Stewart Custer Lecture Series 2022

The Stewart Custer Lecture Series — which honors one of BJU Seminary’s most celebrated scholars, the late Dr. Stewart Custer, who served 56 years at the Seminary and BJU — offers insights into contemporary challenges to the church based on in-depth, faithful analysis of the biblical text. Each fall we invite a conservative scholar to lecture in his area of expertise.


This year’s theme, “Messiah Matters,” addresses prophecies and promises in Genesis, Psalms, and Isaiah that were fulfilled through the Messiah.


Our featured speaker Will Varner has spent decades teaching and researching the life and ministry of the Messiah. In 2020 and 2021, he published a trilogy on His birth, life, and death, which he considers his favorite effort.

About Will Varner

William Varner teaches at The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, California. He and his wife, Helen, have two grown children and one with the Lord, plus four beautiful grandchildren. He grew up in South Carolina in a non-Christian home and came to the Lord at the age of 17. He attended Bob Jones University and then graduated from the Biblical Theological Seminary in 1972.

Will was a pastor in Pennsylvania for seven happy years, and during that time earned another master’s degree in New Testament studies and experienced his first trip to Israel — an experience that would leave an indelible mark on his ministry. He then served for 17 years with The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry in New Jersey while earning a third master’s degree in Jewish Studies at Dropsie College and then a doctorate at Temple University in Philadelphia.

In 1996 Will came to The Master’s University, where he teaches Bible exposition and Greek exegesis. He was also the Director of IBEX, the college’s overseas campus in Israel, for over 20 years, and has led 51 study trips to the land of Israel. Will pastored the Sojourners Fellowship in Grace Community Church for over 20 years and is currently a pastor/teacher at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita.

He has written 20 books, some for laymen and some for scholars. His most significant scholarly effort has been a 450-page commentary on James, but his favorite effort is a “messianic trilogy” on the life and ministry of Jesus. T&T Clark will soon release his magnum opus, An Introduction and Translation of the Apostolic Fathers.

Will has an avid interest in the Civil War and has taken part in reenactments at a few of the battlefields. He also loves Tolkien’s fiction and Daniel Silva’s international espionage novels. What he loves most is traveling to England and other countries with his adventurous wife, Helen.

Messiah in Genesis

Messiah in Psalms

Messiah in Isaiah