Intellectually Stimulating Podcasts

With the advent of the podcast has come vast new opportunities for individual learning and growth. Over the years, I have met a diverse number of pastors who do not enjoy reading, but the podcast medium introduces an innovative path for self-paced education. Studies show that in terms of learning outcomes, listening to podcasts is equivalent to reading.

Podcasts also provide the advantage of portability and access to information. Think of the hours we spend driving, hours that we cannot safely spend reading, but hours in which we can expand our understanding through the medium of podcasts.

Here are five podcasts I highly recommend for intellectual growth and stimulation: 

  1. Ask NT Wright Anything. In this podcast series, Bishop Tom Wright provides answers to theological questions submitted mainly by readers of his books and his listening audience. Wright’s main contribution is his explanation of what the New Testament writers claimed about the Kingdom of God, Heaven, and Earth as well as his eschatological understanding. The episode entitled, “Who was the Apostle Paul and Why Does He Still Matter?” is one of the best articulated explanations on Paul’s monumental contributions that you will ever hear.
  2. Why Are We Talking About Rabbits? Hosted by John Heers of the First Things Foundation, “Why Are We Talking About Rabbits” uses history, theology, and philosophy to examine contemporary cultural phenomena. The First Things Foundation was conceived to remind wealthy westerners of the source of meaning in life. The foundation acts as a mechanism to remind us of our calling to serve the poorest among us. The episode I recommend is entitled “Time, Timelines and What’s The Common Era Anyway?” This episode inspired me to re-examine my beliefs about keeping time as a Christian and the vital importance of the Christian calendar.
  3. The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast. Dr. Jordan Peterson rocketed into public consciousness a few years ago when he pushed against compelled speech policies implemented by the University of Toronto’s administration. As an academician, he advocated for free speech. As a podcaster, Peterson interviews a wide range of people covering topics like theology, psychology, epistemology and politics. The episode, “The End of Universities?” exposes the decline of intellectual integrity in western universities.
  4. The Symbolic World. This podcast originates from French Canadian Orthodox icon carver and artist, Jonathan Pageau. Mr. Pageau grew up attending an evangelical church and converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity after studying art in university. He advocates for an understanding of how symbolism operates in our faith and everyday life. The episode link highlighted here is entitled, “Symbolism Happens.” It provides an introduction to symbolic thinking.
  5. Inside Strategic Coach. This podcast offers the accumulated wisdom of Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach. Sullivan has been coaching for several decades. His leadership insights are primarily applicable for entrepreneurs across the professional spectrum. Pastors are often thrust into entrepreneurial ministries, and I find myself quoting Dan repeatedly to pastors who want to engage their communities missionally. In this episode, Dan discusses the advantages of associative thinking.

Honorable Mention…. The Wesley Seminary Podcast. This is my go-to podcast for Wesleyan theological and pastoral learning. Hosted by Dr. Aaron Perry, it speaks to leading Wesleyan leaders and thinkers. In the episode, “Funerals in a Post-Christendom Age Part 1”, Dr. Perry interviews his brother Dr. Tim Perry and discusses pastoral theology and praxis regarding funerals.

To learn more about the advantages of podcasts and audiobooks for education, see the following resources: 

Anwar, Yasmin. “Brain Maps Look Alike for Podcast and Reading.” Futurity, August 20, 2019,

Heid, Markham. “Are Audiobooks as Good for You as Reading? Here’s What Experts Say.” Time Magazine, September 16, 2018. Accessed December 6, 2021.

T.T., Alexander. ”Why Podcasts are Better than Books. Alexander T.T. (blog), October 9, 2020,


Heers, John. “Time, Timelines, and What’s The Common Era Anyway?” Why Are We Talking About Rabbits?, Google Podcasts, February 4, 2021,

Pageau, Jonathan, host. “Symbolism Happens.”  The Symbolic World, Google Podcasts, September 4, 2019,

Perry, Aaron. “Dr. Tim Perry: Funerals in a Post-Christian Age—Part 1.” Wesley Seminary Podcast, Google Podcasts, August 12. 2021,

Peterson, Jordan, host. “The End of Universities?” The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, Google Podcasts, August 2, 2021.

Sullivan, Dan. “The Advantages of Associated Thinking.” Inside Strategic Coach: Connecting Entrepreneurs With What Really Matters, Google Podcasts, June 16, 2021,

Wright, Nicholas Thomas. “Who Was the Apostle Paul and Why Does He Still Matter?”  Ask NT Wright Anything, Google Podcasts October 14, 2021,

Intellectual contributor: Dr. Eric Hallett, district superintendent of the Central Canada District of The Wesleyan Church.

Executive editor: Russ Gunsalus

Curator of content: Dave Higle