June 3, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
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)
June 1, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 30, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
Inside the Spring 2013 issue of The Bridge:
- HST’s mission statement declares that we challenge Christian leaders to deeper faith in God and higher standards of ministry and scholarship. Why do we pursue scholarship? What is the value of graduate theological training? Why should anyone embrace the rigor, expense, and duration of HST’s degree programs?
This issue of The Bridge explores these questions from the perspective of faculty, alumni, and students.
- HST honors Dr. David B. Burks on his retirement as president of Harding University ending a 26-year ministry in that role
- Dr. Rodney Plunket named Alumnus of the Year
- Updates on events and happenings on campus
- Resources for a deeper exploration of topics mentioned in The Bridge
Read or download The Bridge: Spring 2013.
Go Across the Bridge to learn more about the topics of this issue.
Read other issues of The Bridge.
May 21, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
HST graduated 25 students (26 degrees!) Saturday, May 18. Dr. David B. Burks, who is retiring after 26 years as president of Harding University, delivered the commencement address. Dr. Allen Black, Professor of New Testament, gave the message from the faculty, and President-Designate Dr. Bruce McLarty offered the benediction. Dr. Leon Sanderson, President of the HST Alumni Association, served as worship leader.
There were many highlights of the day, but two stand out.
First, Quintin Baker, an HST student who passed away last summer at the age of 26, was honored with a Certificate of Recognition. His family was present and Patrick Baker, Quintin’s father, addressed the graduates and their families with a message of hope at the luncheon following commencement.
Second, Kyle Hooper graduated with the Master of Divinity. Kyle’s father and grandfather are also HST alumni, which makes Kyle the first third-generation student to graduate from HST.
And now, the class of 2013:
Master of Arts
The Master of Arts is an academically focused degree with a thesis requirement.
Glenn R. Hawley
James Andrew Sowers
John Paul Suchecki
Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
The MACM is a specialized degree focusing on a specific ministry area such as church planting, missions, or youth ministry.
Alan T. Arneson
Stephan Mark Connors
Christine Lynette Parker
Joe Thomas Spivy, Jr.
Master of Arts in Counseling
The MA in Counseling degree fulfills the educational requirement to sit for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) for the state of Tennessee.
Jessi R. Berger
David Edwin Mars
James Michael Piiparinen
Anastasia R. Randolph
Master of Divinity
The M.Div. degree is a broad degree (84 semester hours) that prepares students for a lifetime of ministry and leadership.
Gary Franklin Baird
Minku Andrew Chang
Chase Brandon Froud
Charles E. Fulbright, Jr.
Dennis Kyle Hooper
Chauncey Smith Hopkins
Craig M. Poole
Lewis Edward Short, III
James Andrew Sowers
Doctor of Ministry
The D.Min. degree builds on the work of the M.Div. and gives ministers even greater skills for their particular area of ministry. The dissertation focuses on an area of their current ministry setting.
Matthew Wayne Morine
Ryan Donald Richardson
Thomas Shannon Snow
May 6, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
There is a new page on the HST website dedicated to our students, faculty, and alumni who have blogs. Following these blogs is a great way to get to know us as a community and to learn about the work God is doing around the world through the HST family.
Posted in Updates
April 24, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
Many life experiences feature rites of passage that help a group transition from one phase to the next. These rites aren’t always pleasant, but they are essential for training us for the next stage in life. Most of us enjoy driving, but few relish days spent in driver’s training. High school football was fun, but summer’s two-a-days were not. Our affection for our first paycheck surpassed our love for the first Monday we awoke to the blare of an early alarm. We endure the rites because they put us into position to flourish during our experiences.
The memory of many students of the Harding School of Theology is etched with the red ink of one common rite of passage: the 5990 Advanced Theological Research course. The iconic Annie May Lewis served as the chief architect of the class, but since 1983 it has been the craft of her prized-mentee, Don Meredith.
Last week, head librarian Don Meredith received the Teacher Achievement Award from Harding University. The award, no doubt, honored his time spent teaching the class, which he has offered nearly every semester since 1983. But it also honored the way that he has used the class as a rite of passage into the rest of the program. When students reflect about their time at HST, they often share stories of their term papers from that first class, which are still wet with red ink from Meredith’s famous multi-colored pen. Like the soldiers who fought with Henry V on St. Crispin’s Day, survivors of 5990 can count themselves the “few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”
This band of brothers and sisters thanks you, Mr. Meredith, for giving us the tools we needed to become the students we wanted to be.
Posted in News and Events
April 11, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
Church leaders need help finding the best resources as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Ministers build libraries not as a hobby but to have the right tools in hand when needed. Elders, deacons and ministry leaders may not acquire big collections but still often need help finding the best titles on various subjects.
