May 22, 2015 | Written by Matt Carter
Master of Arts
Brandon L. Moore
Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
Randy Steven Hohf
Master of Arts in Counseling
Eric Walker Allen
Master of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry
Herbert Dale Hartman
May 8, 2015 | Written by Matt Carter
Editor’s Note: Dr. Huffard is stepping aside July 1 after sixteen years as dean of HST. Dr. Allen Black will be the new dean. Dr. Huffard offered these thoughts May 7, 2015, in the last chapel of his last semester as dean.
Reflections on Being Dean for Sixteen Years
A preacher once began with the wrong sentence: “I have so much to say I do not know where to start” to which someone quickly spoke up — “How about somewhere close to the end?” I feel that way today. There is so much to say I will have to start close to the end.
I have settled for five reflections, starting with the one most connected to our theme of the year.
- The Deans office has been a place of prayer. I prayed often for and with faculty, staff and students. One way in which God has answered prayers, many prayers, has been in the hiring process. When we are seeking faculty or staff we seek God’s assistance because we cannot create the candidates at the time we need them. During my tenure as administrator I have witnessed how God has faithfully and overwhelmingly blessed us with gifted spiritual colleagues. Here is a list of people that were not here when I began 16 years ago that God sent to bless us: Brenda Curtis, Jeannie Alexander, Daphne Logan, Matt Carter, Vernon Perry [whose prayers may have been more earnest than mine!], Mark Powell, Carlus Gupton, Kevin Shelby, Sheila Owen, and Bob Turner. I shifted Steve McLeod to the role he has filled so effectively—so I consider him a “rehire.” I also initiated the process for Jim Martin to join us. If you add to this the daily prayers from Jane Thomlinson and host of prayers with students, we can only give all the honor to God for faithfully responding and guiding.
- Many roles in life choose you, you don’t choose them. For example, becoming a shepherd in a church is not a role you choose for yourself, the church chooses you. A good shepherd rises to the call of the church to lead. Being a dean is similar. This was never my “dream job,” it might be for someone out there but not me. However, I have felt called and blessed to use the gifts God has given me to serve the mission of the school. There is a sense that the dean of HST stands between the mission of the university and the church it seeks to serve. It is because of the church I serve. It has been an honor to serve and continue the vision of equipping others for service in the kingdom in this special well.
- Discerning the will of God is a never ending, ongoing process, even if you feel called to your work and it matches your gifts. In any leadership role, you will soon find yourself on the frontier of your gifts, seeking ways to extend them. I have been influenced by Rom. 12:2—“but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” A contemporary author like Novelist William Faulkner would say it this way: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” There have been many times as an administrator that I lost sight of the shore to move us to new horizons. I have been stretched, really stretched, and God has been faithful.
- Timing is important. Mark Twain was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it,” too. He died the day after the comet returned.
Timing also falls within God’s will—especially when it is time to change what you are doing. There is a lesson to learn from Hezekiah. When God says it is time to go, GO! Hezekiah became deathly ill, Isaiah told him to get his house in order for he would not recover (2 Kings 20:1). Hezekiah prayed to the LORD, appealing to God’s faithfulness and his good record, he wept bitterly. So before Isaiah could get out of the courtyard of the kings palace, the LORD sent him back in to the king to let him know God will give him 15 more years. WHAT A MISTAKE! He could have ended well. But no, in the extended time he jeopardized all the treasures of the temple when envoys from Babylon came, and he had a son that became king (at 12) and totally destroyed all the good his dad has done. The extended time did not honor God, Hezekiah or Judah. He failed the moment he sought what was best for himself rather than what was best for Judah.
Over the past couple of years I have had the conviction that it was time for me to make a change. The “Huffard push-pull” theory applies to me as well. Those I have mentored know what I am talking about. In short, if you are pushed but not pulled to leave a place, it is probably time to endure suffering and not run. I had several of those days! If you are pulled, but not pushed, by invitations to other places, it is probably the time to put your ego back into the file and humbly stay the course. I have had several of those months! If both, then it may be time to listen and do what you still may not want to do. God often has to nudge us out of one thing to make of available for what he wants us to do.
