John F. Kilner, PhD recently retired as the Franklin Forman Chair of Ethics, Professor of Bioethics and Contemporary Culture, and the Director of Bioethics Degree Programs at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. From the 1994 founding of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity until 2005, Dr. Kilner served as the Center’s President and CEO. He presently serves as an Emeritus Fellow in the Academy of Fellows of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity.
An author of numerous articles in such journals as the Hastings Center Report; Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law; American Journal of Public Health; Archives of Internal Medicine; Mayo Clinic Proceedings; American Journal of Jurisprudence; Interpretation; and Ethics & Medicine, he has written or edited over 20 books. His award-winning Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God (2015) has most recently been followed by Why People Matter: A Christian Engagement with Rival Views of Human Significance (2017). Earlier books include Why the Church Needs Bioethics; Biotechnology and the Human Good; Life on the Line; Who Lives? Who Dies?; Cutting Edge Bioethics; The Reproduction Revolution; Bioethics and the Future of Medicine; Dignity and Dying; Genetic Ethics; The Changing Face of Health Care; Basic Questions on Genetics, Stem Cell Research, and Cloning; Basic Questions on Healthcare; Basic Questions on Reproductive Technology; Basic Questions on Alternative Medicine; Basic Questions on End of Life Decisions; and Basic Questions on Suicide and Euthanasia.
His interests have been shaped significantly by extended periods of study and research in inner-city Boston, Kenya, and Switzerland. A frequent speaker and seminar leader, he most commonly addresses issues related to resource allocation, age-based and other forms of rationing, treatment termination, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, human cloning, assisted reproduction, genetic intervention, stem cell research, ethical methodology, cultural values, and social change. Dr. Kilner has been interviewed in such television venues as NBC (with Tom Brokaw), FOX News (with Bill O’Reilly), CBS, CNN, and PAX, such radio venues as National Public Radio, Moody Broadcasting Network, and Salem Network, and such newspaper venues as the New York Times, Washington Times, and Chicago Tribune.
Previously, Dr. Kilner served as Senior Associate at The Park Ridge Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethics, and as an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University Medical School, both in Chicago. Prior to his move to the Chicago area, he was an associate professor of social and medical ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary, directed the ethics grand rounds program at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, taught medical ethics as an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky, and served as hospital ethicist for St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington, KY.
After completing a BA degree (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) at Yale University, he earned an MDiv degree (summa cum laude, valedictorian) from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also holds an AM and a PhD "With Distinction" in religious ethics, with an emphasis in bioethics, from Harvard University. While there, he received the Newcombe, Danforth, Eisenhower, DeKarman, Roothbert, Merit, Howe, and Sheldon awards. More recently he has received the national Educator of the Year Award from Christian Medical & Dental Associations and the international Paul Ramsey Award for Exemplary Achievement in the Field of Bioethics from The Center for Bioethics & Culture Network.