Roger Hahn Remembered

Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) is pleased to announce the re-naming of the Willard H. Taylor Chair in Biblical Theology to the Willard H. Taylor – Roger L. Hahn Chair in Biblical Theology. The seminary faculty voted to revise the chair’s name to include Dr. Roger L. Hahn on October 6, 2023. Earlier that morning, Roger passed away from an aggressive form of cancer at age 73.

The idea to rename the chair is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Dr. Hahn, a beloved teacher, scholar, and preacher, who faithfully served the seminary for 26 years as Professor of New Testament and Dean of the Faculty (2003 to 2017). In 2006, Hahn was named as the first Willard H. Taylor Chair in Biblical Theology, a position he held until his retirement in 2020. He called this appointment, “as great an honor as I could possibly receive as an NTS faculty member.”

Dr. Sarah Coleson-Derck, Dean of Faculty stated, “As the first and long-time holder of the Taylor Chair of Biblical Theology, Roger’s own teaching and scholarship enriched and deepened the entire field of biblical studies within the Wesleyan tradition. It seems joyfully appropriate, then, to include Roger’s legacy in this faculty chair.”

During his student days at NTS, Roger credited Dr. Willard Taylor with clarifying his calling as a biblical theologian with an interest in Pauline studies. After taking his first class with Taylor in New Testament Theology, Roger later commented, “It was like the doors all opened: this is what I want to learn, this is what I want to think about, this is what I want to do—the bringing together of exegesis and biblical theology.” Taylor served as a role model and mentor for Hahn, and his blending of effective pastoral service, artful preaching, strong scholarship, thoughtful denominational writing, and strong commitment to the church, left a lasting impression on Roger, whose own life and ministry paralleled this same trajectory.

Dr. Andy Johnson, NTS Professor of New Testament, stated, “Having served with Roger for almost two decades, I am very pleased that we are co-naming our chair in biblical theology to commemorate him and his service to NTS and the Church. No one deserves that recognition more than Roger, and I am humbled and honored to be the current occupant of the Taylor-Hahn Chair in Biblical Theology.”

A few weeks after learning of his cancer diagnosis, Roger published his final book, Ministry in Ambiguous Times: Pauline Reflections for Pastors and Church Leaders, which debuted in June at the 2023 General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene in Indianapolis, Indiana. The book, published by NTS Press, was a compilation of 15 convocation addresses he gave during his time as Dean of the Faculty. Over one thousand copies were given away to pastors and church leaders from all over the world. Dr. Hahn found great satisfaction in presenting this final word to clergy of the Church of the Nazarene. Bryon McLaughlin, director of communications, noted, “It was a privilege to partner with Roger on this final project as it represented so well who he was, a scholar and minister with the ability to wed exegesis and biblical theology in service to the church.”

The renaming of the Taylor-Hahn Chair in Biblical Theology was first announced during Dr. Roger Hahn’s funeral service, which was held at Overland Park Church of the Nazarene on Saturday, October 21, at 2:00 pm. After his retirement from NTS, Roger served as the senior pastor of the Overland Park Church until his death.

About Nazarene Theological Seminary

Located in Kansas City, Missouri, Nazarene Theological Seminary is a graduate school of theology rooted in the Wesleyan-holiness tradition.

Note: Questions about this press release may be directed to [email protected].

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