Congratulations to Mark Hamilton

0 Commentsby   |  04.11.14  |  ACU, Announcements, Sabbatical

Dr. Mark Hamilton (, professor of Old Testament for the Graduate School of Theology, was named the Seymour Gitin Distinguished Professor, Albright Institute for Archaeological Research for Fall 2014. The honor is open to internationally recognized scholars of all nationalities who have made significant contributions to their field of study. During Dr. Hamilton’s sabbatical leave, he intends to work on publications related to divine kingship and divine embodiment.

The W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research (AIAR) in Jerusalem is the oldest American research center for ancient Near Eastern studies in the Middle East.  Founded in 1900 as the American School of Oriental Research (ASOR), it was renamed in 1970 after its most distinguished director, William Foxwell Albright.  Today, the Albright is one of three separately incorporated institutes affiliated with ASOR, the others being in Amman and Nicosia.

For more than a century, Albright/ASOR has provided scholars with an unparalleled international cultural environment and a unique program that spans the broad spectrum of ancient Near Eastern studies.  Each year, Albright Fellows, primarily from the United States, Canada, Europe and also from Asia, Australia, and South Africa, as well as Israelis and Palestinians, exchange information and ideas with hundreds of researchers from countries in the Eastern Mediterranean basin.  Dedicated to the advancement of the study of the literature, history and culture of the ancient Near East, including the disciplines of the Archaeology of Palestine and Biblical Studies, the Albright continues to be a major research center and to strive for excellence in scholarship.

Now, as in the past, the Albright Institute provides annually a wide range of programs and facilities for doctoral and post-doctoral research, as well as information-sharing, internship and field work programs for more than 3,000 persons.  These include a series of eighty-five scholarly presentations, study tours and social events, and support for twenty-five ASOR-affiliated/AIAR-assisted excavation, survey and publications projects.  It also includes a publications program, an extensive research library, workshops and living accommodations.  The Albright Institute jointly sponsors with the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the long-term Tel Miqne-Ekron excavation and publications project.  It also initiated and administers the international research project, “The Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 7th Century BC: A Study of the Interactions between Center and Periphery,” involving fifty researchers working in thirteen countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean basin.

Congratulations Mark!

New Article by Dr. Mindi Thompson

0 Commentsby   |  03.27.14  |  Learning, Uncategorized

Continuing Education for Faculty

Continuing education for seminary faculty used to be based on keeping up with your primary area of study: reading, publication, guild conferences, and the like. Unfortunately, that is no longer enough. Today, faculty must not only be masters of their subject; they must also master instructional design, educational technology, and accreditation standards. Keeping up with the newest trends in social learning, contextual education, or MOOC madness may lead many faculty to wonder what happened to good old-fashioned classroom lectures—or to classrooms at all! While recent MDiv graduates serving their first congregations are saying, “They never taught me about this in seminary,” I’m hearing more and more of my colleagues saying, “I never learned about this in my doctoral program.”

See the whole article here.

ACU in Zagreb

0 Commentsby   |  02.20.14  |  Announcements

Recently, Drs. Ken Cukrowski, Mark Hamilton, and Samjung Kang-Hamilton spoke at a conference in Zagreb Croatia. The local newscast reported on the conference. YouTube Newscast



Biblijski institut News – February 2014

A Word From the Director

Partnerships are wonderful blessings. Biblijski institut continues to experience the blessings which come from those who choose to partner with us. Individuals and churches have embraced the mission of the Institute and continue to support all that we attempt with their prayers and financial gifts. Our ministry could not exist without their partnership. Likewise, educational institutions such as the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Abilene Christian University, and Lipscomb University have enriched the academic programs that help us in our task to teach and train leaders and future leaders in the work of the Kingdom. These schools which partner with us express trust and engender confidence in the quality of our work, and we thank God for their work with us. Similarly, students and teachers enter into a partnership of learning that we hold sacred. That partnerships are crucial for an endeavor like ours is a reality which we understand and eagerly embrace.

