Dr. Michael A. Milton is a Presbyterian minister, author, educator, and singer-songwriter in North Carolina.
In 2018 he retired as Chaplain (Colonel) after thirty-two credited years in America’s Armed Forces. Forty-two years before the benediction was given at his retirement ceremony, Michael A. Milton raised his right hand to take the oath of office in 1976 as a Navy linguist. The son of a WWII Coast Guard officer, Milton served, as a top-secret linguist in the Cold War before his commission in the US Army Reserve. He was awarded the Legion of Merit with other decorations. The Governor of North Carolina conferred the highest award for public service in North Carolina to Dr. Milton in 2018: the Order of the Longleaf Pine.
Milton is the founder and President of Faith for Living, Inc., an outreach ministry advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people possible through every means available so that there will be a multitude of souls safe in the arms of Jesus when He comes again. Faith for Living, as a faith-based 501(c)(3) North Carolina nonprofit corporation, seeks to serve the Church and the Common Good through communication, discipleship, and education.
Dr. Milton is the Provost and James Ragsdale Chair of Missions and Evangelism at Erskine Theological Seminary where he also serves as the Director of Chaplain Ministries, and President of the D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership.
Milton is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and a Board Certified Chaplain. He is endorsed by the Presbyterian and Reformed Commission on Chaplains.
Maintaining support for the priority of parish ministry, Dr. Milton provides coaching and counseling for pastors, sessions, search committees, and other church leaders.
Dr. Milton served as the fourth Chancellor-President and Chief Executive Officer of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS System), the third president of the RTS Charlotte campus, the interim president of RTS Orlando, and held the James M. Baird Jr. Chair of Pastoral Theology at RTS. When retired from RTS because of a medical condition, Dr. Milton founded the C.S. Lewis Institute in Charlotte, which continues today. Milton also served as the interim president of Knox Theological Seminary. He has provided consultation to churches and seminaries, and is often called upon to support higher education, ministry, public service, and Armed Forces Chaplaincy.
As an evangelist, he has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in numerous points around the globe — from atop the ruins of a dictator’s fallen statue in Albania—when the “iron curtain” fell—to Hindu villages in the north of India and to village chapels in Wales.
Milton was the 12th Senior Pastor since 1840 of the historic First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Under the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America’s Mission to North America and with a faithful core gathered, Milton founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas and founded a Christian academy there as well. He founded a second congregation, Kirk O’ the Isles (PCA), near Savannah GA. In 2017 Milton founded Trinity Chapel Charlotte (ARP), a parish Presbyterian model church in South Charlotte. In 2018 Dr. Milton placed the shepherd’s stole on his successor. He subsequently accepted an invitation to serve as Pastor-in-Residence at Church of the Redeemer (PCA), Wesley Chapel, NC.
An alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Master of Public Administration, School of Government), Milton has earned other degrees from MidAmerica Nazarene University (BA) and Knox Theological Seminary (MDiv). Milton earned the Ph.D. from the University of Wales. Milton received his his Postgraduate Certification in Higher Education Teaching from Harvard University.
Dr. Milton is also a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA; and the Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Michael A. Milton was awarded several prizes for his academic work, including the annual Knox Prize in Preaching, the Knox Prize in Systematic Theology, and MidAmerica Nazarene University’s annual Leadership Award. A tenured faculty member, He serves with the rank of full professor, teaching courses in both master and doctoral level programs at several institutions, including Belhaven University, Erskine Seminary, Reformed Seminary, and Lancaster Bible College and Capital Bible Seminary. He has lectured from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, to Monterrey, Mexico and Madras, India, and served on doctoral examination committees at numerous institutions around the world.
