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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Roger Hahn ('76)

Dr. Roger Hahn has been a member of the NTS Faculty since 1995. He currently serves NTS as Dean of the Faculty, Director of the Master of Divinity Program, and Professor of New Testament in the Willard H. Taylor Chair of Biblical Theology. Dr. Hahn and his wife Dorothy ahve 3 sons: Jonathan, Matthew, and Timothy.

How long have you taught at NTS?

I became part of NTS’ faculty in 1994, which means I have taught at the seminary for sixteen years. I have served as Dean of the Faculty for the last eight of those sixteen years.

Give us a brief update about your family.

My wife, Dorothy, is still teaching kindergarten in the Olathe school district. She works with at-risk students. My son, Timothy, will be finishing college this year.

In addition to teaching, what keeps you busy?

I teach Sunday school at Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene and have served as a teaching pastor there. I learned to teach in the Socratic style by witnessing my mother teach Sunday school. I also learned my profound and deep love of Scripture from her. The first verse she ever had me memorize was 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (KJV). My mother is 84 years old and still teaching Sunday school.

What are your recent or in-process writing projects?

Currently, I am writing a commentary on Matthew for the New Beacon Bible Commentary series. It will be entitled, NBBC, Matthew: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City).

What do you like most about teaching and ministering at NTS?

I most appreciate the opportunity to engage students formatively in their preparation for life and ministry.

Describe your favorite memories from your days as an NTS student:

Dr. Greathouse’s Wesleyan theology class helped me learn to love being in the Church of the Nazarene and embrace our doctrine of holiness as understood through Wesleyan lenses. I also loved all my classes with Dr. Willard Taylor. They were very formative. Additionally, Drs. Bassett and Weigelt particularly helped form me to be a teacher, along with field education and teaching Greek to other NTS students.

I also remember the way Dr. Greathouse sang with gusto in chapels. He led singing after he preached, and he sang authentically and powerfully. I still remember my first chapel service at NTS in 1974. I was moved, and grateful to be in a community where I could learn more about the rich foundations of the faith. It was clear that NTS was teaching us to do important work—thinking about the past for the sake of the future of the church.

What books would you recommend to alums and pastors?

I would recommend any work by N.T. (Tom) Wright as thought-provoking and helpful. I also recommend any part of the commentary series Reading the New Testament edited by Charles Talbert (Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc.).

What are you currently reading?

I am currently enjoying reading works in theological exegesis—a way of doing biblical interpretation. I am also reading more early church history and patristic theology which increasingly fascinates me. Additionally, I read works about theology of worship and preaching. Specifically, I am reading Accompany Them with Singing: The Christian Funeral by Thomas Long (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009). The book is about recapturing what it means to have a Christian funeral.

How may the NTS community pray for you and your family?

Dorothy and I have two sons with disabilities. We invite prayer for their provision and future, especially concerning how we may care for them as I get closer to retirement.

NTS has announced a new 76-Hour Master of Divinity Degree and a Multi-Campus Seminary;* What are your thoughts on these significant changes?

It has been an exciting year as we have worked on these proposals. We’re on the cutting edge in terms of making a Seminary education more flexible, accessible, and affordable. In these challenging times, it is clear that the future of theological education is going to be very different from its past. We realize ministry preparation needs to come to grips with the changes in the culture. The Seminary’s administration and faculty are asking, “What are the essentials of ministry preparation and how do we accomplish these in this and multiple contexts?” We do not want an elitist model in which only privileged and wealthy people come to seminary. We want to be faithful stewards of what God has given us and use our gifts to benefit the church as a whole.

What else would you like to share?

I have come to realize that “administration” has the word “ministry” in it. I started out as a teacher with anti-administration attitudes, but twenty-five years ago, I began seeing education administration as a way to extend teaching. Curriculum development and design are especially ways by which teaching can be extended for me. My role as Dean of the Faculty also helps me maximize the corporate gifts and ministry of the faculty. This helps NTS give its best to the students, the church, and the kingdom.

I am now in my thirty-sixth year of a love affair with NTS. It was so formative in my life as a student here that my dream—the most wonderful thing God could do for me—would be to let me come back to NTS and do what I am doing.

*subject to ratification by the seminary’s accrediting agency

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