From the Dean

News items, published articles, and reading recommendations from Dean Timothy George

Page 3 of 171

The Dean Recommends: Past Masters - John Calvin, Preacher of the Gospel

By Ray Van Neste
May 4, 2016

John Calvin is known today primarily as a systematic theologian, and this is not without reason. His Institutes of the Christian Religion have provided centuries of sustenance to the church’s theological formulations. His polemical struggles against the Catholic Church continue to clarify Protestant thinking about the nature of justification.

However, Calvin was fundamentally a preacher of the gospel. His theology was refined as he preached through the Bible book by book, as more than 4,000 sermons poured forth from his pulpit in Geneva. His printed sermons were in demand during his time and the century after, but in subsequent centuries they were largely overlooked, though his commentaries and theological writings continued to be celebrated.

Today, many are not aware of his sermons, yet it is in the sermons that we see Calvin the pastor as he really lived and breathed, or in the words of Calvin’s biographer, Emile Doumergue, as he stood in Calvin’s pulpit on the 400th anniversary of his birth, “That is the Calvin who seems to me to be the real and authentic Calvin, the one who explains all the others: Calvin the preacher of Geneva.”

Calvin, the preacher of Geneva, was, at his heart, a preacher of the gospel, as Parker says: “the centre of his pastoral work, around which all else resolved, was the preaching of the gospel.” Read the rest at

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Thursday, July 14, 2016
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Beeson Divinity School Partners with Department of Social Work to Offer New Joint Degrees

By Katie Stripling
July 7, 2016

Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School and Department of Social Work have joined forces to offer two unique joint-degree programs for students called to preach the gospel and engage in practical ministry.

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.)/Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) will equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for mercy ministries in local churches and in cultures vastly different from their own. “Students who complete this degree will be able to preach the Bible with theological depth and wisdom while giving very practical aid to individuals and families in need,” said Grant Taylor, Beeson Divinity School’s associate dean.

Students in the Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S)/M.S.W. program will be equipped with the theological knowledge required to integrate social work with the gospel. “This program provides an exciting option for individuals who have discerned a vocational call that requires a nuanced understanding of Christian theology, as well as the practical skills necessary to assist those in our world who are most in need of assistance,” said Ken Stoltzfus, chair of the Department of Social Work.

Students in both programs will choose a concentration in either clinical social work or global community development for the social work portion of their studies. Graduates from the clinical social work option may find themselves working in pastoral counseling, hospice, adoption and foster care, addiction and recovery or prison ministries. Graduates from the global community development option may seek employment with urban ministries, domestic and international missions, or within faith-based nongovernmental organizations addressing issues such as human trafficking, poverty and access to medical services.

For more information, contact Ken Stoltzfus.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Wednesday, July 13, 2016
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The Dean Recommends: Zoe's Birthday

By Hayden Walker
July 11, 2016

My dining room table is covered with papers, cards and books. As I look across the table at the stack of extra programs from last week’s memorial service, I can hardly believe that it is Zoe’s name on the front.

Exactly three months after her fatal diagnosis, our sweet Zoe Karis was born and died. It was an unbelievably difficult three months, knowing that any day could be “the day.”

Zoe was full of surprises her whole life…and her birth was no exception. My water broke on a walk around the neighborhood just before Cody and I were scheduled for dinner with friends. I couldn’t believe that it was really happening. I stood in the road and cried. My sweet husband coached me home and had us ready to leave for the hospital in less than five minutes. He stays so calm under pressure (unlike his wife).

I don’t think any parent could ever be completely ready for what we knew was ahead of us. I kept saying, “I’m not ready to say goodbye yet!” Such sorrow and joy…knowing we were on our way to the hospital to hold our sweet Zoe for the first time…and last time.

We treasured the time we had with her in the hospital that night. As we have been doing since March, Cody read to her from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Our story for that night was Jesus’ resurrection. Our hearts were filled with such hope for Zoe as we remembered once again the truth of the resurrection. Furthermore, we were so comforted that God is not unfamiliar with our pain. He willingly gave over his son to death for us. Praise him.

At midnight, we told Zoe “Happy Birthday!” knowing she would be born to earth and to heaven on June 24. Read the rest at ZoeKaris.blogspot.

Hayden Walker is a graduate of Beeson Divinity School.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Wednesday, July 13, 2016
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