Errett Award

by   |  03.20.17  |  Announcements

Abilene Christian University Student Wins Isaac Errett Award

Bradley Steele of Abilene Christian University provided the winning paper for the 2017 competition titled: “The Lord’s Supper in the Thought of Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell.” Bradley will present his paper at a parallel session during the 2017 SCJ Conference at Johnson University Tennessee. The $250 prize, provided by the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, will be presented to Bradley at the conference by the directors of the competition, Newell Williams of Brite Divinity School and Doug Foster of Abilene Christian University.

Eucharist and Ecclesiology: Essays in Honor of Dr. Everett Ferguson

by   |  02.23.17  |  Announcements

You’re invited to the special release of the new book Eucharist and Ecclesiology: Essays in Honor of Dr. Everett Ferguson at 7 p.m. TuesdayMarch 7, presented by ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Texts.

This robust collection of essays was gathered from a 2013 event on ACU’s campus in which eminent scholars from different religious traditions gathered to honor world-renowned specialist in Early Christianity and retired ACU professor, Dr. Everett Ferguson.

CSART is proud to celebrate the publication of this book in a special event, featuring responses by Ferguson and the book’s editor, Dr. Wendell Willis, professor of Bible, missions and ministry.

Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the book and have it signed by both Willis and Ferguson at a reception afterward.

We hope to see you there!

Dr. Jeff Childers
Director, Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts More »

Aquinas Colloquium

by   |  02.20.17  |  Announcements

Aquino invited to give a keynote lecture at Oxford University

Dr. Frederick Aquino of the Graduate School of Theology at ACU has been invited to give a keynote lecture at the Aquinas Colloquium, “Aquinas and Newman on Conscience” (see resource here).

The colloquium will take place on March 4, 2017 at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. It will launch the joint research project of the Aquinas and the Las Casas institutes: Human Nature & Dignity: Resources for the 21st Century. In this colloquium, the speakers will compare and contrast the thought of Thomas Aquinas and John Henry Newman on the nature of conscience and some of its key facets (e.g., rights; responsibilities) that the church and state must foster.

Aquino’s keynote lecture will focus on Newman’s account of conscience while exploring the relevance of his thought for the joint research project on human nature and dignity.

The Association of Theological School Reaffirms GST’s Accreditation

by   |  02.20.17  |  Announcements

On February 15, 2017, ATS reaffirmed the accreditation of Abilene Christian University Graduate School of Theology for a period of ten years (fall 2026). The reaffirmation also includes the GST’s residency programs in Croatia, Ghana, Swaziland, and Addison. ATS additionally granted approval to offer comprehensive distance education through ACU-Dallas.

The GST faculty were affirmed to maintain the exemplary level of faculty scholarship that was evident in their extensive research and writing. ATS noted the generous scholarships that enhanced the student’s experience at ACU resulting in a graduate theological education that is very affordable for an increasing number of students.

Finding a Voice for Chrysostom

by   |  02.13.17  |  Announcements

Dr. Jeff Childers of the Graduate School of Theology has been invited to present research at Università Tre in Rome at the conference, “Tradurre Tradire Tramandare—Translate Mislead Transmit: The Greek Fathers Between Latin Western and Syriac Eastern Worlds” (20-21 February 2017). As a guest of the university, Professor Childers will present research on the topic, “Finding a Voice for Chrysostom: the Syriac Versions of a Greek Preacher.” Childers explains, “Chrysostom was the most popular preacher in the ancient church. He wrote in Greek, but his interpretations of scripture were translated into Syriac very early. My research shows how Syriac translators naturalized the Greek orator into a ‘native’ semitic speaker through the art of translation.”

Interfaith Retreat

by   |  01.24.17  |  Uncategorized

Every January the Multi-Cultural Alliance (www.mcatexas.com) sponsors an interfaith retreat that invites Jewish, Christian, and Muslim students into conversations. This year’s retreat met at the Prothro Center, Lake Texoma, Texas. Two GST students and one faculty person attended the retreat. Below is a reflection from MA student, Joshua Gorenflo.

Interfaith Retreat Reflection

There is a verse in the Quran which reads, ‘Whichever way you turn, there is the Face of God.’ (2:115) Beautiful words by any sacred standard. But there is an added weight to them as I look around this room at the 45 seminary students of varying Jewish, Muslim, and Christian stripes, intermingled in laughter and conversation and respect. The skirt has been lifted on my innocuous practice of segregating those who are categorically ‘other’ and I’ve been found wanting.

