Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Since his ordination to the ministry in 1985, Dr. Dever has served on the pastoral staffs of four churches, the second being a church he planted in Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Washington in 1994, Dr. Dever taught for the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University while serving two years as an associate pastor of Eden Baptist Church.
In an effort to build biblically faithful churches in America, Dr. Dever serves as the executive director for 9Marks (formerly The Center for Church Reform, CCR) in Washington, D.C. 9Marks encourages pastors of local churches look to the Bible for instruction on how to organize and lead their churches. Dr. Dever also teaches periodically at various conferences, speaking everywhere from South Africa to Brazil to the United Kingdom to Alabama. Feeling a deep burden for student ministry, Dr. Dever often addresses student ministry groups at campuses throughout the country. He has also taught at a number of seminaries, including Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, AL, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Dr. Dever’s scholarly interests include Puritanism and ecclesiology.
Dr. Dever currently serves as a trustee of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; he also serves as a member of the board, vice-chairman, and chairman of the Forum for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. From 1995 until 2001, he served on the steering committee for Founders Ministries, a pastoral movement for biblical teaching and healthy church life within the Southern Baptist Convention. As Guest Senate Chaplain for two weeks in 1995, Dr. Dever opened the daily sessions of the United States Senate in prayer. He is a member of the American Society of Church History and the Tyndale Fellowship. He also held the J.B. Lightfoot Scholarship at Cambridge University from 1989 to 1991.
Dr. Dever has authored several books including a historical study entitled Richard Sibbes (Mercer University Press, 2000), four editions and two foreign language translations of a booklet entitled Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (CCR, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, Korean translation 2000, Spanish translation 2004), and a full-length book of the same title (Crossway, 2000, 2 nd ed., 2004). He co-authored a book entitled The Church: One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic with Richard D. Phillips & Philip G. Ryken. Dr. Dever also edited a collection of historic Baptist documents on ecclesiology entitled Polity: Biblical Arguments on How to Conduct Church Life (CCR, 2000; 9Marks Ministries, 2004, 2 nd. ed.). Also published in 2001 by CCR was Dr. Dever’s A Display of God’s Glory—Basics of Church Structure: Deacons, Elders, Congregationalism, and Leadership. The Deliberate Church, co-authored by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander is now available.
Dr. Dever has a been contributing editor to the Cambridge Papers, and his works have been published in the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Christian Arena magazine, the Founders Journal, Leadership Journal, Regeneration Quarterly, Modern Reformation, The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, Tabletalk, the Disciple’s Study Bible, and Building on a Sure Foundation (The Westminster Conference, 1994). Dr. Dever has also contributed an article on John L. Dagg to Theologians of the Baptist Tradition (Timothy George and David S. Dockery, eds., Broadman, 1990). More recently, he has contributed to many books including The Compromised Church (John H. Armstrong, ed., Crossway, 1998), Telling the Truth (D.A. Carson, ed., Zondervan, 2000), Christianity in a Changing World (Michael Schluter, ed., Marshall Pickering, 2000), Reclaiming the Gospel and Reforming Churches (Tom Ascol, ed., Founders, 2003), Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship, (Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W.H. Thomas, J. Ligon Duncan III, eds., P&R Publishing, 2003), Christ and His Church (together with Richard Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, P&R, 2004), A God-Entranced Vision (John Piper and Justin Taylor ed., Crossway, 2004), Dear Timothy, Letters on Pastoral Ministry (Thomas K. Ascol, ed., Founders Press, 2004), “ A Theology for the Church” (Danny Akin and David Dockery eds., forthcoming from Broadman and Holman), and Sex and the Supremacy of Christ (John Piper and Justin Taylor ed., forthcoming, Crossway). He also has articles in Reforming Pastoral Ministry (John H. Armstrong, ed., Crossway, 2001), Why I am a Baptist (Tom Nettles and Russ Moore, eds., Broadman, 2001), and The Westminster Confession into the 21 st Century, vol. 1, (J. Ligon Duncan III, ed., Christian Focus, 2003).