The success of our recent Jesus Conference is a vivid example of how partnerships can be used by God to bless and serve His purposes. In this event, five Christian academic institutions invested financial and human resources to provide inspiration and meaningful instruction for both the academic community and the church community. In addition, the following organizations were moved to partner with Biblijski Institut in this ambitious undertaking: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, the Croatian Protestant Evangelical Alliance, The Baptist Union of Croatia, the Evangelical Pentecostal Union of Croatia, and the Council of Churches of Christ in Croatia. In a world characterized by division and fragmentation, Christian institutions and committed individuals, working together, demonstrate the effectiveness that Christian partnership can achieve. I praise our Lord for the trust such partnerships require. And I thank Him who calls us into the fellowship of the triune God to desire and to experience partnerships which glorify Him.

Tom Sibley

International Conference – “Jesus of Nazareth”

We held our first Jesus Conference on January 23-25. The conference was an overwhelming success and the name of Jesus was truly lifted up. We heard academic papers presented in daytime sessions at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. We also heard keynote sermons all three evenings at the Hotel International. The speakers focused on highlighting Jesus as He is presented in both the Old and New Testaments. With teachers and preachers from the USA, Romania, Croatia, and Hungary, It was truly an international event. The presentations, and especially the evening sermons, were well received. The Christian community in Croatia was well represented, with Christians from almost all confessions in attendance. Even though we were confronted with bad weather, snow and ice, we had very good attendance at the evening lectures, almost filling the Hotel’s large conference hall most evenings. The daytime lectures at the University of Zagreb, during which papers were read, were also well attended. There is much interest in having another such conference in the future. Please pray with us as we evaluate our efforts and consider future plans. Take a look here at a feature about the conference that appeared on Croatian National Television:
Jesus Conference 2014 on Croatian National Television


Congratulations to Mason Lee

0 Commentsby   |  02.19.14  |  Announcements

Congratulations to Mason Lee on being selected the winner of the Isaac Errett Award for the 2014 Stone-Campbell Journal Conference.  The award is given to one graduate student each year for producing the best study on a Stone-Campbell history subject chosen from papers submitted by seminarians and graduate religion students across the country. Mason’s paper is titled “More Than the Sermon on the Law: Alexander Campbell and the Old Testament.”  He will present his paper at the SCJ Conference onMarch 14 at Johnson University in Knoxville, TN, when the award will be presented.

ACU and Syriac Studies

0 Commentsby   |  02.19.14  |  Announcements

Congratulations to two former and one current ACU student who are presenting at the Dorushe Conference at Duke next month! The Fifth Dorushe Graduate Student Conference on Syriac Studies, which will be held at Duke University on March 28-29, 2014.  For further information and conference program see ACU connected presenters are:

  • James Walters (Princeton Theological Seminary), Aphrahat and the Construction of Christian Identity in Fourth-Century Persia.
  • James Prather (Abilene Christian University), The Liturgical Impact of the Gospel of John on the Syriac Church.
  • Jacob Lollar (Florida State University), An “Unorthodox” Defense of “Orthodoxy”: The Setting, Sources, and Purpose of the Syriac History of John the Son of Zebedee.

ACU is well represented in Syriac studies thanks to the leadership of Dr. Jeff Childers.

Congratulations to Carson Reed

0 Commentsby   |  02.12.14  |  ACU, Announcements, Ministry, Uncategorized

For thousands of years religious communities have depended on scholars to read, interpret, and analyze faith and the scriptures it is based on. The field of theology is highly academic, but it also influences peoples’ lives on a deep, spiritual level, and the most respected theological scholars can have profound effects on the many faithful people that read their work. The idea of participating in theological research and scholarship is appealing for many seminary students. Becoming a professor and teaching the next generation of theological scholars is an attractive career choice both from a spiritual and an intellectual point of view. However, it is not necessarily an easy path. Any theology student considering becoming a teacher or professor should look to those who have come before them for guidance and inspiration.

The professors and scholars mentioned here have not only contributed to the body of theological knowledge with their research, but they have also contributed to the preparation of a new generation of theologians. Each of these individuals can serve as a remarkable role model for current theology students who aim to become educators. These are listed in no specific order, and are categorized by the general region of the most recent institution they taught at. This list focuses on theological scholars who work and teach in the United States, though many of them are known and respected internationally.

