News Archives: School of Christian Studies

HPU to host first Ministry Monday event on campus

Howard Payne University invites high school juniors and seniors interested in ministry to visit its campus on Monday, Nov. 11, during the university’s first Ministry Monday event.

Visiting students will have the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff and students in the HPU School of Christian Studies, sit in on a class, tour the university’s campus and enjoy a free meal. Attendance is free, including any additional guests accompanying prospective students.

Attendees may register in advance online or the day of the event during check-in. Check-in will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

Dr. Gary Gramling, dean of the School of Christian Studies, director of Christian studies graduate programs and professor of Christian studies, noted the eagerness of the school’s faculty, staff and students to meet potential new students to introduce them to what HPU offers.

“We are excited to welcome prospective students who feel called to the ministry,” he said. “HPU is a wonderful place to prepare for ministry. Our ministry students develop lifelong friendships with fellow minsters, have opportunities to serve in ministry roles while in college and are challenged to grow both academically and spiritually. We are grateful to God for the amazing ministry students He has sent us through the years.”

For more information about Ministry Monday and to register online for the event, visit www.hputx.edu/ministry-monday.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2020 and fall 2020 semesters at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). For more information about HPU, including the wide range of available financial aid options, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU will host its first Ministry Monday visit day for prospective ministry students on Monday, Nov. 11.

Rachel Myers named first recipient of Dr. Robert G. and Mrs. Cheryl Mangrum Endowed Scholarship at HPU

Howard Payne University student Rachel Myers was recently named the first recipient of the Dr. Robert G. and Mrs. Cheryl Mangrum Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship was created by the Mangrums with the intent to financially assist HPU students from Dallas or Taylor counties or who are history or music majors.

“The students have been such a blessing to us over the years,” said Cheryl Mangrum. “We started this scholarship to try to find a way to give back to the students and help them.”

Myers is a senior from Buffalo Gap, in Taylor County, majoring in cross-cultural studies.

“The fact that this scholarship exists is proof of the care and love the faculty and staff have for the students,” she said. “I came to HPU because I admired the community that is here. I’ve been welcomed into this community and have loved every second of my time here. This scholarship is such a blessing and it’s awesome that I know the people who have given it to me.”

The opportunity to help students of the institution they have served so long was highly anticipated by the Mangrums.

“We had always talked about starting a scholarship,” said Dr. Mangrum, “so when the opportunity presented itself, we did.”

Since arriving in Brownwood in 1980, the Mangrums have served in numerous capacities at HPU for more than 30 years.

Dr. Mangrum, professor of history and government at HPU, also serves as the university historian, Coley Chair of History and, for nearly 34 years, sponsor of HPU’s chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity. He served for 13 years as the director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and four years as faculty sponsor of Student Government. He was also associate dean for the School of Humanities and served for 29 years as chair of the Department of History. In addition to his duties at HPU, he has also served as mayor of Early since 2005.

Cheryl Mangrum works in the Office of Admission as the associate director of admission. She began working in the area of admission and recruiting in 1981 and graduated from HPU in 1991. She has been an active supporter of the Yellow Jacket Band. She was named an honorary band alumna and member of HPU’s chapters of national honorary band sorority Tau Beta Sigma and of Kappa Kappa Psi. She was also recognized as HPU’s Outstanding Staff Member for the 1999-2000 academic year.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). For more information about HPU, including the wide range of available financial aid options, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU senior Rachel Myers, center, recently was named the first recipient of the Dr. Robert G. and Mrs. Cheryl Mangrum Endowed Scholarship. Pictured with Myers are Cheryl Mangrum and Dr. Robert Mangrum.

HPU honors 61 students at Academic Awards Convocation

Howard Payne University honored 61 students for academic achievements at the university’s annual Academic Awards Convocation, held near the end of the spring 2019 semester.

Receiving awards were:

Abbott
Kylie Johnson, Honor Award in Spanish

Allen
Brianna Weaver, Outstanding New Secondary Teacher and English Academic Achievement Award

Alleyton
Jessica Catlett, Honor Award in Social Work

Arlington
Emma Reed, Outstanding Model United Nations Student

Austin
Riley G. Morrison, Outstanding Student in Marketing and Outstanding Graduate in Engineering Science

Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Xavier Haines, HPU Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete

Brownwood
Kaitlyn Bush, Outstanding Student in Practical Theology and Outstanding Student in Christian Studies
Cameron Butler, Outstanding Spanish Minor
Kristen Herring, Outstanding New Elementary Teacher
Hannah Justice, Outstanding Graduate in Biomedical Science
Joel Justice, Outstanding Student in Biblical Languages
Grace Milcherska, Outstanding New Elementary Teacher
Bailey Myler, Outstanding Moot Court Student
Seth Owen, Outstanding Student in Physical Education
Tanner Pennington, Outstanding History Student
Grant Saltar, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) Upper Division
Anna Vallejo, Outstanding Nontraditional Student
Tricia S. Webb, Outstanding Perseverance Award

