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Dr. Mark Maddix: The famous quotation of Charles Wesley, “Unite the pair so long disjoined: Knowledge and vital piety,” is displayed in Swayne Auditorium on NNU’s campus. It succinctly and poetically states the importance of knowledge and love that elaborates fully the necessity of Christian discipleship. Knowledge, learning and truth conjoined with piety, holiness and love portray people who live in total dedication to God. Wesley’s famous phrase reflects the heart and passion of the faculty in the School of Theology and Christian Ministries (STCM). We are deeply committed both to the process of forming men and women as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ and to rigorous scholarship in the pursuit of knowledge.

Dr. Diane Leclerc: Absolutely. I see my scholarship as a part of my vocation and my calling. Whether I am writing more “academically” or more “devotionally,” I see the Spirit guiding my mind and heart as I write.

The more you study the more you realize you do not know. We pursue knowledge for wisdom, and we pursue wisdom for the glory of God: to help us to learn to love better, to be more fully Christian, to be more faithful to God and to be better lovers of those in our world."

Dr. Brent Peterson: Yes, my calling as a pastor is not just teaching students in the classroom but also writing and publishing to teach, encourage, inspire and prophetically challenge. I hope that what I write is for God’s glory. I hope that it helps to inspire and encourage folks to fall more deeply in love with Christ.

MM: NNU’s STCM faculty is actively engaged in writing books and academic articles in the areas of biblical studies, theology, practical theology and philosophy. Our faculty is recognized around the world for their excellent scholarship in their respective disciplines. We believe that the pursuit of knowledge is central in the life of a Christian disciple. Jesus affirmed that the greatest command was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37, NRSV) Some Christians view the pursuit of knowledge as inconsistent with matters of faith, but we believe that our role is to integrate knowledge and vital piety. We affirm that faith is seeking understanding. We explore new ideas in order to develop our understanding and to ground our faith. When this takes place, faith and reason are not in opposition but are complementary. We want to help Christians explore the deep questions of faith as informed by Scripture, reason, tradition and experience.

DL: As a historical theologian, I attempt to take facts and ask the “so what” question. This happened—now what are the implications for us today? What has gone before influences who we are and what we do in the present. It is important that we place ourselves in a historical context as the Church. We do not create theology in a historical vacuum.

BP: We do not pursue data or knowledge to lord it over others. The more you study the more you realize you do not know. We pursue knowledge for wisdom, and we pursue wisdom for the glory of God: to help us to learn to love better, to be more fully Christian, to be more faithful to God and to be better lovers of those in our world.

RECENT FACULTY PUBLICATIONS

Galatians: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition

George Lyons

Created to Worship: God’s Invitation to Become Fully Human

Brent D. Peterson

Discovering our Christian Holiness: The Heart of Wesleyan-Holiness Theology

Diane LeClerc

Free Will: Sourcehood and Its Alternatives

Kevin Timpe

The Nature of Love: A Theology

Thomas Jay Oord

We affirm that all truth ultimately leads us not to abstract concepts, but to a deeper devotion to God and each other. This is what is meant by bringing together 'the pair so long disjoined: knowledge and vital piety.'"

MM: Recently our faculty has participated in presenting chapters from the book “Spiritual Formation: A Wesleyan Paradigm” (2011), edited by Diane Leclerc and myself, at several local Nazarene congregations. Our faculty and the leaders in NNU’s Office of Spiritual Formation wrote the book’s chapters, and it’s a great example of the integration of scholarship and Christian practice. It is a resource for pastors and laity who want to grow in their relationship with God. This book is helping Christians expand their theological knowledge and to grow in holiness of heart and life.

Our scholarship is also a reflection of our worship of God. We believe that God has called us to serve the Church through our scholarship. Our role as professors is to continue to be engaged in exploring knowledge that helps to serve the Church of the Nazarene and the universal church. We want to be faithful to our calling as professors at Northwest Nazarene University through the forming of faithful disciples and engaging in scholarship.

DL: We affirm that all truth ultimately leads us not to abstract concepts, but to a deeper devotion to God and each other. This is what is meant by bringing together “the pair so long disjoined: knowledge and vital piety.”

BP: The goal isn’t to be the celebrity professor or the celebrity author. It’s to be faithful to the inspiration God has given us and to encourage the Church to fall in love with God more deeply. It’s to help Christians to love the church so that they could be equipped then to better love their neighbor.

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