100 Remarkable Professors


Carson E. Reed

Carson E. Reed

Carson E. Reed is the Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Director of the Ministry Program at Abilene Christian University. He often looks at congregations, spiritual music, ministerial callings, as well as theology and practice.

  • Teaches At: Abilene Christian University Graduate School of Theology

Academy of Preachers

0 Commentsby   |  01.30.14  |  Announcements

Registration is now open for the 2014 Texas Regional Festival of Young Preachers! The dates are March 28-29, 2014. The Festival convenes at 12:30 on Friday and concludes at 2pm on Saturday.

The Festival is hosted by Abilene Christian University-Graduate School of Theology.

The preaching theme for all 2014 Regional Festivals is TELL ME A STORY. For a complete listing of texts and other information click here.

This is the third annual Texas Regional Festival. The first in 2012 was hosted by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Seminary of the Southwest; the second in 2013 was hosted by Truett Seminary of Baylor University.

There are preaching spots available at this 2014 Texas Regional Festival for 39 Young Preachers, and these slots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis; the $80 Festival Registration Fee must be paid to secure a spot. Tim Sensing and Randy Harris have a limited number of 75% discount coupon codes, so register early.

Participation is limited to any young person, age 14-28, who is discerning or embracing a call to preach, who has a preaching mentor or coach, and who has an organization or institution as sponsor. Each young preacher at the 2014 Texas Regional Festival must be introduced at the Festival by your preaching coach or mentor.

Come to Abilene…and tell us a story!

Who are the 81%

0 Commentsby   |  11.15.13  |  Uncategorized

Recently, the blogosphere has pursued the topic, “the value of a seminary education.” One of the statistics that has grabbed the headlines is “81% of all incoming students do not expect to have a full-time position in parish ministry according to the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).” The headline begs the question, “Who are the 81%?” The short answer is, “godly men and women who desire to serve God for the sake of the world.”

What the headline fails to report is that ATS indicates that the Entering Student Questionnaire (ESQ) also has findings for a total of 23 items including chaplaincy, missions, youth ministry, and campus ministry, which are not included in the sound byte. When all of these wonderful forms of ministry that make up the 81% are included, the alarm is but a clanging cymbal. For example, one year the ESQ for the GST indicated that 50% of our incoming class planned to enter foreign missions, church planting, and youth ministry. We were proud of that entering class even though it had fewer students indicating pulpit ministry. As described below, 66% of the GST’s graduates do plan to work in church ministry in one form or another.

I entered seminary indicating I wanted to do a church planting in Utah. I graduated taking a position to plant a church in New Jersey. I spent 17 years in full-time domestic missions and pulpit ministry. My story is part of the 81%. I do not believe my story should raise any red flags for the demise of a seminary education.

More telling is the story told by the Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ). Our sixteen-year story is summarized in the chart below highlighting last year’s graduating class.

GST Graduate Student Questionnaire  (MDiv, MACM, MAMI, MA)



       16 Year Average

Parish Ministry



Campus Ministry



Inner City Ministry



Pastoral Counseling



Hospital or Other Chaplaincy



Secondary School Teaching



College Teaching



Church Administration



Seminary Teaching



Social Work



Foreign Missions



Home Missions



Church Planting/Evangelism



Youth Ministry



Church Musician



Christian Education



Spiritual Direction



Social Justice Ministry



Further Graduate Study



Professional Lay Ministry


















The GST identifies its mission to equip men and women for effective missional leadership for ministry in all its forms and to provide strong academic foundations for theological inquiry. According to the 16 year averages, 66% of our graduates pursue a career in ministry. 16% of our graduates pursue an academic career in the academy. Added together, 82% of our graduates intend to serve in vocations that fit with our large alumni hall of fame. And while 15% indicate “other”, “undecided”, or “none”, many of these students indicate that they will enter ministry, more school, or academic teaching when they answer the question about where they see themselves in five years.

In my mentoring group of five GST students, two are planning a career in youth ministry, one in chaplaincy, one in pulpit ministry, and one in academics. All five have bright futures. All five are representatives of what is good about a seminary education. All five will serve the kingdom of God in wonderful ways.

The GST appreciates all of its graduates in the many and varied ways they serve the kingdom throughout the world. It is an honor that they chose to come to Abilene Christian University for their ministerial formation and academic training. Additionally, the GST is thankful to all the congregations that graciously receive our graduates as they partner together in the gospel.

