Joe S. Ellis

We are saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Joe Ellis. The following are remarks from CCU President David Faust.

An outstanding leader, a creative thinker, a stimulating author, an inspiring teacher, and always an encourager of the church, Dr. Ellis served as Dean of the Seminary here at CCU, and in 2010 our Board of Trustees honored him at Commencement with the Distinguished Service Award. His son Scott and daughter-in-law Ann are members of University Christian Church here in Cincinnati, and they were recipients of CCU’s Honored Christian Servant award a few years ago as well. Here are some of the words I shared about Joe at graduation in May 2010:

Joe S. Ellis grew up in Sullivan, Indiana, and became a disciple of Jesus at age 17. He and his wife Bettye were married for 45 years before she went to be with the Lord a few years ago. He ministered with churches in Oklahoma and Indiana and received his Ph.D. from Indiana University before serving as director of the Church Growth department for Standard Publishing and teaching at Hope International University.

Dr. Ellis came to Cincinnati in 1978, where he served as Dean of the Seminary and Professor of Church Growth until 1990, then continued to serve as Distinguished Professor of Practical Ministries and a church consultant. He authored seven books on evangelism and church growth, including his highly acclaimed The Church on Purpose, which informed and challenged a generation of leaders and helped to inspire the current emphasis on the purpose-driven life.

A nationally-known writer and lecturer, an enthusiastic advocate for healthy, growing churches, and always an upbeat and cheerful encourager to his friends, he has been a living testimony of CCU’s vision to produce servant leaders who blend academic excellence with the practical side of ministry.