Bradley L. Sickler, Ph.D.

Bradley L. Sickler, Ph.D.

Department Chair, Biblical and Theological Studies
Professor of Philosophy
J. Edwin Hartill Endowed Professor (2020-22)

Ph.D., Philosophy, Purdue University

MA, Philosophy of Religion, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

BS, Physics, University of Minnesota – Duluth


Nazareth Hall, N3135
3003 Snelling Ave. N
St Paul, MN 55113



Dr. Sickler has been teaching at University of Northwestern since 2008. Prior to that, he was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Ouachita Baptist University.

Besides his teaching ministry, he is an ordained minister and has been involved in a variety of ministry settings, including youth ministry, camp ministry, and the pastorate.

Any chance he gets, he loves to be outside – preferably with his wife, daughter, and son.

He has worked on issues surrounding arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, challenges to faith from science, and the metaphysics of causation.

For the last few years, Dr. Sickler has been focusing on Christianity and cognitive science. His book, God on the Brain, is an analysis of cognitive science from a philosophical and theological perspective, arguing that we are spiritual beings made to know God, and that orthodox Christian beliefs are compatible with recent developments in the cognitive science of religion. He is also responding to the “cognitive problem of evil” by showing that God is not morally culpable for our in-group biases.

Specialty Areas

  • Science and Christianity
  • History of Philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Philosophy of Religion

Professional Accomplishments


  • “Cognitive Science of Religion Debunking Arguments: Some Methodological Considerations” in Sophia (forthcoming).
  • Review of “A Christian Theology of Science: Reimagining a Theological Vision of Natural Knowledge” in Theology Today (forthcoming).
  • God on the Brain: What Cognitive Science Does (and Does Not) Tell Us About Faith, Human Nature, and the Divine. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2020.
  • “Pascal’s Wager” and “Wesley Salmon” in Dictionary of Christianity and Science, Zondervan, 2016.
  • Review of Benjamin E. Zeller, Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science, New York University Press, 2010, in Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, Fall 2014.
  • “Infernal Voluntarism and ‘The Courtesy of Deep Heaven’” in The Problem of Hell: A Philosophical Anthology, Joel M. Buenting (ed.), Ashgate Publishing, 2010.
  • “Conflicts Between Science and Religion” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2009
  • Review of Erik Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, Cambridge University Press, 2005. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (2006) 59:179-182.


  • “Bias and the Cognitive Problem of Evil” Evangelical Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2023
  • “The Science of Bias and the Problem of Evil” Loving God with Your Mind, UNW March 2023
  • “Cognitive Science of Religion Debunking Arguments and Subjective Probabilities” Ian Ramsey Centre for Science & Religion, University of Oxford, July 2022
  • “Does Cognitive Science Undermine Religious Belief?” University of Northwestern Scholarship Symposium, May 2021.
  • “Must Immortality be Tedious?” British Society for the Philosophy of Religion, University of Oxford, Sept. 2019.
  • Laws of Nature and God’s Existence,” Loving God With Your Mind, University of Northwestern, March 2017.
  • “Laws of Nature and Natural Theology: Why Probabilistic Arguments From Laws to God Don’t Work,” Society of Christian Philosophers Conference, September 2016.
  • Oxford University – Funded participant in Templeton-sponsored seminar
    “Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities” SCIO (Wycliffe Hall) 2015-2016.
  • “How Hume’s Miracles Argument Undermines His Atheology,” Evangelical Theological Society, Midwest Conference, March 2010.
  • “Kant and Newton on Forces and the Nature of Matter,” American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting, Chicago, April 2008.
  • Respondent to Richard Swinburne, “The Trinity and the Incarnation”, B.H. Carroll Theological Institute Fall Colloquy, Arlington TX, November 2007.
  • “Religious Diversity, Infernal Voluntarism, and the False Hope of Universalism”, Society of Christian Philosophers session at the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meeting, Washington D.C., December 2006.
  • “Down and Up and Back Down Again: Alexander Bird and the Necessity of Natural Laws”, American Philosophical Association Central Division Meeting, Chicago, April 2005.
  • “A Failed Proposal for a Self-Caused Universe”, Society of Christian Philosophers Eastern Regional Meeting, Wilmore KY, Dec. 2004.
  • “Could a Better God Have Made a Better World? A Reply to William Rowe”, Evangelical Philosophical Society National Meeting, Atlanta, Nov. 2003.


  • University of Northwestern’s Excellence in Scholarship 2023.
  • J. Edwin Hartill Endowed Professor, 2020-2022