If you are looking for a place to continue your preparation for serving in God’s kingdom for the sake of the world, give us a look. Our faculty are delighted to journey with you in your vocational pursuits.


0 Commentsby   |  11.14.13  |  Announcements

eConnections is launched!

Classes for our inaugural session of this new online continuing education project are:

  1. Must-Read Books for Ministers – Randy Harris
  2. Do No Harm: Short-Term Missions for Long-Term Impact – Chris Flanders
  3. Technology in Ministry – John Weaver
Registration is open for these three classes.  Here is the link:
eConnections information page -

January Courses

0 Commentsby   |  10.10.13  |  Announcements

January Intensive Courses

Opportunities Too Good To Pass UP!

BIBM 640 Pastoral Care for the Grieving, taught by Dr. Virgil Fry, Executive Director of Lifeline Chaplaincy

Major life losses are transformative events.  Bereavement is a word based on the original meaning “to be robbed,” and losing anything precious does generate a sensation of feeling robbed.  Faith communities desire to be supportive to those in grief; yet, they often offer inappropriate or inadequate caring interventions.  Ministers and church leaders feel overwhelmed at the task of providing pastoral support to the bereaved.  This course will address the spiritual, emotional, and psychological realms of grief support, utilizing the narratives from Scripture, current research, cultural influences, and the personal stories of guest presenters, helping us learn to sojourn effectively with each other through the harshness of bereavement.

BIBL 640 Monarch to Messiah, taught by Dr. J.M.M. Roberts, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University.

This course will trace the development of the idea of the kingship of God from Israel’s earliest period, through the rise of the human monarchy, and down to the time of full-blown messianic expectations, exploring the factors that influenced and shaped that development. It will also address the issue of the continuing relevance of this theological strand in contemporary Christian theological reflection.

BMIS 675 Theology of Missions, taught by Dr. Chris Flanders, Director of the Halbert Institute for Missions and Associate Professor in the GST.

This course will investigate the centrality of mission for the life of God’s people. In particular, it will cover the relationship between mission and theology, examine various ecclesiological expressions of mission (both ancient and modern), explore possibilities for missional renewal in the contemporary church, and develop capacities to think critically about the notion of missional. This course arises out of the need to reflect intentionally on mission and view all of theology and the Christian life from the vantage point of being God’s sent people.

BIBD 640 Theological Perspectives on Church and State, taught by Dr. Royce Money, Director of the Siburt Institute for Christian Ministry, Professor of Church History, and Dr. Matt Tapie, Visiting Assistant Professor, The School of Theology and Religious Studies, Catholic University of America.

This course examines contemporary conceptions of church and state in light of their theological and historical background.  The course surveys theological perspectives on the relationship between the church and civil power in the first century, patristic era, Middle Ages, reformations, and into the modern period.  The course then introduces students to competing narratives about the reemergence of the concept of political theology in the twentieth-century, and the thought of select theologians in the West, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  Authors include Carl Schmitt, Reinhold Niebuhr, John Yoder, James Cone, Oliver O’Donovan, Rosemary Reuther, John Milbank, Arvind Nirmal, William Cavanaugh, Kwok Pui-Lan, and Charles Mathewes, and among others.  The course also examines the attempts of faith-based organizations in the United States and Europe to engage local, national, and global civil powers as faithful disciples of Christ.


AND in the Spring Semester the Duncan Center for Conflict Resolution is offering:

CONR 640 Managing Conflict in Churches, taught by Joe L. Cope, J.D., Executive Director and Associate Professor, Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution in the Church is a weekend intensive course focusing on the unique challenges of dealing with conflict and change in the local church. Based on solid principles of biblical conflict resolution, the course examines the causes and dynamics of disputes and offers theological and practical answers. Drawing on current literature and both the experience of the instructor and the students, Conflict Resolution in the Church is a great resource for ministers, church leaders, and church members. CRN # 15121

January 23-25, 2014 & February 6-8, 2014

Thursdays-1pm to 9pm

Fridays-8am to 5pm

Saturday-8am to noon

Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution-Strader classroom 119