(ATLANTA, GA) - Mark Ellingsen, Ph.D., Professor of Church History at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), will discuss his new book, African Christian Mothers and Fathers: Why They Matter for the Church Today at the prestigious AJC Decatur Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 3 p.m. at the Marriot Conference Center Auditorium, 130 Claremont Center in Decatur, Georgia. Published by Cascade Books, African Christian Mothers and Fathers focuses on the North African roots of Christian thought.

"Many of the doctrines that we Christians take for granted really have their origins in ancient North African Christian thought," Dr. Ellingsen said. "For instance, the first list of the books of the Bible that corresponds with our list of books of the Bible, Protestants and Catholics, comes from North Africa."

In the book, Ellingsen explores the early North African theological thoughts of some of Augustine's contemporaries; those who came before him, including women; and some who are lesser known. He also reveals their impact on how the Christian faith is lived out today. African Christian Mothers and Fathers offers a fresh approach to practicing Christianity in an ever expanding global context.

"It opens the door to an appreciation of the message of Jesus Christ; that the heritage of his church is really for everybody; that Christianity is not just a kind of a European 'thing' with Jewish roots which we brought to other people, but in fact, is truly a universal religion," Ellingsen said.

A prolific writer, Dr. Ellingsen earned his doctorate in Religious Studies from Yale University; is a renowned authority on the theology and life of Augustine; and has published hundreds of articles and 19 books. His most seminal books on church history include The Richness of Augustine; Sin Bravely; and Reclaiming Our Roots, an extensively used, two-volume textbook. Ellingsen's The Cutting Edge: How Church Speaks on Social Issues has been translated into Arabic by Dar El-Thaqafa, a major press in Cairo, Egypt. The Integrity of Biblical Narrative on how to preach is used by the Zulu people of South Africa and several seminaries in North America.

Copies of African Christian Mothers and Fathers may be purchased from the publisher at It may also be purchased at and The AJC Decatur Book Fair runs September 2-4, is free and open to the public.