A KBC Boy from CU, SWBTS, SBTS and back to CU with No Problems Whatsoever

In the midst of a rather weighty and public dialogue happening between Campbellsville University and the Kentucky Baptist Convention, I wanted to shore up a few personal things about my experience as a Campbellsville student (’99 alumnus) and as a CU School of Theology faculty member since 2008.

I can’t speak for everyone who has been through our doors, but here are the indisputable, unshakeable facts about my personal experience at CU and connection with the KBC.

- I was saved and baptized in a rural KBC church in 1987 – the Lewisport Baptist Church in Lewisport, KY – through the ministry of VBS.  I have been a member of KBC church every year of my born-again Christian life, except while in TX during seminary.

- My home church supported my decision to go to Campbellsville University in the mid-90’s and even helped me financially.

- My personal faith in Christ exploded while at CU.  My understanding and belief in the Bible grew 10-fold.  My love for taking the Gospel to the unreached peoples of the world “blew up” while studying here.  My call to ministry was significantly nurtured and encouraged.  The opportunities to serve in KBC churches and in God’s kingdom through all sorts of ministries was enhanced and elevated simply because I was at CU.

- After CU, I studied at Southwestern Baptist Theo. Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.  There wasn’t one thing at SWBTS that made me question my academic experience at CU.  It only added to what was already there – biblically, theologically, philosophically, and practically – everything was in line.

- While in seminary, I served in two SBC churches as youth minister.  In those churches I used what I learned at CU and from SWBTS without having to modify any of my core convictions or theological roots.  They were perfectly in line with traditional Baptistic ways.

- After seminary, I served a KBC church in Northern KY.  Again, no problems whatsoever theologically, biblically or practically.  My training at CU combined with SWBTS was in sync with kingdom-building, Gospel-expanding principles of leadership and strategy.

- As I began my doctoral studies at the Southern Baptist Theo. Seminary, again there were no problems whatsoever.  Actually, what I had learned at CU, plus SWBTS, plus in practical church experience made my SBTS time even more fruitful.  There were no snickers that a CU guy was studying at SBTS.  Even as I finished at SBTS and started my first year teaching at CU, no one said a word.  No one hinted of any problems.  All in all, everything was positive as far as I could tell.

- Six years ago when I came to CU to be considered for a position in the School of Theology, I was asked lots of questions.  My theology, biblical interpretation, methodology, experience, and practice of the spiritual disciplines were all questioned in the interview process.  Not because I was a risky candidate, but because that is what we do with everyone who is considered.

- In the 6 years I have been in the classroom, I have never been told to do anything other than teach biblical truths with my theological convictions openly and honestly before my students Everyone knows where I stand on things and that has never been a problem.  Again, no issues whatsoever.

- In addition to teaching, CU leaders have overwhelmingly embraced and encouraged me to continue serving in KBC churches.  I have served four KBC churches as interim pastor: Parkway BC, Bethany BC, Lancaster BC and Hurstbourne BC.  There has never been any issues with me being a CU, SWBTS, SBTS and KBC guy.  Again, no issues whatsoever.

- Lastly, my wife is nearing the completion of her Ph.D. from SBTS in Family Ministry and has taught five classes at CU as an adjunct instructor.  Again, no problems or issues whatsoever.

Are you seeing a running theme?  In summary, we are, and have always been, KBC connected.  My family are, and will continue to be,  members of a KBC church.  I will hopefully, if God wills, continue serving as an interim pastor in KBC churches.

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About shanegarrison
I am a married, 30-something living in central KY. I serve as an associate professor of Educational Ministries at Campbellsville University.

7 Responses to A KBC Boy from CU, SWBTS, SBTS and back to CU with No Problems Whatsoever

  1. jehurtgen says:

    What a faith journey that is bearing fruit!

  2. Jack says:

    The problem is not right now. The problem comes when the next president arrives and moves away from CU’s KBC moorings. Would this ever happen? Again and again and again multiple state conventions have had to deal with schools migrating away from their historical moorings. It does not happen immediately and most schools would say they would be the exception, until they are not.
    I have no doubt you had a good experience at CU. I have no doubt you can teach what you see is correct theology.
    Currently, my daughter is not having that same experience at CU. With teachers that are not Baptist, barely Christian, and definitely not teaching baptistic philosophy. (She is not a religion major.)
    She has become deeper in her faith at CU only because she has had to fight for her faith in the classroom. In fact, she had a teacher tell her at CU this last year that she respects my daughter’s baptist theology although she (The teacher) and none of the students in the class agree with her. My daughter was the only baptist in the class, including the teacher!
    There is nothing about what I am seeing at CU right now that makes me think they want to grow closer to the KBC or SBC. What is at CU now only seems to indicate a movement further and further from its baptist foundations.
    This move, while well meaning right now, will open the door so that in 25 years CU will be another Wake Forrest, Belmont, or Baylor. A former Southern Baptist school with only the basic remnants of its past in tact and a theology that simply does not reflect baptist theology.

    • Dear Jack – Thank you for your comment and entrusting your daughter to us. There are non-Baptist faculty on the CU campus, but none in the School of Theology. I can’t speak for my colleagues, only my experience. Shane

  3. This is more than a bit vague.

  4. Kim says:

    I will continue to pray for Campbellsville University faculty. As an alumni, I can honestly say I have never had a class that I did not feel that God was in control. Most of my teachers spoke open and honestly about their Christian beliefs which made me know I had chosen the right school to attend. I went to convo where we were taught to pray to ease our stress and tension over exams and homework. I have a great amount of faith in the leaders of CU because I know they are lead by Christ. I really enjoyed your article and how you explained yourself. I hope that more people understand your dedication to both CU and KBC. Take Care and God Bless

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