Often, however, it is difficult to find the right tool. With so many books in print, how do you choose the best one? How does this one compare to that one? Is there a guide? Also, time is at a premium. It may take hours to read through the online reviews, and Amazon’s recommendations may be unrelated to your needs. What about expense? If you find the right text, where is the best deal?
That is why Dr. Carlus Gupton, adjunct professor at HST, prepared LifeandLeadership.com.
WHAT IS LIFEANDLEADERSHIP.COM?
LifeandLeadership.com is an annotated, interactive guide to church leadership resources. More than 100 ministry resource guides are organized by topic. Each guide contains a categorized menu of books and resources, often in recommended order, with thumbnail descriptions and links to separate book pages for each title. Each book Living and Leading page features a summary and comparison to similar resources, followed by the publisher’s information and author biography. It displays a picture of the book and direct links to several online bookstores for comparison shopping. The book pages are also cross-referenced to related resources.
LifeandLeadership.com is not a blog on the latest and greatest titles. It is current and, in most cases, will list the newer books. The purpose is not so much to feature new books as to categorize them for honest comparison with others on the same subjects. Also, the site does not review in the technical sense. It briefly summarizes and reflects on the practical benefit of each title. Finally, the site is not the final answer to every church leadership need.
Gupton says, “I do not have all the answers, but I am good at knowing where to go for what. The site puts this information into a usable format. If it helps leaders to be more effective and confident, it serves its purpose.”
How to Use LifeandLeadership.com (detailed instructions): http://www.lifeandleadership.com/how-to-use-the-site
Videos on Using LifeandLeadership.com (including mobile use): http://www.lifeandleadership.com/how-to-usethe-site-video
This post is an abridged form of an article in the Winter 2013 issue of The Bridge, HST’s quarterly newsletter. You may read the full text of this and other articles and subscribe to The Bridge electronically here.
Posted in Media
March 25, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
Dr. Richard Oster‘s long-awaited commentary on Revelation 1-3 is now available for order. You may order the commentary from his blog, 7 Subversive Letters. From Oster’s comments on the writing process:
The decision I made a few years ago to do a more thorough job of integrating the text of Revelation with theological trajectories from the Hebrew Scriptures and Intertestamental Judaism meant I had to slow down and incorporate and quote not only more Jewish texts, but also a small fraction of secondary literature.
Those who know my other publications are aware that I do not believe that the early church existed within a historical vacuum, devoid of significant interaction with its pagan environment. This belief requires the incorporation of primary sources, e.g., Graeco-Roman literature, inscriptions, coins, papyri, and architecture. Even if readers of this commentary feel comfortable with the settings and theological perspectives of sacred writers such as Jeremiah or Zechariah, they might not be as comfortable with and knowledgeable of Greek and Latin authors such as Aelius Aristides and Apuleius or, to move beyond the literary elite, Anatolian inscriptions or Roman numismatics. My decision to not only reference Graeco-Roman sources but to also quote them at times and to supply some secondary literature certainly required a significant increase of time, energy, and pages.
In addition to the expansion into Jewish materials, both canonical and non-canonical, and into Graeco-Roman sources, a third area also retarded earlier goals for completion. So many impediments stand in the way of our hearing John as he intended to be heard that the task is always extensive and labyrinthine. Some assistance can be provided by visual materials that literally bring the ancient world to light. So, I have attempted to use some images in the book to enhance the reader’s appreciation for the world of John and his first readers, an effort with a steep learning curve both for me and the publisher.
Congratulations, Dr. Oster!
To order, click here and click on the book cover in the right sidebar.
Posted in News and Events
March 1, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
Each student at HST shares a common story. Each comes to HST to drink deeply from God’s word in preparation for – and often in the middle of – a lifetime of service.
But each student also has an individual story. God gifts our students in different ways, and gives them a passion for various ministry callings. Many are preparing to preach in a congregation. Others are passionate about mission work, counseling, or youth or campus ministry. This issue of The Bridge sheds a little light on scholars, missionaries, and leaders.
March 1, 2013 | Written by Matt Carter
In the Winter 2013 issue of The Bridge, Dr. Evertt W. Huffard, Dean and Vice President, wrote of the seven weeks he spent in Africa with 26 sophomores in the Harding in Zambia program. His full report begins:
Many, if not most, of the roads we traveled in Africa were long, rough, and dusty – but not without time for reflection and imagination. The acacia trees became one of my favorite scenes in Africa. When I saw them scattered out, standing alone in the distance, I imagined the earth lifting its hands to honor the Creator. The intensity of the sun on the equator, the incredible array of wild life, the power of Victoria Falls, and influence of the Nile River reflected a Creator worth praising. But it was the people of the land and the people of the kingdom that impressed me even more.
Read the entire mission report here.
Read The Bridge, Winter 2013.