Harding School of Theology

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.

7 responses to “Harding School of Theology

  1. Great thoughts, Rex. Such a blessing to have supportive alumni!

  2. Thanks Rex. You posted before I did about this same thing. lol. I just posted my own thoughts on the grad school. A great school indeed. http://castnets.blogspot.com/

    • I suppose that for all of us alumni who were students when HST was HUGSR, the school will always be known as our “Grad School.” Indeed, these are great memories to have.

  3. Brother Rex, Do the professors at Harding teach that the early church form of worship is archiac and needs to be reformed for modern times? Is good old ‘evangelism’ now passe? Do they teach the truth that the church of Christ began at Pentecost in Jerusalem, in 33 AD, or do they teach that it began centuries later as a man-made restoration movement, akin to the Catholic Church, and protestant denominations? Are they really church of Christ oriented and believing, or are they going for the masses, which makes good business I suppose, and for rapid and voluminous ‘Church’ growth. Of course, we do need to study comparative religions, faiths, and for theologies; but I don’t believe, that after the studies are finished, that we should find ourselves coming away still wondering if we are right or not. I love the truth, God’s Word, and the truth is what sets us free. One church, one faith, one baptism, one body. God bless, Grace and Peace, –dc p.s.: It is not my intention here to come down on Harding University; I am sure it has it’s place in higher learning, although I believe God’s Word, as given to us, with the true authority of Jesus Christ himself, contains everything we need to know for life and godliness, and for going forth, teaching, baptizing all nations, in God’s truth and love. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, (not by the theologies of men). –dc

    • Don,

      Those are very ensnaring questions because you already reveal the answer you’re looking for in your question. Are you open-minded enough to consider a different answer?

      As for my understanding of what Harding School of theology is… As I said in the above post, HST is a place whose “…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.”

      • Hi Rex, Yes; I had noted what you have repeated here. I love these discussions, and I appreciate your blog and replys. I also still think you are doing a great job at Randolph. Now, moving on here: I hope you will not take offense to the personal question I am going to ask you.
        I am wondering in my mind, that if our congregation’s identity had not been “church of Christ,” in Randolph NJ, but say instead ‘Baptist’, or whatever; would you still have applied for the job? Are you really ‘sold’ on the “church of Christ” faith? I was personally taken back somewehat, when you said to me, at our first meeting: “How do you know we are right?” I agree in principle with you, that we should never stop learning, challenging, testing, growing our faith. If I didn’t believe, and apply that same rationality, I probably never would had found my way, through the wilderness, to the church of Christ. I would have just stayed where I was, without questioning. However; after about fifty years now, I have found nothing that does not support my faith. Every test or challenge, or life experience, and Bible study has made my faith all the stronger. It is not about being closed minded. One cannot be closed minded if they expect to bring others to Christ, in Spirit and in Truth. In order to evangelize with truth and authority,–for success– we have to know what we are talking about, and be able, and want to, stand up to all questions and challenges presented. If we don’t really strongly believe ourselves, how rational is it to expect anyone else to be convinced? We need to be able to answer for our faith, and to profess it to all nations, teaching them, showing them, what we have learned and found to be true, with substance to back up the things we say. I believe that the church of Christ is the true church of Christ; and that there is only ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE body of Christ, ONE church. This is what makes us unique. We are the church of the Bible, New Testament, the church of Christ, started in 33 AD. This is how we stand out from all the rest, and this is the true light we must shine, and the salt of the true mission, as I see it. The churches have stipped growing, in modern times, because we have lost our saltiness, maybe even our faith. Or maybe, many have never found it. Grace and Peace, back at you. Rex, keep up the good work, and keep on keeping on, and seeing God working. –dc

      • Don,

        What does this have to do with Harding School of Theology??? Nevertheless, let me entertain your reply.

        You ask “I am wondering in my mind, that if our congregation’s identity had not been “church of Christ,” in Randolph NJ, but say instead ‘Baptist’, or whatever; would you still have applied for the job? Are you really ‘sold’ on the “church of Christ” faith?

        I am sold out on faith in Jesus Christ. Unless I’ve misread the scriptures, faith in Jesus Christ is the only faith pleasing to God and the only faith we are called to live by.

        As for the question of how do we know we are right? You have misunderstood me. I never intended to say that we cannot hold any conviction, believing that conviction is right (with good reason for doing so). What I am pushing back against is the notion of certainty that functionally leaves no room for the possibility of error and ultimately has faith in one’s certainty of rightness because one is certain about their ability to understand everything correctly through logical and deductive reasoning. That is a rather modern notion that ultimately locates faith in human ability rather than God’s work.

        As for what else I believe… I believe in Jesus Christ who is the Son of God! That ought to be good enough (1 Jn 4.15). But if it’s not then read this link: https://kingdomseeking.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/narrative-faith-statement.pdf

        Now I want to ask you a question. Where is God in your story? I don’t mean to sound condescending but your story which you shared in your last comment is all in the 1st person. I want to hear about where God is in your story.

        Grace and Peace,

        Rex

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