I want to expose all the areas of my heart that insist on de-humanizing those whom my God calls his children. That they believe differently than I is no longer a compelling reason to perpetuate hatred under the guise of being obedient to the God who created us diverse and called it very good.

I want to be formed by the words ‘love thy neighbor,’ not conform them to my own weak standard. Distancing myself from injustice to keep my hands clean, to not rock the boat, is not love. Love is investment. Love is when tears are shed and hearts pound with audible anxiety and mercy bleeds from open wounds while voices crackle out insistently that there is no ‘them,’ only ‘us’ and the Divine tenderly holding us together.

I want more safe spaces to have these conversations with one another not simply about one another. I can’t imagine what the practice of coming together and sharing ourselves with any sort of regularity would do to form us into a people who listen, really listen, to one another. It might just allow for the possibility of hearing our own hurts and hopes in voices of a different accent. More »

CSART Presents

by   |  01.20.17  |  Announcements

Jonah: Interpreted, Reinterpreted, and Interred

How a small biblical story became prominent in early Christian art

You are invited to join us on the campus of Abilene Christian University for the presentation: “Jonah—Interpreted, Reinterpreted, and Interred.” This lecture will explore how a small biblical story became prominent in the early Christian art of the ancient Catacombs and elsewhere.

The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in ACU’s Chapel on the Hill, at the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building. Dr. Wendell Willis, longtime New Testament professor in ACU’s Department of Bible, Missions, and Ministry, will be the speaker.

CSART

by   |  11.06.16  |  Announcements

Local news highlighted the Carmichael-Walling Lectures saying,

Abilene Christian University celebrated the inauguration of the Center for the Study of Ancient Religions Texts, or CSART on Thursday. The center strives to inspire students and help them conduct research alongside established scholars. On Thursday, manuscripts that were written as long as 1700 years ago were featured.

Read more here.

Student Spotlight

by   |  10.17.16  |  Students

Zane Witcher is a first year GST residential student, was recently highlighted in myACU News. The article begins,

“Zane Witcher delivered his first sermon when he was 14 years old. His grandparents attended a small church of 20 people, and they needed a preacher for a Sunday service. He said that first sermon was “rough,” but soon not only his grandparents but other churches were asking him to preach.”  Read the full story here.

Carmichael-Walling Lectures

by   |  10.07.16  |  Announcements

You are invited to join us for the inauguration of ACU’s Center for the Study of Ancient Religious Texts and the 30th annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University on Thursday, Nov. 3.

Father Justin of Sinai will give the Carmichael-Walling Lectures –Encounters in the Desert: Holy Books and Sacred Texts – as part of an inaugural celebration featuring special events, distinguished speakers, and an opportunity to see rare book and manuscript treasures.

Schedule: 

  • 10 a.m.: Father Justin (St. Catharine’s Monastery) — “Illustrating the Ladder of Divine Ascent: An Illuminated Manuscript of a Spiritual Classic (Sinai Greek 418)”
  • 1 p.m.: Dr. Mark Hamilton (Abilene Christian University) — “Who’s Afraid of Ancient Texts? Rediscovering Old Words for a New Era”
  • 2 p.m.: “Texts as Teachers: Reports on Current Scholarship at ACU” (CSART researchers)
  • 4 p.m.: Father Justin, “Newly Recovered Manuscripts of the Scriptures from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai”
  • 7 p.m.: Father Justin, “‘For Moses Wrote of Me’: Reflections From Mount Sinai”
  • 8 p.m.: CSART reception

In collaboration with the Museum of the Bible and the Special Collections and Archives of ACU’s Brown Library, a select number of rare books and ancient manuscripts will be on display.

Father Justin (pictured at left, top) is librarian in the Monastery of St. Catharine at Mount Sinai, Egypt, one of the oldest Christian institutions in the world. He studies and cares for some of the most important manuscripts and artifacts in existence anywhere.

Mark Hamilton (pictured at left, bottom) serves as the Onstead Professor of Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles focusing on Israelite conceptions of society within their ancient Near Eastern context, as well as on biblical theology.

