By now you may have heard that Harding University Graduate School of Religion in Memphis, Tennessee is changing it’s name to Harding School of Theology along with a new web address (http://hst.edu). You can read more about the name change from their press release here. I want to take the time in this blog post to put in a great word for this school which I received a Master of Divinity degree from in May 2007.
If you or someone you know is considering pursuing graduate education in theological studies, I would really consider HST. Whether your goal is to eventually obtain a Ph.D, serve as a minister or missionary in some capacity, or serve in some other vocational capacity that requires a theological education, this is a excellent school with outstanding faculty and staff along with a great library and campus located in an urban setting.
From an education standpoint, the faculty are superb scholars. Students will study with professors who are disciples of Jesus themselves and therefore are committed to the mission of God. Along with that is a commitment to the faithful understanding of the scriptures in its biblical and historical context, an appreciation for Christian history and theology (including the Restoration Movement and the Churches of Christ), and the development of faithful servants equipped with the necessary theological and pastoral training for service to God, the church, and the world. Yet at the same time, the professors are willing to give the student room to think freely without being pressured by dogma and indoctrination.
Beyond the classroom, the campus of HST is located inside the metroplex of Memphis. This provides students with a variety of contexts for engaging in ministry in order to put learning into practice. This is very important because whether a person ends up teaching in a university, preaching in a church, pursing foreign mission work, and so on, it involves working with real people in the real world. The city of Memphis is a diverse population that serves as a very inviting and challenging ministry lab.
Lastly, if there is any question remaining about the blessing that HST would be, I would simply point to the alumni it has produced. We judge a fruit tree by the fruit it bears. We judge a seminary by the theologians, ministers, and kingdom leaders it produces. I know that HST alumni represent a wide spectrum of ministry accomplishments for the glory of God and the sake of his mission. So if you or someone you know is considering theological studies, I highly recommend HST.