Gardner-Webb Hosts Annual Meeting of National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion

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Members Sharpen Teaching Skills and Discuss Research from Professors and Graduate Students

Panelists give a response to “Inhabiting the World: Identity Politics, and Theology in Radical Baptist Perspective by Ryan Andrew Newson of Campbell University, right. The participants, from left, are Amy Chilton, Fuller Theology Seminary and Azusa Pacific University, Kris Norris, Wesley Theological Seminary, Diane Lipsett, Salem College, and Steve Harmon, GWU. Photo courtesy of Eileen Campbell-Reed

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University recently hosted approximately 70 professors and graduate students in religion for the annual meeting of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion (NABPR). This was the University’s second time hosting the event. Dr. Steven R. Harmon, associate professor of historical theology in the GWU School of Divinity, is NABPR vice president and president-elect.

“This year’s meeting at Gardner-Webb was the 38th annual meeting of the NABPR,” Harmon shared. “The gathering provides participants additional opportunities to present their scholarship and receive feedback on it, as well as to address pedagogical issues in religious studies and to communicate about other common concerns in our work as Baptist professors of religion.”

While most members teach or study at Baptist-affiliated schools, colleges, and seminaries, the NABPR website says they also come from a wide range of church-related and state-supported schools in the United States, Canada, and abroad.

The NABPR members enjoyed three days of compelling conversation at Gardner-Webb, including presentations by W.H. Bellinger Jr. and GWU alumnus Scott C. Ryan of Baylor University (Texas), David M. Moffitt of the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), and Amy Stumpf of California Baptist University (Riverside). The featured speaker at the opening dinner for the meeting was Dr. Joseph Moore, associate professor of history, chair of the Department of Social Sciences, and special assistant to the provost for Academic Enhancement at Gardner-Webb. Moore spoke on “The Covenanters’ Challenge to ‘Christian America,’” the topic of his book “Founding Sins: How a Group of Antislavery Radicals Fought to Put Christ into the Constitution” (Oxford University Press, 2015).

The most important parts of the conference, though, were the breakout sessions in which dozens of professors and graduate students from nearly 20 schools presented new research. Presenters included Harmon and Dr. Scott Shauf, GWU chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy. Dr. Gerald Keown and Dr. Jim McConnell from the GWU School of Divinity served as presiders for breakout sessions. Gardner-Webb divinity students, Zach Dey and Mariah Richardson, presented research in the student category.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.