Lectures are free, open to the public and will take place in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building on ACU’s campus. For more information, contact Jeff Childers at childersj@acu.edu. More »

Our Spiritual Worship

by   |  10.05.16  |  Uncategorized

Our Spiritual Worship

ACU Graduate Chapel – 9/14/16

Judy Siburt

In 1967 my husband, Charles Siburt, and I came to ACU for graduate school to prepare for ministry to the church. I earned a Masters in Education/ School Counseling and Charlie an M.Div. While here I taught school, and Charlie preached in Lingleville over by Stephenville. We were rich students….we had no idea how rich our time at ACU truly was and how it would change our lives forever. We had the experience of studying under the likes of: Lemoine Lewis, Abraham Malherbe, Everett Ferguson, Carl Spain, Tom Olbricht, John Willis and others.

New worlds opened to us. We were taught how to think, how to learn, and how to develop the life of the mind. It allowed us to make lifelong relationships with people who shared our calling, our values, and our commitment to ministry. We began to form a “good” theology that included knowing and enjoying God and training ourselves so the communities where we would contribute would flourish.

You students are answering the same call to ministry we responded to almost 50 years ago. You are learning what it means to truly live out spiritual worship. You get to talk about God. You are challenged to learn from others who have thought about God, read about God, and spoken about God over the centuries. You get to dialogue daily with contemporaries who also have committed to live out God’s good and pleasing will for their lives.

As one who has experienced this process as the wife and ministry partner of the late Charles Siburt, as one who has raised two sons who both sat where you are today as M.Div. students, I can assure you the process of “renewing your minds,” More »

A Word of Exhortation

by   |  08.24.16  |  Uncategorized

A Word of Exhortation

Hebrews 13

Call to Worship

Welcome to Grad Chapel. Our text today, for those of you who grew up like I did, always brings a smile to my face. I grew up at church. My grandfather was an elder, my father was an elder, my mother was a Bible school teacher four quarters out of four both Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. I grew up in a home where babysitters came to my house so that my parents could go to Cottage Meetings to watch filmstrips. I started preaching when I was 13. Anytime I had a sermon and the preacher okayed the message, I could preach on Sunday nights at Elmwood Avenue Church of Christ in Lafayette Indiana. So if you grew up like I did, and I know some of you didn’t, there emerges insider language. I’ve used quite a bit of insider language already. Our text today makes us insiders smile for it is the text about entertaining angels in their underwear. And for a little kid, an angel wearing boxers or briefs is funny.

  • I didn’t grow up where the insider language, “our text for today,” referred to a lectionary, a set of Sunday readings laid out not only for your church but also for all the churches that embraced the Christian Year as its liturgical calendar.
  • Continuing for the fourth year, Grad Chapel is going to follow the lectionary in order to provide us a rhythm that for all of you who come regularly to this place through the academic year can worship our God and in the words of last Sunday’s lectionary text you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven.
  • The Lectionary does not follow the academic year. The academic year begins towards the end of the Christian Year, during the season of Pentecost, Ordinary Time of Year C, Proper 17. And our text for this coming Sunday is Hebrews 13.
  • Our text exhorts us with “a word of exhortation” to welcome you here in mutual love, for who knows, there might be angels among us… And they might be wearing their underwear.

Message

22 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly.

  1. “A Word of Exhortation” – it would not be Hebrews if we did not go back to the OT for some examples. The Deuteronomist places Moses with his GPS saying, “You are Here.” The little blinking dots says, “You are on the border between here and there and before you go forward, let’s look back to where and why you’ve been.” And Moses offers words of exhortation to the camp of Israel, words of memory and hope. Throughout the Deuteronomic history, words of exhortations, preaching, carries the story forward. Words that not only remind God’s people of God’s promises and mighty acts, but also words of warning, words of hope, and words of possibilities. Hebrews 13 reminds me of Moses and the Children of Israel who lived in the safety of a camp, protected by community and family, and who were exhorted to embrace the challenges and opportunities before them.
  2. And the preacher in Hebrews replicates that tradition with his word of exhortation saying, “Hold on to your faith in Jesus, the author, pioneer, and perfecter of our faith.” And the preacher here makes an allusion, 10 We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. 13 Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. And those who know the insider language know that “going outside the camp” is an exhortation that calls them to a different kind of ministry, a cruciformed ministry, a ministry of challenge and possibility. Words that call them, in his words, “torture.”
  3. And, as all good preachers do, this preacher gives us a list of concrete expressions of those challenges and possibilities. Listen again to his list…

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels unaware. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

This preacher chooses this list because these challenges and possibilities connect to the audience’s immediate context. As you begin this academic year, may this old list of challenges and opportunities guide you. Let this word be a word of exhortation. More »

Reconciliation Reconsidered

by   |  08.12.16  |  Announcements

Dr. Jerry Taylor and Dr. Doug Foster recently contributed to Reconciliation Reconsidered, a new book from ACU Press addressing the conversation of race in Churches of Christ. Read an excerpt from Taylor’s chapter, “Well Water,” on the ACU Press blog.