Briggs
Suzanne Schad, Outstanding Music Major (Piano) Upper Division

Bulverde
Preston Davis, English Academic Achievement Award

Canton
Sierra Ross, Outstanding Mock Trial Student and Honor Award in Spanish

Canyon Country, California
Matthew Davis, Outstanding Student in Christian Education

Carlsbad
Kathryn Grice, Outstanding Swarm Yearbook Staff Member

Clifton, Colorado
Caleb Kostreva, Outstanding Government Student

Corpus Christi
Ethan Cerna, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Biology

Cisco
Jaime Dodson, Honor Award in Psychology

Cuero
Audrey Joan Simpson, Outstanding Student in the School of Business and Tami Pattillo Memorial Award

Dallas
Richard Treviso, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Chemistry

Dayton
Cecily McIlwain, Outstanding Student in Cross-Cultural Studies and Outstanding Student in Christian Studies
DeSoto
Spencer Wolverton, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Communication Studies

Early
Caleb Callaway, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Communication Studies
Abraham Cooper, Distinguished Music Major Achievement Award and Excellence in Chemistry Award
MaKayla De Leon, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Mathematics
Tanya Glasscock, Outstanding Nontraditional Student in Education

Fort Worth
Reed Alexander Shelley, Outstanding Student in Marketing and ASC Medal of Honor Award

Garden Ridge
Camila Cotter, Outstanding New All-Level Teacher and Outstanding Music Major (Vocal)

Gonzales
Seth Rainey, Outstanding Yellow Jacket Newspaper Staff Member

Haltom City
Dayane Gutierrez, Outstanding Student in Management

Harlingen
Cody Harrison Hughes, Outstanding Student in Accounting

Howe
Lindsey Krueger, Outstanding Music Service Award
Tyler Olin, Outstanding Student Speaker Bureau Member and Texas All-State Forensics Squad

Humble
Noah Payne, Paul Jay Cunningham Memorial Award

Huntsville
Kathleen Cravey, Outstanding Academic Achievement in Communication Studies

Kaufman
Talen Davis-Rentfro, Outstanding Lower Division Engineering Science Student

Kennedale
Hailey Green, Outstanding Achievement in Theatre

Kermit
David Dingle, Outstanding Graduate in Biology

Lake Jackson
Hogan Stogner, Outstanding Lower Division Engineering Student

Lindale
Graham White, Outstanding Student in General Studies

Llano
Justin Hughes, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Engineering Science

May
Sarah Abigail Brown, Jack White Character Award in Art
Eli Williams, Outstanding Student in Biblical Languages
Deejay Moses, The Servant Artist Award

Midland
Kimberly Bogart, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Mathematics

Midway, Arkansas
Jessica Swonger, HPU Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete

Newport, Arkansas
Mikala Meadows, Outstanding Student in General Biology

Paradise
Dalton Pendergrass, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) Lower Division

Rockdale
Brian Blanchard, Outstanding Music Major (Piano) Lower Division

Rowlett
Rachel Carpenter, Outstanding Student in Bible

San Angelo
Juan Luna, Honor Award in Criminal Justice

Valley Mills
Lance Bracco, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Biology

Watauga
Kaitlyn Harrison, Kinesiology/Athletic Training Highest GPA – 4.0, Outstanding Athletic Training Student and ASC Medal of Honor Award

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). For more information about HPU, including the wide range of available financial aid options, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Four HPU students recognized at 2019 Currie-Strickland Lectures in Christian Ethics

BROWNWOOD – February 22, 2019 – Four Howard Payne University students were recognized as Currie-Strickland Scholars at the 12th annual Currie-Strickland Lectures in Christian Ethics on Feb. 7-8. The students honored at this year’s lectures were Rachel Carpenter, junior biblical languages major from Rowlett; Lillie McDonald, junior practical theology major from Tuscola; Cecily McIlwain, senior cross-cultural studies major from Dayton; and Eli Williams, senior biblical languages major from May.

“These students are among the best that we teach in the School of Christian Studies, excelling through their scholarly studies as well as through their active engagement with their course material,” said Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies. “The lectures benefit all HPU students, including those honored, by bringing an important topic for their consideration so that they can reflect on what it might mean to think Christianly about it.”

The guest speaker at the event was Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, assistant professor of Christian Ethics and associate dean for Fuller Texas at Fuller University, who spoke on the topic “Muslim Immigration: Following Christ Through the Debate.” Dr. Kaemingk delivered two lectures, “Muslim Immigration and Christ’s Crown” and “Muslim Immigration and Christ’s Cross.”

