Mark Fairchild

Professor of Bible and Religion

(260) 359-4235

Joined the Huntington University faculty in 1986.

Mark Fairchild earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Genetics from the Pennsylvania State University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Theology from Toccoa Falls College. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Master of Philosophy degree from Drew University. Fairchild received his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Drew University. He also completed additional Ph.D. coursework at Union Theological Seminary (NY) and Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1986 Fairchild was invited to join the faculty at Huntington University. From 2004-2020 he served the university as the chair of the Bible and Religion Department. In 1997 Fairchild was chosen by the student body as Professor of the Year and from 2014-2018 he served as the inaugural recipient of the Luke J. Peters Research Chair at Huntington University.

Fairchild was chosen as a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar for the 2021-2022 academic year. During the Spring of 2022 Fairchild will collaborate with scholars at Uludağ University in Bursa, Turkey on research at the underwater basilica in Nicea. The research will investigate the probability that the basilica was the site of the well-known Council of Nicea that issued the early Christian Nicean Creed. 

Since joining the faculty at HU, Fairchild has made numerous academic contributions to biblical research. Fairchild’s book Christian Origins in Ephesus and Asia Minor, which was originally published in 2015, has been expanded and a second edition is currently available with Hendrickson Publishers (2017). A volume on Fairchild’s most recent research on “Paul’s Early Life and Ministry in Cilicia” is currently being circulated among publishers. A two-hour documentary film, entitled “The Last Apostle” followed Fairchild on his travels as he retraced the course of Paul’s journeys through Cyprus and Anatolia. Another film, dealing with the sunken basilica at Nicea, is currently in production with a French production company. The documentary interviews Fairchild extensively on his research of the basilica.

Fairchild has published several articles in juried academic journals. His article "Paul's Pre-Christian Zealot Associations:  A Re-examination of Gal. 1:14 and Acts 22:3" was published in New Testament Studies (1999). Fairchild’s discovery of two previously unknown ancient synagogues in Turkey, including the world’s oldest known synagogue, was published in the Biblical Archaeology Review, "Turkey's Unexcavated Synagogues: Could the World's Earliest Known Synagogue Be Buried Amid Rubble?" (2012). This was followed by an invitation to present his research at the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Vienna University Institute for Jewish Studies in Vienna, Austria. Subsequently, another of Fairchild’s articles entitled "The Jewish Communities in Eastern Rough Cilicia" was published in the Journal of Ancient Judaism (2014). Another article, "The Search for Jesus:  Outside of the New Testament, What Evidence Is There About Jesus" was published in a volume produced by USA Today (2014). Fairchild’s research appeared in four more articles published in the Biblical Archaeology Review: "Why Perga?  Paul's Perilous Passage through Pisidia" (2013), “Archaeological Views:  Turkey’s Treasures in Trouble” (2016), "Laodicea’s Lukewarm Legacy:  Conflicts of Prosperity in an Ancient Christian City" (2017), and “Nicea’s Underwater Basilica,” Coauthored with Mustafa Şahin (2018). In 2019 Fairchild contributed two chapters to the Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation, chapter 25, “Barnabas, John Mark and Their Early Ministry on Cyprus,” and Chapter 39 “Paul’s Early Ministry in Syria and Cilicia: The Silent Years.” He has published twenty book reviews in a variety of academic journals and Fairchild has also contributed eleven articles to the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible and another three articles to the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. 

Fairchild has twice received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, he collaborated with 11 other scholars at Yeshiva University exploring the “Greek Encounter with Judaism during the Hellenistic Period.” In 2002, he joined 20 other scholars at the University of Chicago to investigate “Societal Transformations and the Legitimization of Power in the Early Islamic States.” Professor Fairchild has delivered a number of research papers at academic conferences, museums and seminars internationally as well as in America. He has also addressed diplomats and members of the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC along with speeches to the American Turkish Association and the World Affairs Council in Washington.

Published Photography
Numerous Biblical photographs licensed for use in nine books published by Abingdon Press, Pickwick Publishers, Wipf and Stock Press, InterVarsity Press and Oxford University Press. Five of these volumes include book cover photographs from my collection of over 400,000 photographs.

Documentary Films

  • The Last Apostle: Journeys in the Holy Land.  Documentary of My Travels Following the Journeys of Paul. Squatchagawea Films; Los Angeles, 2019.
  • In Pursuit of Paul.  Guest Expert on Paul and Early Christianity. Filmed in ancient Pamphylia and Lycia (area of Antalya, Turkey).  Our Daily Bread Ministries: Grand Rapids, MI. April 2017.
  • Biblical Excavations:  Bible and Archaeology Fest XVIII.  Disc 2: “Mark Fairchild – The Apostle Paul and the School of Tyrannos.”  Filmed in Atlanta, GA.  Biblical Archaeology Society: Washington, DC, 2016.
  • The Seven Churches of Revelation. Guest expert on Paul and Early Christianity.  Filmed in Istanbul. Day of Discovery: Grand Rapids, MI, 2013.

For more information on Dr. Fairchild, visit his website,