- God is generous and has blessed HST with deans who have been faithful to their calling. I feel a little like that workers who came later in the day in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard but were paid the same as those who worked all day (Mt. 20:15). Previous deans (first three had no computers or email or central air-conditioning or an endowment!) could complain about how easy I have had it. On the other hand, I can appreciate their contribution to who we are as a school. In the spirit of Hebrews 13:7-[“Remember your leaders, those who spoke the Word of God to you, consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”] I want to reflect on their impact on all of us.
- W. B. West, Jr – was dean 1958-1972; with degrees from Lipscomb, ACU, USC (ThD in NT in 1943) the pioneer of graduate education in the churches of Christ, starting the program at Pepperdine as well as ours. We often heard him say, at this time of the semester especially–“Hoe your row to the end.” Convinced Jack Lewis to come. Convinced Annie May Alston to come. He defended graduate education in an era of strong anti-education in churches. The school had a small library down stairs, one phone in the building, and only one building on campus. He dreamed of writing a book on Revelation. He called me several times and convinced me to come to HST as a student and after I came as a faculty in 1987 he inquired several times if I would go back to Pepperdine. When I became dean the first challenge was to do something with 20,000 of his books that were willed to the school. I took his class on Corinthians and appreciated his love for the Word and stories of scholars and a large network.
- Harold Hazelip—dean 1972-1986; with degrees from Lipscomb, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1958) and U. of Iowa (1967). He had four jobs—dean, teaching, preaching at Highland, and Herald of Truth. He gave us national exposure. His sermon on the “Impossible Dream” in the Hazelip Sermon Archives became a classic. He and Baxter influenced a new style of preaching—speaking the truth softly in love. I took one of his classes as a student and remember the new insights he gave us on the doctrine and theology. We have recently digitized more than 600 of his sermons. When he moved to become president of Lipscomb it created a chain reaction that caused about 6 people to change their jobs. Slate became dean and I moved here to teach missions.
- Philip Slate—dean 1986-1992; came as a missionary from England with degrees from Lipscomb, HST (MA, 1961) and Fuller (D.Miss 1976). I was his first MA thesis and worked with him at the Park Avenue Church of Christ, which was a great ministry experience for me. He became an effective advocate expository preaching as a way to do more justice to the text than topic preaching. I had him for several classes and the one foundational concept I have used most has been his definition of the goal of Christian missions: make the message know, seek a valid decision of faith, and work for persistence in faith. Encouraged me to continue with the PhD at Fuller, for which I have been most grateful.
- Bill Flatt—dean 1993-1999; degrees from Tennessee Tech, HST (MRE 1962), University of Memphis (EdD 1973). He had served as Registrar for many years and he was the right one to lead us through the crisis of the tragic fire in mansion that took more than a year to rebuild. He equipped preachers with skills counseling and managing grief. It was during his tenure that we completed our ATS accreditation.
With the time limitations of chapel, I pray these reflections will bless you with insights as you go through critical boundary events of life with a commitment to seek God’s will and use your gifts to His honor and glory. God is faithful.
March 5, 2015 | Written by Matt Carter
HST Around the World
Since the beginning HST® has equipped students for ministry around the world. In this issue of The Bridge, you will hear from missionaries who spent the Fall on campus through our Sabbatical program. You will enjoy reflections from students and (alumni) organizers on the Global Missions Conference, which was held in the Memphis area and featured many alumni and current students on the program.
In the Winter 2015 Bridge, you'll also meet a new Lewis Scholar. You'll find some resources on prayer, building on our 2014-2015 theme A Life of Prayer. You'll find all of this, along with other campus news and updates, in the Winter 2015 issue of The Bridge.
As always, you will hear good news from faculty, students, and alumni that will give you hope and joy at the work God is doing among us.