“As Christians, we need to be about practicing the hospitality of Christ,” said Dr. Kaemingk. “That is what Muslim immigration represents – a profound opportunity to practice Christ’s hospitality and to remember it again. This is an opportunity to meet Jesus again and remember what He calls us to.”

Dr. Kaemingk is also a scholar-in-residence at the Max De Pree Center for Christian Leadership and serves as a fellow for the Center for Public Justice. He founded the Fuller Institute for Theology and Northwest Culture in Seattle, Washington, in 2013 and served as the executive director of the institute until 2017.

He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and holds doctoral degrees in systematic theology from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and in Christian Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2011, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to go to Amsterdam to study political theology and the European conflict over Muslim immigration. An ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Dr. Kaemingk lives in Houston with his wife, Heather, and their three sons, Calvin, Kees and Caedmon.

“Dr. Kaemingk’s work is invaluable for contemporary Christians,” said Dr. Hatch. “It challenges us to be the body of Christ, and to do so precisely by making space for the other – in this case, our Muslim neighbors. His lectures focused on the cultivation of habits of hospitality, which means they will continue to make a positive impact on our thinking and activity here at HPU for a long time.”

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Four HPU students were recognized as Currie-Strickland Scholars at the 2019 Currie-Strickland Lectures in Christian Ethics. Pictured from left to right are Lillie McDonald, Rachel Carpenter, Cecily McIlwain and Eli Williams. Also pictured is Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies at HPU. Dr. Matthew Kaemingk spoke at the 2019 lectures on the topic of “Muslim Immigration: Following Christ Through the Debate.”

HPU to host 12th annual Currie-Strickland lectures in Christian ethics

BROWNWOOD – January 7, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s 12th annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics will feature guest speaker Dr. Matthew Kaemingk, assistant professor of Christian ethics and associate dean for Fuller Texas at Fuller Seminary. The lectures are scheduled Thursday, February 7, and Friday, February 8, and are free to the public.

Dr. Kaemingk will focus on the theme “Muslim Immigration: Following Christ Through the Debate.” Thursday’s lecture, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., is titled “Muslim Immigration and Christ’s Crown.” Friday morning at 10 a.m., Dr. Kaemingk will speak on “Muslim Immigration and Christ’s Cross.” Both discussions will take place in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center.

In addition to his roles at Fuller Seminary, Dr. Kaemingk is a scholar-in-residence for the Max De Pree Center for Christian Leadership. He also serves as a fellow for the Center for Public Justice. His research and teaching focus on Islam and political ethics, faith and the workplace, theology and culture, and Reformed public theology. His book on Christian political ethics, titled “Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear,” was published by Eerdmans in 2018.

From 2013 to 2017, Dr. Kaemingk served as executive director of the Fuller Institute for Theology and Northwest Culture in Seattle, Washington. Founding the institute in 2013, he helped to launch three innovative theological initiatives with the help of two major grants from the Murdock Charitable Trust. These new initiatives were designed to equip regional churches to engage the arts, marketplace and culture of the Pacific Northwest.

He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and holds doctoral degrees in systematic theology from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and in Christian Ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary. In 2011, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to go to Amsterdam to study political theology and the European conflict over Muslim immigration. An ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church, Dr. Kaemingk lives in Houston with his wife, Heather, and their three sons, Calvin, Kees and Caedmon.

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed, and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.

Admission is free but reservations are requested. For reservations or more information, contact HPU’s School of Christian Studies by e-mail at currie-strickland@hputx.edu or by phone at 325-649-8403.

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Cutline: HPU’s 12th annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics will feature guest speaker Dr. Matthew Kaemingk.

HPU faculty member’s recent books highlight theological traditions

Dr. Derek HatchBROWNWOOD – July 23, 2018 – Writings on theology by Howard Payne University’s Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies, were recently released in two books. One book is a tribute to his mentor and prior professor that contains essays by Dr. Hatch and other scholars. The second book, written solely by Dr. Hatch, argues that Baptist theology should embrace the depth of the whole Christian tradition.

Dr. Hatch joined the HPU faculty in the fall of 2011 as part of the School of Christian Studies. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on subjects including the Bible, theology and Christian ethics. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Brownwood with their four young children and are members of First Baptist Church.

As a tribute, “Weaving the American Catholic Tapestry: Essays in Honor of William L. Portier,” was co-edited by Dr. Hatch and Timothy R. Gabrielli. It is a festschrift, which is an honorary book composed of a collection of essays to honor a particular scholar book 1toward the end of his or her career. Dr. Portier, the man whom the book honors, served as Dr. Hatch’s Ph.D. dissertation supervisor. He is a scholar of American Catholicism at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, and serves there as professor and the Mary Ann Spearin chair of Catholic theology.

“The title of the book comes from the symbolism of different strands woven together to make a single tapestry just as Dr. Portier wove together his  different interests and aspects of American Catholicism,” said Dr. Hatch.

