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Across the Bridge – Summer 2014

September 2, 2014 | Written by Matt Carter

The Bridge, Summer 2014 offers articles and information about the life and ministry of Harding School of Theology. Here are some images and information that did not fit in the print version.


Centered in God: The Trinity and Christian Spirituality by Dr. Mark E. Powell.

Aging Creatively Workshop and Prepare-Enrich Training with Dr. Ed Gray.

Campus for Christ is an organization of campus ministries associated with churches of Christ.

The remaining foot of a Colossus statue of a Roman Emperor. These giant statues visually emphasized the power and might attributed to emperors and deities. Photo from Oster’s research trip to Rome.

The remaining foot of a Colossus statue of a Roman Emperor. These giant statues visually emphasized the power and might attributed to emperors and deities. Photo from Oster’s research trip to Rome, June 2014.

Dr. Richard Oster spent two weeks during June doing research in Rome that will enrich the classes he teaches, such as New Testament World.

Did you know that HST offers an M. A. in New Testament Backgrounds and Archaeology? Oster comments:
“On the ground with the early church, whether we read of Jesus’ inflammatory service at Nazareth or Paul’s time at Corinth or John’s prophetic ministry in Roman Asia, context and artifacts breathe fresh life into sacred texts.”

This year the library staff hosted the annual meeting of the Christian College Librarians. It was the first time in the 30-year history of the group that we were able to host. This group is a collection of librarians who either affiliate themselves with Churches of Christ or work for institutions with that affiliation.

Thursday’s activities primarily took place at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, just across Cherry Road. The guests were impressed with the beauty of that place, especially during the spring. On Friday we met in our library’s newly renovated Reference Room. It was the first time we were able to take advantage of having shelving on wheels, which could be moved to the other side of the room.

Like many professional gatherings, this meeting mixed sessions of professional development with casual opportunities to spend time with each other. But that didn’t mean that we forgot we were in Memphis for a few days. What does a CCL conference in Memphis look like? It means you could find librarians listening to a presentation about rare books while eating Gus’s World Famous fried chicken. Or maybe it means walking through the Civil Rights Museum with people who share a common vocation. For some, it even included a trip to Sun Studios and Graceland. Regardless, the whole experience brought together three things that have historically been at the core of HST: a commitment to libraries, a recognition of our heritage within Churches of Christ, and our gratitude for being located in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bob Turner, Circulation Librarian

Why do you take summer intensive courses?

Summer intensive students discuss ministry challenges over lunch with Dr. Carlus Gupton

Summer intensive students discuss ministry challenges over lunch with Dr. Carlus Gupton

As someone who works full time in a secular career, I had to use a week of ‘vacation’ to take the Systematic Theology course. My peers do a lot more fun activities in a vacation week, but I will benefit eternally from that week of fellowship with godly men and women. I am renewed in my faith and excited about learning; Dr. Powell presented the material in a way that whetted my appetite for more. Thank you to all who make this experience possible.

Ed Carr, Certificate in Spiritual Leadership student

Intensive weeks refresh my focus on ministry and the biblical text, and they renew my own spiritual life. Classes are filled with students and a teacher who love the Lord, are serious about improving their ministry, and are willing to think critically about a certain area of theology. These qualities make the class discussions and other interactions very valuable in shaping my mind and heart. Despite the sacrifices one makes for intensive courses, I find the community transformational in my life and ministry.

Adam Noles, MDiv student

This summer I attended my final two intensive courses. These are always just as described, intense, but the benefits are always worth the effort. For me these times have become almost like church camp for a preacher. Being in full time ministry, these intensive courses provide an opportunity to (hopefully) leave all the daily responsibilities behind and immerse myself in one focused area. Discussion in class, lunches together and study groups provide an excellent opportunity to fellowship with other students, ministers and instructors. Such an intense blessing!

Lance Love, MDiv student

Intensive courses at HST bless my life and ministry. They allow me to enjoy a classroom experience even though I live far from campus. The teachers at HST combine scholarship and ministry experience as they make these classes relevant and challenging. Intensives are great because you get to meet students and make friends from all over the country who are engaged in different ministry contexts. Chapel is one of the highlights of the week as you engage in worship together and are reminded of all that God is doing in the world. Intensive courses are definitely worth the time and effort for students.

Ethan Bilbrey, MDiv student

The one-week intensives have been the highlight of my HST experience. As a distance learning student from the frontiers of Montana, I always look forward to this week of being immersed in a single course. I love the opportunity to be focused solely on one thing for an entire week, removed from all the distractions and duties of daily life. I love being on campus where I am inspired by the learning environment to be open to knowledge and scholarship. I love having access to the vast theological library as well as the professors. And I love getting to know the other students and hearing their stories of ministry back home. There is no other experience like it.

Randy Hohf, MACM student

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