Holly Ordway, PhD

  • Program Coordinator, Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Apologetics
  • Professor of English


  • PhD, English, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • MA, Christian Apologetics, Biola University
  • MA, English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BA, English, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Courses Taught

  • Apologetics Research and Writing
  • Medieval Culture and Philosophy
  • Modern and Post-Modern Culture
  • Creative Writing and Apologetics

Teaching Focus

Dr Ordway’s teaching and research centers on cultural and imaginative apologetics, with a particular emphasis on literary apologetics and the work of the Inklings, especially J.R.R. Tolkien.


Selected books and chapters in books:

“Come and See: The Value of Storytelling for Apologetics.” In A New Kind of Apologist. Ed. Sean McDowell. Harvest House, 2016

“Williams, Descent into Hell.” In C.S. Lewis’s List: The Ten Books that Influenced Him Most. Ed. David Werther. Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.

Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms. Ignatius Press, 2014.


Selected essays:


“The Gospel as a Good Catastrophe: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Literary Apologetics.” The City: Vol. VIII, Issue 2. Winter 2015.

“Charles Williams and Fantastic Fiction.” Sewanee Theological Review, Summer 2014.

“Further Up and Further In: Representations of Heaven in Tolkien and Lewis.” Journal of Inklings Studies, Vol. 3 no. 1, April 2013.


Other writings (selection):

“Once Upon a Time: The Enduring Appeal of Fairy Tales.” Christian Research Journal. October 2015.

“Re-writing My Life.” Books and Culture, July/August 2015.

Poem: “Maps.” The Word in the Wilderness, ed. Malcolm Guite. Canterbury Press, 2014.

Poem: “Broceliande.” Sehnsucht: The C.S. Lewis Journal. Vol. 7, 2014.

Selected lectures and addresses:

“Tolkien’s Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages.” The Oxford C.S. Lewis Society, Oxford, England. Jan. 19, 2016.

“Tolkien and Modern Fantasy.” Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, MO. Oct. 19, 2015.

Seminar: “Imaginative Apologetics.” C.S. Lewis Foundation Summer Institute in Oxbridge. Oxford, England. July, 2014.

Plenary address: “Charles Williams and Fantastic Fiction.” The Inklings Fellowship. Oxford, England, August 2013.

Plenary address: “The Influence of Charles Williams’ Descent into Hell on C.S. Lewis” at the conference “The Ten Books that Most Influenced C.S. Lewis,” sponsored by the C.S.Lewis Society of Madison, Wisconsin and the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation, Madison, WI, Oct. 18-20, 2012.

For further details of her publications and speaking schedule, please visit hollyordway.com


Additional Information

Dr Ordway is the Charles Williams Subject Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies. She is currently working on a literary-critical study of Tolkien’s modern sources. Her personal website is hollyordway.com, and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter (@hollyordway).


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