Dr. Dever received his Doctor of Philosophy in ecclesiastical history from Cambridge University. He also has a Master of Theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity, summa cum laude, from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Duke University.
He and his wife Connie live and minister with their son, Nathan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Dever, The Gospel & Personal Evangelism
Dever, The Deliberate Church
Dever, In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement
Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (book)
Dever, Promises Made: The Message of the Old Testament
Dever, Promises Kept: The Message of the New Testament
Dever, What is a Healthy Church?
Dever, Twelve Challenges Churches Face
Dever, The Westminster Directory of Public Worship
“When our eyes fall from God to humanity, social ills replace sin, horizontal problems replace the fundamental verticals problem between us and God, winning elections eclipses winning souls”
Pastor's Toolbox - Essential Audio Tools for your ministry.
Ever wish you could call a seasoned pastor for some quick practical advice? Here’s an assortment of 5 minute audio clips of Mark Dever answering everyday pastoral questions, from studying for sermons to conducting weddings. They’re organized topically, so think of them like tools in a toolbox. Go ahead…rifle through – and feel free to take a few home for your own workshop. What’s ours is yours. Talks on Studying, preaching, discipling, leading, praying, worshipping, pastoring. essential!
The Nine (9) Marks of a healthy church, according to Rev. Dever, are:
1. Expositional Preaching
This is preaching which expounds what Scripture says in a particular passage, carefully explaining its meaning and applying it to the congregation. It is a commitment to hearing God’s Word and to recovering the centrality of it in our worship.
2. Biblical Theology
Paul charges Titus to "teach what is in accord with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Our concern should be not only with how we are taught, but with what we are taught. Biblical theology is a commitment to know the God of the Bible as He has revealed Himself in Scripture.
3. Biblical Understanding of the Good News
The gospel is the heart of Christianity. But the good news is not that God wants to meet people's felt needs or help them develop a healthier self-image. We have sinfully rebelled against our Creator and Judge. Yet He has graciously sent His Son to die the death we deserved for our sin, and He has credited Christ's acquittal to those who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus' death and resurrection. That is the good news.
4. Biblical Understanding of Conversion
The spiritual change each person needs is so radical, so near the root of us, that only God can do it. We need God to convert us. Conversion need not be an emotionally heated experience, but it must evidence itself in godly fruit if it is to be what the Bible regards as a true conversion.
5. Biblical Understanding of Evangelism
How someone shares the gospel is closely related to how he understands the gospel. To present it as an additive that gives non-Christians something they naturally want (i.e. joy or peace) is to present a half-truth, which elicits false conversions. The whole truth is that our deepest need is spiritual life, and that new life only comes by repenting of our sins and believing in Jesus. We present the gospel openly, and leave the converting to God.
6. Biblical Understanding of Membership
Membership should reflect a living commitment to a local church in attendance, giving, prayer and service; otherwise it is meaningless, worthless, and even dangerous. We should not allow people to keep their membership in our churches for sentimental reasons or lack of attention. To be a member is knowingly to be traveling together as aliens and strangers in this world as we head to our heavenly home.
7. Biblical Church Discipline
Church discipline gives parameters to church membership. The idea seems negative to people today – “didn’t our Lord forbid judging?” But if we cannot say how a Christian should not live, how can we say how he or she should live? Each local church actually has a biblical responsibility to judge the life and teaching of its leaders, and even of its members, particularly insofar as either could compromise the church’s witness to the gospel.
8. Promotion of Christian Discipleship and Growth
A pervasive concern with church growth exists today – not simply with growing numbers, but with growing members. Though many Christians measure other things, the only certain observable sign of growth is a life of increasing holiness, rooted in Christian self-denial. These concepts are nearly extinct in the modern church. Recovering true discipleship for today would build the church and promote a clearer witness to the world.
9. Biblical Understanding of Leadership
What eighteenth-century Baptists and Presbyterians often agreed upon was that there should be a plurality of elders in each local church. This plurality of elders is not only biblical, but practical — it has the immense benefit of rounding out the pastor’s gifts to ensure the proper shepherding of God’s church.