Robert Hunt was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1955. After attending school in Austin and Richardson, he majored in History at the University of Texas in Austin. After completing a Master of Theology at Perkins School of Theology (SMU) he served as associate pastor of the Bethany United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas.
In 1985 he and his wife Lilian moved to Kuala Lumpur, where he taught at the Seminary Theology Malaysia and directed extension education programs. He received a PhD from the University of Malaya in 1993, focusing on Christian relations with Muslims in Southeast Asia. From 1993 to 1997 he taught and directed extension education programs at the Trinity Theological College in Singapore. From 1997 to 2004 he was pastor of the English Speaking United Methodist Church of Vienna, and an adjunct professor in Comparative Religions and International Relations at Webster University in Vienna.
Since 2004 Dr. Hunt has been the Director of Global Theological Education at the Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He teaches courses in World Religions, Islam, Interreligious Dialogue, Cultural Intelligence, and Mission Studies. Dr. Hunt is author of several books, including The Gospel Among the Nations, A Documentary History of Inculturation, Islam in Southeast Asia, and Muslim Faith and Values: A Guide for Christians.
A strong advocate for using digital technologies to create effective, accessible theological education Dr. Hunt created and manages the Virtual Visiting Professor™ website (http://virtualvisitingprofessor.com), which makes available the best theological teaching from the 2/3rds world to a global constituency. He also created and hosts the podcast Interfaith Encounters that explores interfaith perspectives on contemporary social issues, as well as a blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook pages by the same name.
Dr. Hunt is a certified Cultural Intelligence trainer, Associate of the Tower Center for Political Science, and Hunt Institute Fellow. He is a member of the Board of Scholars of the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue, as well as the Executive Board of the Association of Professors in Mission, the American Society of Missiology, and is editor of the ASM book series. He serves on the steering committees for the SMU Doctor of Liberal Studies and Master of Liberal Studies programs and teaches in both programs
When asked what motivates his work, he replied, “The focus of my professional life, as a teacher and pastor, has been interpretation: helping people understand one another, their history, different cultures and religions, and themselves. I believe that every person, culture, and society has something valuable to offer to others, and that we discover this through critical and appreciative study, open dialogue, and a willingness to learn.”
He has been married for 37 years to Lilian Wong Hunt, a native of Sarawak, Malaysia and has two grown children. Naomi lives with her husband and daughters in Austria and Elliott lives with his wife in Los Angeles.
He speaks Malay and German.
To read more about the Hunt Institute’s work to develop future-focused solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems, please click here. For the latest news on the Hunt Institute, follow our social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We invite you to listen to our Podcast called Sages & Seekers. If you are considering engaging with the institute, you can donate, or sign-up for our newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.