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Dr. Matthew Arbo

Jewell and Joe Huitt Professor of Religious Education
Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

Office Location Montgomery Hall, 204
Phone (Office) 405.585.4436
OBU Mailbox # 61273

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Dr. Matthew Arbo is the Jewell and Joe L. Huitt Associate Professor of Theological Studies and Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Oklahoma Baptist University. Prior to his arrival at OBU, Arbo served for three years as Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.

Arbo is the author of The Virtues: An Introduction and Outline (Lexham Publishing, 2021), Walking Through Infertility: Biblical, Theological, and Moral Counsel for those who are Struggling (Crossway, 2018), and Political Vanity: Adam Ferguson on the Moral Tensions of Early Capitalism (Fortress Press, 2014), His essays and articles on wide-ranging moral and political questions appear in several edited volumes and top-tier journals, including Political TheologyStudies in Christian Ethics, and the Evangelical Review of Society and Politics. Arbo is active in the scholarly community, contributing as an invited panelist or presenter for conferences at Princeton University, University of Notre Dame, and Tyndale House (Cambridge), among others. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, Society of Christian Ethics, and Evangelical Theological Society.  Dr. Arbo is an appointed Research Fellow in Christian Ethics for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. 

Arbo's primary research interests are in moral and political theology. He is currently working on a project exploring the concept of Deceit in the Christian theological tradition and is soon to complete an introduction to the classical and theological virtues. 

Arbo's wife, Ashli, is an attorney and together they have three sons, Henry, James, and Oliver. The Arbo family are members of Frontline Church, where Matthew also serves as an elder.


  • Ph.D, University of Edinburgh
  • MTh., University of Edinburgh
  • MA., Liberty University
  • BA., Liberty University
  • Dissertation: Antinomies of the Commercial Age

Courses Taught

  • REL 3073: Biblical Ethics
  • REL/PHIL 4613: Religion and the State
  • PHIL 3533: Moral Philosophy
  • PHIL 1043: Introduction to Philosophy

Selected Publications


Political Vanity: Adam Ferguson on the Moral Tensions of Early Capitalism. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. ISBN 9781451482751.

Deceit: A Theological Inquiry. (under review)


“On the Idea of Commerce as a Natural Means of Human Improvement: Adam Smith’s Theory of Progress,” in Theology and Economics: A Christian Vision of the Common Good, Jeremy Kidwell
and Sean Doherty, eds. (Palgrave, 2014).

“Theodicy and Commerce,” Studies in Christian Ethics. Vol. 27.2, May 2014.

“More than Fairness: The Shape of Justice in the New Testament,” Justice as Unfairness: John Rawls and Christian Social Engagement. Anthony Bradley and Greg Forester, eds.. New York: Lexington Books, 2014.

“Recovering Political Apologies,” Midwestern Journal of Theology. Vol. 11, No. 1 (2012), pp.103-114.

“Blessed Insurance: How can Healthcare be Healed?” Coffee Table Conversations: Perspectives on Current Issues. Edited by Russell L. Meek and N. Blake Hearson. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2013.

“Adam Ferguson’s Sermon on Ersh Language: A Word from 2 Samuel on Martial Responsibility and Political Order,” Political Theology. Vol. 12, No. 6 (2011), pp.870-893.

“The Meaning of ‘Universal Benevolence,” Evangelical Review of Society and Politics. Vol. 4, No. 1 (2010), pp.26-44.


  • American Academy of Religion
  • Society of Christian Ethics
  • Evangelical Theological Society