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After majoring in philosophy and religious studies at Stanford, earning an M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in religion at Harvard, and studying at Oxford as well as two universities in China, Timothy Dalrymple had had enough of academia. So he plunged into the online world at Patheos.com, a growing multireligious website, as manager of its evangelical portal.

In 2010, the multifaith site grew from 15,000 monthly visitors to about half a million with just 11 full-time employees. Most notably, Dalrymple lured North Park University professor Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed blog away from Beliefnet. (McKnight said he thought Patheos "was a better fit—more exclusively directed toward an educated audience.") Patheos is based in Denver, but Dalrymple, 34, works from his laptop in Atlanta.

"He's kind of come out of nowhere," said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Patheos covers a wide range of topics, but Cromartie particularly notices Dalrymple's political commentary: "Many young evangelicals spend a lot of time saying, 'I'm not Dobson, I'm not one of them.' But [Dalrymple] is a very thoughtful, theologically orthodox, culturally and politically conservative guy. He writes with confidence and boldness that I find bracing and refreshing."

Question & Answer

Why the shift from academia to Patheos?

I was growing weary of the trendiness in academia where enlightened opinion is determined by intellectual fashion. I was also growing frustrated with the prevailing contempt for conservative Christianity. I felt as though the center of gravity of social conversation was shifting more to instantaneous media. Patheos creates a marketplace of ideas, and I believe that ...

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February 2011

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