Professor of Practical Theology
I came to teaching later in my adult life after working as a videographer in broadcast journalism. Through God’s call to ministry, I developed a deep passion for teaching, whether in Sunday School, undergraduate teaching, ministry seminars, and now here at NTS as Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship.
Teaching describes both a daily craft and a research field, so I have spent a lot of my time also serving as a consultant with the Church of the Nazarene for my work in youth, children and family ministry as well as guiding a number of efforts in general Christian discipleship. My love for academics and ministry find expression through my editorship of Didache: Faithful Teaching, an on-line academic journal in the Wesleyan tradition, as well as guiding clergy development in the USA/Canada for the Church of the Nazarene. Beyond my denominational commitments, I found myself fortunate to serve as president of the Religious Education Association, an ecumenical, interfaith, organization that has been in existence for more than 100 years, and also to serve as board chair of Youthfront a Kansas City-based national youth ministry training organization. Those relationships allow me to maintain a broad network of ecumenical and evangelical professionals working on the front edge of ministry and education.
I grew up on science fiction stories, and still have a love for science, technology, and media (I guess that makes me a well-educated sci-fi geek). Those topics reveal an unending curiosity and desire to explore new fields which have led me to explore and research the field of neuroscience and its potential in theology and ministry.
I serve as a theological advisor for the Science for Seminaries program sponsored by the Dialog on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) and am active in the TheoPsych initiative sponsored by Fuller Seminary and Blueprint 1543. In addition to this continued research and engagement with science, I have developed both research and educational strategies connecting theology with work, innovation, and economics as a gateway into new forms of ministry. My “vocation” may be that of an explorer, always seeking new horizons of study that will ultimately serve the Kingdom of God.
Contributor: “Faithful Discipleship: A Missional Catechesis” In Missio Dei Edited by Keith Schwanz and Joseph Coleson. Kansas City: NTS/Beacon Hill Press, 2011, 141-148.
Contributor: “What Has Happened to Sin: Re-conceptualizing Childhood Depravity in an Alternative Theological Anthropology” In Children’s Spirituality: New Perspectives edited by Kevin Lawson. Eugene: OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2012, 60-83.
Contributor: “Relational Theology and Means of Grace” In Relational Theology: A Contemporary Introduction edited by Brint Montgomery, Tom Oord, and Karen Winslow. Eugene OR: Point Loma Press/Wipf & Stock 2012, 70-72.
Contributor: “The Church as Formational Fellowship” in Essential Church: A Wesleyan Paradigm edited by Diane LeClerc and Mark A. Maddix. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2013.
Contributor (12 articles) Encyclopedia of Christian Education, 3 Volumes. Edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015
Co-Author with Doug Hardy, Prayer: Sharing Intimate Space with God. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2015
Co-Editor and Author, “Technology and the Brain,” and “Neuroscience and Christian Worship: Practices that Change the Brain” in Neuroscience and Christian Formation: The intersection of Science and Faith, edited by Mark A. Maddix and Dean G. Blevins. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2016.
‘Transformational Insights from Neuroscience” Christian Education Journal Series 3 (Fall 2013) 10:2, 407-423.
“Brains on Fire: Neuroscience and the Gift of Youth” The Journal of Youth Ministry (Spring 2014) 12:2, 7-25.
“Our Craft, Our Call: The Spiritual Practice of Teaching and Learning. Insights: The Faculty Journal for Austin Seminary 131:1 (Fall 2015), 28-31
Writings in Service to the Church
Writer/Editor Exploring Children’s Ministry Continuing Lay Training Module (Fall 2012)
“A Transformed Mind: Preteens, Conversion and the Brain” in Youthworker Journal (May/June 2014) 49-54.
“Educating the Laity: The Crucial Need for Discipleship” Holiness Today (August 2015)
“A Promised Privilege” Holiness Today (March 2016)
Curator: Faithful Homes SDMI/NTS Spring 2012- present.
PH.D. Personality and Theology (Religious Education), Claremont School of Theology, 1999
Masters in Religious Education, Nazarene Theological Seminary, 1991
Diploma in Bible, John Wesley College, 1988
BA Speech Communications, North Carolina State University, 1978
Religious Education Association (REA)
Wesleyan Theological Association (WTS)
North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE)
Christian Discipleship; Practical Theology; Neuroscience/Neuroeducation; Wesley Studies; Missional Theology; Family Spirituality and Formation; Child Spirituality; Youth Culture; Media Studies; Emerging Adulthood; Faith, Work, and Entrepreneurship
Persons Along the LifeCourse
Readings in Missional Theology
Foundations of Christian Education
Contemporary Youth Issues
Family Spiritual Journeys
Elder, Church of the Nazarene
Local Church Involvement
Minister of Discipleship, Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene
USA/Canada Regional Education Coordinator Church of the Nazarene
Chair, Manual Editing Committee