From the Dean

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




Page 4 of 172

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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The Dean Recommends: Three Questions for Bible Journaling

By Cary Hughes
July 11, 2016

I gave the eulogy of a 95-year-old woman in our congregation. Moments before I spoke, the funeral director said of her, “Her Bible was well thumbed-through.” She was known as someone who loved to serve with her hands by providing meals for the sick and needy, but even more so as a woman who loved her God. Her serving flowed from a heart that loved God and his word.

On the day of her burial, her casket was closed with her Bible in it. After the funeral director told me about her Bible, I immediately asked the family to consider keeping the Bible as a reminder of her legacy of pursuing God. They decided to open the casket and keep her Bible as a reminder of how her Bible impacted her throughout her life.

The Bible was full of notes, dates, testimonies of answered prayer, prayers for family members and church members, and other items that revealed her deep love for Christ. After seeing her Bible, I was reminded of the value of journaling all of the ways God reveals himself through his word. The depth and riches of God’s word are inexhaustible, and I want my life to leave a legacy of a “well thumbed-through Bible.”

If you’ve never experienced the benefits of Bible journaling, perhaps you find yourself asking the question, “How do I write my thoughts about what I am reading in my Bible?” We like the idea, but have no idea what to write. I wasn’t sure how to begin the process of journaling in my Bible, but asking the following questions about any passage has proved to be a good place to start. Read the rest at Desiring God.

Posted by Kristen Padilla at Monday, July 11, 2016
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