Dr. Pittman's primary teaching and research interests are in the History of Religions, Buddhist Studies, Chinese Studies, cross-cultural and interfaith studies, and global Christianity. Courses offered over the last few years include Contemporary World Religions, Introduction to a Christian Theology of Religions, Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian Dialogue, and the PTS BorderLinks study tour.
His publications include Ministry and Theology in Global Perspective: Contemporary Challenges for the Church, co-edited with Ruben Habito and Terry Muck (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996) and Toward a Modern Chinese Buddhism: Taixu's Reforms (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2001), plus numerous scholarly articles (in English and Chinese), book reviews, encyclopedia entries, and sermons.
A former missionary in Taiwan, Dr. Pittman is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is member of the American Academy of Religion, the Association for Asian Studies, the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, and the Association of Disciples for Theological Discussion. William Tabbernee Professor of the History of Religions, he has served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Phillips Theological Seminary since 2000.