Reconciliation Takes Time.

A broad racial divide mars Churches of Christ, and courageous leaders from across the United States have joined together to listen to one another. Rather than adopt a posture of resignation, they have met for honest, God-honoring conversation.

In Reconciliation Reconsidered, Tanya Brice pulls together the early fruit she has gleaned from this ongoing conversation about racial reconciliation. Learn about yourself in the context of community as you explore these key ideas:

  • Exercise truth-telling: it’s what is needed before any reconciliation can happen
  • Discover how race relations are not as simple as you think
  • Challenge your stereotypes
  • Understand the meaning of current events like the Ferguson shooting in fresh ways
  • Revisit Christ’s teachings with a careful eye toward discipleship and love of your neighbor

Each chapter concludes with discussion questions that can help you and others navigate this perplexing and difficult topic.

New Publication

by   |  07.31.16  |  Announcements

This summer Dr. Jeff Childers of the Graduate School of Theology published a translation and study of Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Praise at Table (Texts from Christian Late Antiquity 46; Gorgias Press, 2016).

ACU Today

by   |  04.02.16  |  Uncategorized

Recently, ACU Today highlighted the wonderful work of Dr. Mark Hamilton. You can read more here.

In the attached article you will find a direct link to the complete article in ACU Today that includes beautiful photos. Later in that same issue you can read about the good work of the Siburt Institute in an article entitled Flock Management (it begins on page 48).

For a direct link to ACU Today go here. (back to page 10 or forward to page 48 respectively).

Evans Ngoge

by   |  03.29.16  |  Students

The Graduate School of Theology has a long history of service to churches and ministries in Africa. Recently, Abilene’s local news highlighted the work of Evans Ngoge in their Know Your Neighbor section. Read the online post here.

Student Spotlight

by   |  02.23.16  |  Uncategorized

Recently, ACU highlighted the good work of Justin Whiteley. Read more about Justin here.

New Publication by James Thompson

by   |  02.22.16  |  Announcements

Following his excellent commentary on Hebrews in the Paidea series, James Thompson’s forthcoming commentary on Philippians in the same series is now available for pre-order. Philippians and Philemon by James Thompson and Bruce Longenecker, Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament, is scheduled for and August 2016 release by Baker Academic.

From the publisher: “Two respected senior New Testament scholars examine cultural context and theological meaning in Philippians and Philemon in this addition to the well-received Paideia series. Paideia commentaries explore how New Testament texts form Christian readers by attending to the ancient narrative and rhetorical strategies the text employs, showing how the text shapes theological convictions and moral habits, and making judicious use of maps, photos, and sidebars in a reader-friendly format. Students, pastors, and other readers will appreciate the historical, literary, and theological insights offered in this practical commentary.”

Philippians and Philemon is a welcome addition to Thompson’s other contributions to Pauline scholarship. His other books include the trilogy Pastoral Ministry according to Paul, Moral Formation according to Paul, and The Church according to Paul. 

Thompson is scholar in residence at the Graduate School of Theology and is currently working on a Pauline theology.

Aquino on the Move

by   |  02.17.16  |  Uncategorized

Aquino Gives a Lecture and Leads a Seminar at the University of St. Thomas (MN)

Dr. Frederick Aquino (Graduate School of Theology) gave a public lecture at the University of St. Thomas (MN; www.stthomas.edu/theology/events/eventarchive/interdisciplinary-conversations-dr-aquino.html). The lecture drew from his book, An Integrative Habit of Mind (Northern Illinois University Press), and focused on the relevance of John Henry Newman for tackling the question of what it means to pursue wisdom in an information age. It was co-sponsored by the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Aquinas Chair.