Don't forget to go Across the Bridge for additional content not included in the print edition!
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March 5, 2015 | Written by Matt Carter
The Bridge, Winter 2015 offers articles and information about the life and ministry of Harding School of Theology. Here are some links and information that did not fit in the print version.
Resources on World Missions
Global Missions Conference 2014 Website
HST’s Missions Sabbatical Program:
HST’s Missions Page
Syllabi and book lists from related courses are a great way to see what faculty recommend for reading and study in the area.
- You may find the reading list for all current courses here.
- You may always find our syllabi here.
- Syllabus from Fall 2014 Global Evangelism course, taught by Dr. Philip Slate.
- Syllabus from Spring 2015 Multicultural Ministry course, taught by Dr. Evertt W. Huffard.
Resources on Prayer
- Steven Gaines’ article from the print edition with live links.
- DMin student Michael Waymon Summers “Call for Fire” Prayer Seminar.
- Search Dr. Carlus Gupton‘s LifeandLeadership.com for resources on prayer.
- Alum Leon Sanderson’s Theme Song for the year, Devotion to Prayer
- Sheet Music for “Devotion to Prayer”
Links from the Bridge
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January 29, 2015 | Written by Matt Carter
This is material SA Vice-president Steven Gaines shared in chapel January 29, 2015.
Compiled by Steven Gaines
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2 NRSV). When we walk into the HST chapel, a banner with that verse reminds us of this year’s theme: “Life of Prayer.”
We hear, read, think, talk, and learn much about prayer and are encouraged to pray. Sometimes, however, learning about prayer can be easier than actually practicing it. Unplanned reading assignments and neglected research papers force all-nighters. Friends and family members have needs, and we have jobs.
Chapel speakers call us to pray, and perhaps we wonder how to find the time. If we find the time, maybe we grow weary of repetitious patterns that have rutted our prayer lives.
An improved prayer life requires more than books and information; the information must shape action. As Thomas Merton taught, “If you want a life of prayer, the way to get it is by praying” (Thompson, 49).
Here I offer a few resources to help us pray. (These are not scripture. I trust that you know to find powerful prayer language in the Bible, especially the Psalms.) I invited recommendations from several church leaders and professors in various parts of the world, and this list shares some of their suggestions.
The list is eclectic; it contains some works you might love and some you may dislike severely. It has books about prayer, books of prayer, websites, and mobile apps. I pray that you will find something that will play a small role in increasing your devotion to prayer.
|Harvest Prayer Ministries||PrayBuzz|
|Jan Johnson||Common Prayer|
|Prayer Matters||Daily Readings|
|Praying in Color||Echo|
|Renovaré||iPrayed 4 U|
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January 15, 2015 | Written by Matt Carter
Harding School of Theology Vice President Jim Martin announced January 7 Lance Hawley’s appointment to teach Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at HST. Hawley will begin teaching Fall 2015.
A 2003 alumnus of HST, Hawley has a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies and secondary education from York College, a Master of Divinity from HST, and a Master of Arts in Hebrew Bible from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at UWM.
He has previously taught classes at UWM including elementary biblical Hebrew, prophets of the Bible, and introduction to biblical literature. In addition to holding various leadership roles within churches and other organizations, Hawley has received numerous academic awards and honors.
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December 4, 2014 | Written by Matt Carter
- Read about the Library’s 50th Anniversary Celebration
- Meet students inlcuding the Student Association officers and a Lewis Scholar
- Join us as we focus this year on “A Life of Prayer
Don’t forget to go Across the Bridge for images and information going beyond the print version.
Read other issues of The Bridge.
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December 4, 2014 | Written by Matt Carter
The Bridge, Fall 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.
Library 50th Anniversary Celebration
View a sampling of the “Building a History: 50 Years of Collecting at the Graves Memorial Library” display from the dinner.
Meet the Student Association Officers
The SA serves our student body in many ways and is a tremendous blessing to the school as a whole. Visit the SA Webpage to learn more about these servant leaders.
