Learn more about Kathleen Nielson, author of 11 P&R titles, on this week’s author interview.

  • Question #1 – Tell us a little bit about yourself. . .

I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, writer. . . I love thinking about the blend of callings God gives us, growing and enriching all of them through all the rest as they multiply through the years.

I’m the wife of a man who knows multiple callings well, having worked as a college professor, a trader in the financial markets, a pastor, a college president, and now a director of multiple projects in global Christian education. My husband Niel is obviously important in my story: the adventure of life with him has played a huge part in shaping me—and he is my greatest earthly encourager in the work I’m privileged to do. He has shown me and pointed me to the love of Christ. We’ve been joyfully married since 1977 and have three grown sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law, and four absolutely remarkable granddaughters.

For a number of years (most of the years we were raising our sons), I taught college English part-time (literature and writing), but Bible study teaching and writing gradually took over my life! Those two kinds of teaching are not at all unrelated, of course, as they both involve reading and asking questions of texts. Those are skills we’re not generally so good at in our fast-moving world, and I am grateful for the training in English which laid an important foundation for my work in reading/studying/teaching the biblical text—and, by God’s grace, in encouraging others to do so.

I love teaching the Bible to women—both in the local church and in various conferences and other settings. I presently serve as director of women’s initiatives for The Gospel Coalition, which involves connecting with women in many ministry contexts, overseeing TGC’s women’s conferences, and working on various publishing projects. One of my favorite involvements is serving on the board of directors of The Charles Simeon Trust, a ministry committed to training in biblical exposition through both workshops and online courses.

Spare time? If I’m not writing something or speaking somewhere, I’m probably either traveling in Indonesia with Niel, playing with granddaughters, doing Bible study or having coffee with a group of women, reading a book, or going for a walk—or some combination of the above!


  • Question #2 – What inspired you to write your books?

I’ll give two different answers, the first for the Bible studies which I’ve been privileged to publish with P&R. Those studies were begun years ago as a project just for the women of my church, where I helped lead the women’s Bible study. We were looking for curriculum that would lead us into the meat of the Word and teach us how to take it in, whole Bible books at a time—the way they are given to us in Scripture. Finally, one of our leaders said, “Kathleen—how about if you just write it!” And so began one of the most joyful projects of my life.

The second answer relates to my book Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word. My husband and I were for years blessed to be part of a church where the leaders were committed to training members in reading and studying the Scriptures. As I began traveling and speaking here and there, it became clear that many churches were not so involved with biblical training. I developed a series of talks on just what the Bible is, and what that means for how we should study it—and one of the places I gave these talks was Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, at a women’s conference for an international church. The wife of that church’s senior pastor (who has since become a good friend) urged me to put that material in a book. I’m thankful for her urging—and loved working on that book about studying the Word.


  • Question #3 – Tell us about a few of your favorite books

C. S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces is a favorite and much-read novel, one that delves deep into a story of learning to see what is real and true. It seems to jolt me toward reality every time I read it. I’ll also often pull out some poetry—perhaps Gerard Manley Hopkins if I’m wide awake, or Amy Carmichael if I’m needing encouragement, or George Herbert at any time. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress comes off the shelf regularly. These writers have helped shape my thinking about God and what it means to follow him: they take the stuff of real life and, as they put that stuff into words, find everywhere echoes of the story of redemption in Christ.

Some greatly-appreciated biblical helps would include books by Graeme Goldsworthy, Edmund Clowney, Derek Kidner, J. Alec Motyer, Dale Ralph Davis, D. A. Carson, John Frame, Leland Ryken, and Kent Hughes (our pastor for many years).


Books by Kathleen Nielson:
1. Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
Living Word Bible Study series:
2. 1 & 2 Thessalonians: Living the Gospel to the End
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
3. Colossians and Philemon: Continue to Live in Him
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
4. Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs: Wisdom’s Searching and Finding
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
5. Isaiah: The Lord Saves
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
6. John: That You May Believe
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
7. Joshua: All God’s Good Promises
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
8. Nehemiah: Rebuilt and Rebuilding
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
9. Proverbs: The Ways of Wisdom
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
10. Psalms Volume 1: Songs Along the Way
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE
11. Psalms Volume 2: Finding the Way to Prayer and Praise
To read a sample chapter of this book, click HERE



Interested in learning more about Kathleen?

Visit her website: www.kathleennielson.com ==========================================================================