He also led a faculty seminar on spiritual perception. Dr. Mark Spencer and Dr. Paul Gavrilyuk (University of St. Thomas) co-organized an interdisciplinary faculty seminar funded by an external cluster grant from the Templeton Foundation via the University of Notre Dame. One outcome of the seminar will be a research project in which Dr. Aquino will co-direct (with Paul Gavrilyuk) an international Spiritual Senses Symposium and co-edit a related volume of essays under the working title, Sensing Things Divine: Toward a Constructive Account of Spiritual Perception.

 

Aquino Co-edits a book on Newman with Oxford University Press

 Dr. Frederick Aquino (Graduate School of Theology) published (with Dr. Benjamin King, The School of Theology, University of the South) Receptions of Newman (Oxford University Press, 2015; http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199687589.do ). In this collection of essays, scholars from across the disciplines of theology, philosophy, education, and history examine the different ways in which John Henry Newman has been interpreted. Some of the essays attempt to rescue Newman from his opponents then and now. Others seek to save him from his rescuers, clearing away misinterpretations so that Newman’s works may be encountered afresh. All the essays show why Newman’s ideas about religion were so important in the past and continue to inform the present. More »

Carmichael-Walling Lectures

by   |  10.15.15  |  Announcements, GST Events

Please join us fCW2015or the 29th annual Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University. Lectures are free and open to the public, and will take place in Room 114 of the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building on Thursday, November 12, 2015. For more information, contact Jeff Childers at ACU’s Graduate School of Theology: childersj@acu.edu.

Scripture & Women in the Apocalypse: Revelation’s Allusive Text

Dr. Adela Yarbro Collins
4:00 p.m. Intertextuality in the Book of Revelation
7:30 p.m. Women as Symbols in the Book of Revelation

The book of Revelation is rich in both Scriptural allusion and symbolic imagery.  The first lecture will provide an overview and critical assessment of scholarship on intertextuality in Revelation, highlighting the book’s use of Scripture.  The second lecture will consider female symbols in Revelation, particularly focusing on the symbolic woman of Revelation 17 often referred to as “The Whore of Babylon.”

About the Speaker:

Zurich photoDr. Adela Yarbro Collins is Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation Emerita, Yale Divinity School. She previously taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame, and McCormick Theological Seminary. She has served as President of the Society of New Testament Studies, regional President of the Society of Biblical Literature, and on a number of editorial boards. Her recent publications include King and Messiah as Son of God. Eerdmans, 2008 (co-authored with John J. Collins); Mark: A Commentary. Fortress, 2007; “Rewritten Prophets: The Use of Older Scripture in Revelation,” in Poetik und Intertexualität, ed. Stefan Alkier et al., 2015; and “The Transformation of Paul’s Apocalyptic Ideas in the First Two Centuries,” in Revealed Wisdom, ed. John Ashton, Brill, 2014.

 

CHARIS Lectures: Dr. Anthony R. Cross

by   |  10.10.15  |  Announcements

Oxford scholar, Dr. Anthony R. Cross, will be on campus October 12-13 for a series of lectures on baptism. “Knowing God through Experience: Insight into Baptist Baptismal Spirituality through Personal Testimonies,” will take place at Chapel on the Hill on Monday, Oct. 12 from 4:30pm-6:00pm. A response by Dr. Everett Ferguson, ACU Distinguished Scholar in Residence, will follow. Refreshments will be served.

“The Sacrament of Baptism Among the First Baptists,” will take place in the Biblical Studies Building, room 130 on Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 11:45am-12:45pm. A response by Dr. Doug Foster, ACU Professor of Church History, will follow. RSVP for lunch to crosslunch@acu.edu

Broom Colloquium

by   |  10.08.15  |  Announcements, GST Events

‘Jamie, The Very Worst Missionary’ to speak

Posted October 07, 2015 Former missionary and popular blogger Jamie Wright will speak at this year’s Broom Colloquium on Oct. 28 and 29, hosted by ACU’s Halbert Institute for Missions.

Wright is perhaps best known for her blog, “Jamie, The Very Worst Missionary,” which she describes as a collection of “inappropriate remarks, embarrassing antics, and generally lame observations from an American missionary.” Through her blog and speaking engagements, she uses humor to honestly describe her life as a missionary and mother, and to discuss Christian culture.

Wright’s topic for the colloquium will be “Missions, Justice and Social Media: Can Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Really Change the World?” She will discuss how students can channel their compassion and social responsibility in the world of social media.

