Thomas L. Fuller
Director of Ministry Studies
Beeson Divinity School
Office: Divinity Hall 
Email: tlfuller@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-2339

In his role as Director of Ministry Studies, Tom Fuller directs the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree program, directs the program for theological field education of Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students, coordinates ministry placement services for students and alumni, and leads the school’s efforts to assess student learning outcomes, program effectiveness and overall institutional effectiveness. He also teaches courses in the areas of pastoral leadership, practical theology and research methodology.

Fuller, an ordained Baptist minister, served as pastor of churches in Indiana and Alabama for 13 years before joining the Beeson faculty in 2000. A recognized leader in the fields of theological field education and assessment of student learning outcomes, Fuller contributes regularly to scholarly discussions through his research, speaking and writing. In recent years, he contributed chapters to Preparing Ministry Leaders: A Practical Guide to Field Education and to Brimming with God: Reflecting Theologically on Cases in Ministry. He has served in leadership capacities for the Association for Theological Field Education and the Evangelical Association of Theological Field Educators and presently serves on the editorial board for the international journal Christian Higher Education. 

Fuller enjoys Samford and Auburn football (in that order), travel and entertaining at home with his wife, Allison, and his dog, Titus. He is a member of Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, and he continues to serve churches through consulting, supply preaching and interim pastoral service. He has three daughters, two stepdaughters and one stepson.

Education

  • Ph.D., The University of Alabama
  • M.Div., D.Min., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • B.A., Samford University

Awards and Honors

  • Co-Chair, Evangelical Association of Theological Field Educators, 2002-03
  • President, Association of Ministry Guidance Professionals, 2003-04
  • Steering Committee, Association for Theological Field Education, 2011-13
  • Annual award for faculty/staff service rendered to the Alpha Eta chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity given to him (2015) and named in his honor in perpetuity

Publications

  • “First, Take the Log Out of Your Own Eye,” a chapter co-authored with Rev. Roslyn Wright, in Brimming with God: Reflecting Theologically on Cases in Ministry (Wipf & Stock, 2015).
  • “The Power of the Learning Community Model for the Development of Supervisor-Mentors,” in Reflective Practice, Vol. 35, 2015.
  • “Evaluating Students,” a chapter in Preparing for Ministry: A Practical Guide to Theological Field Education (Kregel, 2008)
  • “Study Abroad Experiences and Intercultural Sensitivity Among Graduate Theological Students: A Preliminary and Exploratory Investigation,” in Christian Higher Education, Vol. 6, No. 4, July/August 2007.
  • “Themes in the Journal, Theological Education, 1964-2006: What Do They Say?,” in Christian Higher Education, Vol. 6, No. 4, July/August 2007.
  • “Profiles of Ministry Survey: What We Have Learned at Beeson,” with Patricia A. Outlaw, in Interpretation, Fall 2003, Number 13.

Presentations

  • “Elements of Strategic Planning for D.Min. Programs.” Association of Doctor of Ministry Educators, Birmingham, Alabama, April 17, 2015.
  • “Developing Supervisor-Mentors in Communities of Practice.” Association for Theological Field Education, Santa Fe, New Mexico, January 22-24, 2015.
  • “Perspectives on the Place of Field Education in an Accreditation Review.” Association for Theological Field Education, Williamsburg, Virginia, January 23-26, 2013.
  • “Focusing on the Process as well as the Product: Using Student Engagement to Assess Learning Outcomes in Theological Field Education.” Evangelical Association of Theological Field Educators, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January 13-16, 2010.
  • “Assessing Student Success in Ministry Field Education.” In-Service Guidance Association, Birmingham, Alabama, July 31 – August 2, 2008.
  • “Assessing Student Competency.” Association for Theological Field Education, Dallas, Texas, January 17-21, 2007.

Research

  • Student engagement in theological education
  • Assessment of outcomes in theological education
  • Initial and ongoing formation for ministry leadership

Involvement

  • Association of Doctor of Ministry Educators
  • Association for Theological Field Education
  • Center for Pastor Theologians
  • Evangelical Association of Theological Field Educators
  • Evangelical Theological Society