As an author, Milton has penned over thirty books, including Silent No More: Why the Church Must Speak Biblically to State and Culture. The book has been endorsed by Michael Reagan, David Limbaugh, Paul Kengor, and other cultural heavyweights, and has been featured on numerous national radio, television, print and online media outlets. Milton’s commentaries on faith and culture have been published nationally and internationally by numerous online and print publications. In addition to his popular writing, Milton has edited and published numerous peer-reviewed academic articles appearing in leading journals such as the Chaplain Corps Journal and the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. His MPA thesis at UNC Chapel Hill has been published as a textbook, Vocation and Reform: An Analysis of Five Key Areas of Public Administration. His peer-reviewed papers have been selected for presentation at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meetings and the American Association of Church Historians. In 2017, Dr. Harry Stout selected Michael A. Milton as a contributor to the Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Yale, Eerdmans). In 2018 Milton was selected to present an ethics paper to a joint UK-US symposium on the occasion of the centennial of WWI. National Defense University chose the peer-reviewed paper to be included in the Military Ethics Primer (National Defense University Press), spring 2019. An expanded version of the presentation was also published as a monograph under the title, From Flanders Fields to the Moviegoer: Philosophical Foundations for a Transcendant Ethical Framework. In 2019. Dr. Milton completed The Moral Foundations of Government: An Annotted and Abridged Edition of Rutherford’s Lex, Rex (Fortress, 2019).
A singer-songwriter and recording artist, Milton has released five albums of original music and is a published composer and hymn-writer.. ChristianityToday.com has called his music “emotionally moving and musically opulent,” comparing his style and musicianship to “Dan Fogelberg and Neil Young.”
Michael Milton has recorded with Michael Card, as well as Buddy Greene and numerous Nashville studio musicians. His music has been reviewed positively by professionals in education and even in medicine by Dr. Matthew Alexander, Professor of Family Medicine at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. His music, through BMI, is included in publishing catalogs in both Los Angeles and Nashville and is available to churches through CCLI. He collaborated with noted pianist Gail Smith to compose a new hymn for congregational singing,”God is Calling.” “When Heaven Came Down,” “Jesus Came,” and a growing number of Dr. Milton’s recordings are now available for sheet music at SheetMusicPlus.com.
Milton lives in North Carolina with his wife, Mae. Their son, John Michael, works with his father as a higher education administrator. Seven other adult children are all married and settled throughout the East Coast and Deep South.
Milton’s life verse is from Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ.” Or, as Milton puts it in the title of his autobiography, “What God Starts, God Completes.”
Milton says of his life, “Mike Milton is simply a filthy sinner saved by grace and called to preach the Gospel and the unsearchable riches of Christ that he once blasphemed.”
—Compiled from Lynn McCain, McCain & Co., Nashville, TN.
“Mike Milton thinks like a scholar, but writes like a pastor. He takes subtle issues and, without dumbing them down, explains them in easy-to-understand terms. That is a wonderful gift to the Church.”
Joel Belz, Publisher, World Magazine
“Milton’s deep faith is communicated in a way that is neither preachy nor clichéd. His religious imagery and lyrics touch one’s soul deeply…”
Dr. Matthew Alexander, Professor of Family Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
“Dr. Michael Milton is a pastor, theologian, Gospel singer song-writer and one of the most gifted preachers of the Gospel in our nation today.”
Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse
“Michael Milton is a shepherd who leads his flock by song.”
Michael Card, singer-songwriter
Dr. Michael Milton is one of the church’s most outstanding and committed Christian leaders. He is a man of scholarship, intellect, and insight deeply devoted to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am thankful for his contributions to evangelical thought and the life of our churches. We should all be thankful that his writings are available to evangelical Christians today.”
Dr. Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Thank God for Dr. Michael Milton…”
David Limbaugh, NY Times best selling author, constitutional attorney
“…one of the outstanding Presbyterian ministers in the English speaking world…”
Dr. Terry Johnson, Senior Minister, Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia
“It is only when Christian leaders courageously speak to the vital issues of the day that the distinctive fruits of Christian civilization can begin to flower in a culture: justice, mercy, and humility; art, music, and ideas; freedom, opportunity, and progress; beauty, goodness, and truth. In this much-needed book, Dr. Milton brilliantly, powerfully, and prophetically sounds that Good News proclamation from the rooftops.”
George Grant, Pastor, Parish Presbyterian Church, Franklin, TN
“When Michael Milton speaks we do well to listen. He is articulate and passionate. His concern for the Christian voice to be heard in our country should be shared by all believers in this time of cultural warfare and the loss of conscience in our nation and world.”
Dr. Gordon Reed, Author, Professor of Bible, Pastor
“Mike Milton’s story of God’s amazing grace in his life is powerful.”
Dr. Frank M. Barker, Jr., Founding Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL
“Michael A. Milton has written a book that might deal with the most important question of our time. Silent No More is a ‘must read’ if we are to save our nation.”
Michael Reagan, Son of President Ronald Reagan, Broadcaster, Columnist, Author