Full texts of articles excerpted in The Bridge
Here is the full text of Andrew Taylor’s chapel talk, Praying for a Revolution of Values.
Lexington Theological Seminary Journals
In September, the library received 45 boxes of journals from Lexington Theological Seminary. Some were from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Enjoy these pictures of the delivery.
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December 3, 2014 | Written by Matt Carter
Spring 2015 church audit courses made specially available to members of supporting congregations for an audit fee of $25 per course. These are the same graduate courses taken with credit students.
HST offers a variety of courses in ministry and theology, and we try to make as wide a range as possible to our church auditors. These are the upcoming church audit courses. Click the course name for the syllabus, and the professors name for information about the professor.
To register for a church audit course, click here.
Tuesday, 6-7:30 pm, January 20 – May 12.
Dr. Mark E. Powell has recently released a book, Centered in God: The Trinity and Christian Spirituality. This one-credit course explores this doctrine that is so central to the Christian faith in a way that will help Christians not only understand more about God, but will help them grow closer to God. Dr. Powell created this course with church auditors in mind.
Thursday, 6:00 – 8:45, January 22 – May 14.
Dr. Huffard has cross-cultural experiences as a missionary to Muslims in Israel and in inner-city ministry in LA. He combines this personal experience with academic preparation in teaching multicultural ministry. Building on a biblical theology of diversity, hospitality, reconciliation, and inclusion, this course will study issues of leadership, worship, and evangelism in a multicultural church. Models of multicultural churches will be surveyed. Application to various ministries will be experienced through a field education experience and case studies.
The church audit program serves members of congregations which support the school with at least $1200/year ($100/month). Members of these congregations may audit select courses each semester for $25 per course. That’s right – any member of a supporting congregation can attend the same graduate courses as credit students and learn from world class professors for next to nothing!
How do I participate?
To help your congregation join this program, contact the Advancement Office at HSTadvancement@hst.edu or by calling 901-761-1355.
Click here to register for a course.
October 31, 2014 | Written by Matt Carter
Congratulations to HST Theology professor Dr. Mark E. Powell on the publication of his new book, Centered in God: The Trinity and Christian Spirituality (available here through the HST Amazon store). This book introduces Christianity’s most central belief, the doctrine of the Trinity, by exploring how the Trinity shapes key aspects of Christian faith and spirituality.
In the early church the Trinitarian vision of God was foundational for Christian identity, unity, and spirituality. For many Christians today, however, the Trinity is viewed as unreasonable and impractical. What exactly is the doctrine of the Trinity, and why is it so central to Christian faith and life?
From the book’s cover:
We have an abundant supply of books on the Trinity that only professional theologians can understand. Mark Powell’s Centered in God is quite different: a book on the Trinity—“the Christian vision of God,” as he rightly puts it—that an ordinary Christian can easily understand and profit from. Powell’s special achievement is to show clearly how the Trinitarian vision of God can shape the whole Christian life and everyone’s journey of faith. Scripturally rich, theologically accurate, and spiritually perceptive, this book is a tremendous resource not only for pastors, teachers, and students, but for all Christians who want to deepen their relationship with God.
Bruce D. Marshall
Lehman Professor of Christian Doctrine
Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
Centered in God is an accessible introduction to the Trinitarian vision of God and its implications for the Christian life. It not only presents the doctrine of the Trinity as formulated by the early church, but also leads readers to know and worship the Trinity, and live in light of the Christian understanding of God. Further, it proposes that recovering the central place of the Trinity could lead to theological and spiritual renewal in the church today.
More than an introduction to the Trinity, Centered in God is a primer on Christian faith and spirituality that will deepen your walk with God.
Dr. Powell is Associate Professor of Theology at HST and also preaches at Cordova Community Church of Christ. He has taught at HST since 2002. His previous book, Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue, is the only book-length study on the subject from a non-Catholic scholar in the past century.
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