Sessions are scheduled for 11 a.m. Oct. 28 in Moody Coliseum and 7 p.m. Oct. 29 in Hart Auditorium. Both sessions are open to the public.

The colloquium, held annually since 2007, is a campus conversation that encourages the ACU community to relate global issues to God’s mission in the world. It is named in honor of the legacy of Wendell and Betty Broom. Wendell Broom was a longtime missions professor and one of the first Church of Christ missionaries to receive advanced academic training in missiology.

See Wright’s blog: www.theveryworstmissionary.com/p/about.html More »

ACU Dallas by Mindi Thompson

by   |  08.21.15  |  Announcements

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.  

Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,

for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News

about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.  

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you,

will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. More »

National Festival Of Preachers

by   |  08.21.15  |  Announcements

Hello Texas Friends of the Academy of Preachers

I want to be sure and connect you with one of the finest Young Preachers in your state and in the history of the Academy of Preachers, Larry Terrell Crudup, AoP’10.  Terrell is hosting the 2015 Texas Festival of Young Preachers at his home church, Sweet Home Baptist Church, in Round Rock Texas on Saturday Oct. 24.

This is a new experience for the Regional to be hosted in a church and we couldn’t be more excited!  Won’t you join us for a one day experience like non-other?  We’ll begin at 10 a.m. and end by 7 p.m. all on Saturday October 24.  Abilene Christian University hosted the event in March of 2014.

Schedule and registration: http://academyofpreachers.net/festivals/2015-regional-festivals/

Encourage others by sharing the  AoP video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRLU3VGh7YI

Blessings, More »

Small Churches by Kester Smith

by   |  08.06.15  |  Uncategorized

Ninety percent of churches in the world have fewer than 200 people. Eighty percent have fewer than 100. Of the two billion Christians in the world, half of them attend small churches. Yet, the vast majority of blogs, books, conferences, and websites made available as ministerial resources are designed for doing ministry in a big church context.

Which is why Christianity Today is introducing “Pivot,” a new blog by Karl Vaters, dedicated to equipping and inspiring ministers in small churches. GST faculty’s hope is that it will be a challenge and encouragement to any and all of you working in ministry, and especially those who serve in a small church context.

Introducing Kester Smith

by   |  06.29.15  |  Alumni, Announcements

The ACU Graduate School of Theology is pleased to announce that Kester Smith has joined our staff as the GST Recruiter.

Kester is a recent GST graduate, having completed his MDiv. in May. Prior to pursuing an MDiv, Kester worked as a teacher, youth minister, and, most recently, a bi-vocational church-planter and bookseller in Austin, TX. This combination of ministry and GST experience make Kester an invaluable asset for understanding the calling of those considering theological education and how the GST might best serve that calling.

Kester is married to Rachel Smith, who works as an Instructor and Clinical Supervisor in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Kester and Rachel have one son, Harrison, who will be a 6th grader at Craig Middle School this coming fall.

We asked for an informal interview with Kester, in order to get to know him a little better.

Favorite…

  1. Food – When I was still eating meat, it was my mom’s chicken potpie. Now that I’m a vegetarian it’s either a spicy yellow tofu curry (Krua Thai serves a great one) or my chickenless version of my mom’s pot pie. My favorite “on the go” food is a potato, egg, and cheese breakfast taco.
  2. Song – People that know me will be shocked that it isn’t a Bruce Springsteen song, but they probably wouldn’t be considering my love for hymns. My favorite song is either “Amazing Grace,” “Come Thou Fount,” or “Be Thou My Vision.” Were Springsteen to record acoustic versions of any of those songs, my head would explode.
  3. Book – Not to give the obvious answer, but the Bible truly is my favorite book. With that as a given, my favorite novel is either Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov or Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead. My favorite authors (besides Dostoevsky and Robinson) include Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Flannery O’Connor, Abraham Heschel, Toni Morrison, N.T. Wright, and pretty much every member of the Inklings. I’m also partial to the writings of Maximus the Confessor and Julian of Norwich. I like books a lot.
  4. Movie/television show – My favorite film is It’s A Wonderful Life. My favorite television show is probably The Simpsons, as long as we’re talking about the early seasons.
  5. Vacation spot – I was raised in Chicago and it is still my favorite place to visit, when I have the chance to travel. I’d like to visit Ireland, England, and Scotland some day, but haven’t yet been able to afford the trip.

Either/Or More »