and the relevance of spirituality in our contemporary world. Prerequisite: REL250.
  • Foundational Issues in Christian Education

    Foundational Issues in Christian Education

    (4 credits) An introduction to critical foundational issues underpinning the discipline and practice of Christian education. These issues include the philosophical, biblical, theological and developmental theories related to education in the local church. The course will also examine different theories concerning the practice of CE. The course is designed to help the student design ministry practice that is most appropriate to particular situations and that is rooted in good theory and relevant to the contemporary Church.
  • Leadership Development

    Leadership Development

    (2 credits; non-yearly, consult department) The course focuses on developing a leadership style that facilitates personal and community spiritual development and reflects a biblical understanding of servant leadership. The purpose is to develop a leadership style that empowers others to engage in ministry in the midst of the church and the world. Prerequisite: Must be sophomore standing or higher.
  • Teaching and Learning Strategies

    Teaching and Learning Strategies

    (4 credits; non-yearly, consult department) The purpose of this course is to train students to teach Bible effectively in small group settings. The student is exposed to both the theory and practice of teaching and learning theories. Half the class is devoted to practicum in teaching. Prerequisite: CEY210 and REL328.

Publications and presentations

  • "Teaching Bible for Transformation," Christian Education Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2, Fall 2007
  • "Fishing for Answers: Discovering Clues to Jesus' Identity, Church Herald, June 2006
  • Keeping Company with Jesus: Reflections on Gospel Stories, Augsburg Books, 2005

Professional experience

  • Lecturer and Academic Dean, Evangelical Bible Seminary of Southern Africa
  • Senior Lecturer, Rosebank Bible College, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Child Evangelism Fellowship International
  • Book review editor, Christian Education Journal


  • Christian Educators of the Reformed Church in America
  • Association of Presbyterian Church Educators
  • North American Professors of Christian Education
  • Spiritual Directors International


  • Teaching Excellence Award, Northwestern College, 1998