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McMillion’s Legacy

June 17, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter

Dr. Phil McMillion will shift from full time to adjunct status this fall. He has taught Old Testament courses at HST for over 20 years. This fitting tribute from Nathan Myers, Master of Divinity student, expresses the respect and appreciation we share for Dr. McMillion.

phillip.mcmillion.2As Dr. Phil McMillion’s time as professor of Old Testament comes to an end, he leaves a legacy that I am blessed to have been a part of, even if for a short time. I have had the privilege to take several classes with Dr. McMillion, including an archaeology class in Greece and Israel May 2011. I distinctly remember one of
his favorite phrases, which he would repeat in every class from behind that ever-present mustache of his: “The Old Testament still has much to say to us today.”

One must look no further than his teaching and his life to know that he, without a doubt, believes this to be true. Dr. McMillion strives to make known the inestimable value and richness of the Old Testament, which still speaks today with illumination and power to the Christian life and community of faith. More than that, he lives it. If the heart of the Old Testament presents a God who engages and relentlessly pursues his creation and his people with the character described in Psalm 86:5 (to name one of several occurrences), then Dr. McMillion certainly is “a man after God’s own heart.” His commitment to biblical scholarship, his teaching excellence, and his gentle and compassionate spirit will be sorely missed. It has been an honor to learn under him and to follow the example of a man who reflects the words of Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the man whose pleasure lies in YHWH’s law and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which produces its fruit in season, and its leaves do not wither — he makes everything that he does thrive.”

This tribute appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of The Bridge.

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Jim Martin

Dr. Jim Martin

Dr. Jim Martin, a Waco, Texas, minister, was selected to become the vice president of Harding School of Theology in Memphis, Tenn.

The announcement was made today by Dr. Bruce D. McLarty, Harding’s president. Martin will assume his new position Jan. 1, 2014. He will succeed Dr. Evertt W. Huffard, who will remain as dean.

Martin is currently the pulpit minister at the Crestview Church of Christ in Waco, Texas, a position he has held since 1993. He has also served congregations in Kansas City, Mo., and Florence, Ala.

In making the announcement of the appointment, McLarty said, “Jim Martin brings a solid background in business, ministry and education to the unique task of leading Harding School of Theology. He has close ties with churches and preachers all across the country. I can’t imagine a better fit for this position. I am thrilled that he has decided to join the administrative team at Harding University.”

At Harding School of Theology, Martin will lead an administrative team including the dean, the director of advancement and the director of admissions. He will also oversee the business office and facilities of the campus.

As vice president for the Memphis campus, Martin will be a member of the president’s cabinet.

Martin holds baccalaureate degrees from University of North Texas and International Bible College. He received two master’s degrees from Abilene Christian University. He received the D.Min. degree from Harding School of Theology in 1988. In 2011 and 2013 he was an adjunct professor at HST.

He currently serves on the board of directors of the Christian Scholarship Foundation, as a mentoring partner for Hope Network Ministries, and as one of six “community leaders” managing Michael Hyatt’s leadership blog, the second-most read leadership blog in the nation.

(from a Harding University Press Release, 6/3/13)

The Spring 2013 issue of The Bridge featured comments from HST alumni on the value of graduate theological education. Due to space constraints, we could only include a few of those statements. Here are additional thoughts to take you beyond the printed page.

Gunnells

Gunnells


Timothy Gunnells

My education raised my level of patience and has helped me to persevere even under difficult circumstances. I gained not only knowledge, but a deeper appreciation of people. The farther along I went in my theological education, the more humble I became in my approach to ministry.

Kevin Jensen

Graduate education blessed me like an inheritance from a rich uncle. My peers in undergraduate studies and in preacher training schools received good increases in knowledge, perspectives, and skills through their education, but I got more through mine. I received what they got, but was taken deeper and broader. The rigors of graduate study stretched me so that I grew in dependence on God and in self-discipline. Since my graduation twelve years ago, I’ve frequently been grateful for HST’s network of peer and faculty relationships and library support that continues to provide me and my church with new resources and training opportunities for ministry today.

Nesmith

Nesmith


James Nesmith

Graduate theological education has changed my life as a minister in two ways. First, it has humbled me to appreciate all that I do not know. In ministry, preachers are challenged to have all the answers; to offer conclusive, rigid, and unaltering truths and proclamations. This can lead to a pat perspective in which the minister feels that he knows all he needs to know and can refrain from the exploration of additional or competing thoughts and ideas.

This leads me to the second impact of graduate theological education upon my life. We live in an information age. While a preacher is in the pulpit, members can be on their smartphones Googling the information he is presenting to ensure its accuracy. The training I received at HST in critical thinking, research methods, analytical comparison, and theological reflection enables me, by God’s grace, to speak with accuracy and confidence. I do not have all the answers, but the answers I have are sure and solid even as I work my way toward additional answers. This confident progression is appreciated by the congregation, and we move together toward greater understanding and application of the word of God as we engage in his service in downtown Richmond.

James T. Wood

I see the benefit of my education in two veins. On the one side, I was forced to grapple with the deeper issues of faith and ministry and equipped to find the answers. On the other side, I was connected to an invaluable network of ministry partners around the globe that are graciously willing to help me.
I do see one major flaw with graduate education in theology that needs to be addressed: the overwhelming emphasis on academics over application has a tendency to erode spiritual health while it strengthens intellectual ability. We can’t sacrifice one for the other. We need to train ministers who are both spiritually filled and academically prepared.

Posted in Across the Bridge, Theology

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