Don Fairbairn joined the Erskine Seminary faculty in September 1999, shortly after completing his Ph.D. in patristics at Cambridge (England) in the spring and marrying Jennifer Katona on August 21 of that year. He seeks to contribute to Erskine’s work of preparing people for ministry in two major ways. First, his interest in the early Church will complement the strong emphasis on the Reformation which characterizes evangelicalism in general and Erskine Seminary in particular. Second, he hopes that his experience in missions will help instill in Erskine’s students a vision for the world and an understanding of the task of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in widely divergent cultural situations
Prior to enrolling at Cambridge in 1996, Don was professor of theology at Donetsk Christian University (DCU) in Ukraine, a missionary training school for post-Soviet evangelicals. DCU’s graduates work throughout the former Soviet Union, from the Polish border in Belarus to the Primorsky region near Japan.
Currently, Don teaches not only at Erskine, but also as a part-time professor of historical theology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty (ETF) in Leuven, Belgium.
Don has done student ministry in Denver, Colorado, Tbilisi, Georgia (former Soviet Union), and Cambridge, England. His hobbies include golf, volleyball, skiing, reading, and photography. He is a life-long Denver Broncos fan who once, while trapped overseas and unable to watch a Broncos playoff game, spent a whole evening on-line in order to get the score updates from the Internet every ten minutes. (They lost that game 30-27.) He is also a life-long fan of Duke basketball and many years ago almost decided to go to college at Duke. (He was lured away to Princeton because they gave him a better financial aid package.)
Jennifer Fairbairn graduated from Erskine College in 1993 and subsequently served as a missionary in Kiev, Ukraine, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She holds a M.Div. in missions from Columbia Biblical Seminary and a D.Min. with a missions focus from Erskine Seminary. She teaches missions at Erskine Seminary and is involved in student ministry at Erskine College. Jennifer’s hobbies include reading (especially Shakespeare and Faulkner), sewing, and lying in her hammock. She couldn’t care less about the Broncos, although when Don asked (early in their courtship), she had heard of John Elway.
Don and Jennifer have two children: Donald III, nicknamed “Trey,” was born on December 28, 2001, the third anniversary of the day Don and Jennifer met. Anna Elizabeth, nicknamed “Ella,” was born on July 28, 2003, exactly 19 months after her brother was born. To see pictures of our children, please click on the link at the top of this page. Trey is a budding musician and also a great lover of baseball, soccer, dinosaurs, and, yes, the Broncos. Ella is enamored of all things pink and purple and is also a budding linguist—after two weeks in Ukraine she made up her own language using the Russian sounds she was hearing from the children around her!