The book, released in 2017, contains essays from 15 scholars who were colleagues, previous students and scholars who respected Dr. Portier’s work. It took four years to complete, from idea to print.

“It was definitely a labor of love and great way to show the love and deep respect that we all have for William Portier,” said Dr. Hatch.

Another book, “Thinking with the Church: Toward a Renewal of Baptist Theology,” was written exclusively by Dr. Hatch. It was released earlier this year through Cascade Books and is part of a series by the publisher called “Free Church, Catholic Tradition” written for Free Church Protestants, of book 2which Baptists are a part. The book series is designed to help people engage the wider Christian tradition. Reflecting biblically, theologically and liturgically on Jesus, the book offers tradition and catholicity as major themes.

“To take Jesus seriously is to take the whole tradition seriously, including all Christian thinking from the apostles forward,” said Dr. Hatch. “Baptists are an important part of that, but they only came on the scene in 1609 – a mere 400 years ago.

Because of this, he went on to say, as Baptists see themselves participating in the whole church, they find new light for understanding the Bible, the life of the church and questions of religious freedom.

Although this book began as his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Hatch said it turned out to be a more heavily revised version of his actual dissertation.

“Your audience tends to change when writing for a dissertation or for a book,” he said. “Also, an author’s thinking evolves over time in that he or she thinks of better ways to say things and learns more as time goes on.”

Dr. Hatch uses his love and study of theology not only to research topics for scholarship but also in his teaching so that his students will be a benefit to the church as a whole. He aims to recognize theology in the many facets of his life including parenting, teaching, research and writing.

“A theologian at his or her best is a theologian for the church,” he said. “My love of theology is not limited to only one area of my life. I don’t think I would be a good teacher or person if I wasn’t always writing and pushing myself in scholarly endeavors and research in theology.”

These and other books to which Dr. Hatch has contributed or written are available for purchase on Amazon.com. For more information, contact Dr. Hatch at dhatch@hputx.edu or 325-649-8135.

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Cutline: Scholarly works by Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies at HPU, are featured in two recently published books.

HPU’s accelerated Christian studies program provides the opportunity to earn two degrees in five years

Dr. Wheelington grad class 2018BROWNWOOD – May 31, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies offers its majors the opportunity to complete either a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry or a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry one year after completing an undergraduate degree.

Students who have completed 75 hours of classes and have a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply for entry to the accelerated master’s program. In the accelerated program, students take 12 hours of graduate classes as a part of their undergraduate studies. These hours also count toward a 42-hour graduate degree.

Anna Lauren Jeffers is a graduate student in the program set to graduate in December 2018. She is currently serving at West University Baptist Church in Houston as the KidStuff preschool ministry director. Because of this position, she has been able to see how the program is benefiting her.

“I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to work towards my master’s degree while also being surrounded and supported by professors who cared about me as a student, a person and a minister,” said Jeffers. “I am able to be a better minister because of this investment.”

The accelerated master’s program was begun in 2012 to allow Christian studies majors to efficiently earn a graduate degree. At HPU, there is financial assistance available to graduate students in the School of Christian Studies.

“We offer a church match scholarship for grad students,” said Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of graduate programs in the School of Christian Studies. “If a church gives $100 per hour, HPU will match that.”

He added that there is an additional benefit for students of the accelerated program. Typically, graduate courses in the School of Christian Studies will include students who are currently serving as full-time ministers in churches.

“When you are in this accelerated program, you are in classes with our other grad students, so you begin to build this great network of fellow students,” said Dr. Gramling. “If you can make some lifelong friends in ministry, they will be a wonderful network of encouragement and support to you in the days to come.”

Another important feature is the focus of the Christian studies faculty, staff and students.

“This is the part in the journey where students get to come and be prepared for what it is God is calling them to do,” said Dr. Gramling. “We do not want you to major in Christian studies unless you sense God has put it in your heart to do that. That is a great thing for us though because we get to welcome in men and women who feel called by God to a certain ministry vocation.”

Jeffers noted the ways her classes in the accelerated program have taught her and encouraged growth.

“I learned valuable lessons in the classroom that challenged me to think deeper and grow in knowledge,” she said. “I also learned equally important lessons out of the classroom about serving and loving people by watching the professors at HPU embody their teaching.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Undergraduate students at HPU have the opportunity to take graduate courses through the accelerated Christian studies program.

Kaitlyn Bush pursues ministry and music at HPU

Kaitlyn BushBROWNWOOD – May 30, 2018 – Kaitlyn Bush has long had a connection to Howard Payne University. The HPU senior, majoring in practical theology and minoring in music, said living just a few miles outside of Brownwood meant the university was a familiar feature throughout her early years.

She says her youth pastors, HPU alumni Dustin Wright ’12 and Seth Pitman ’11, MATM ’15, brought their students to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’s discipleship camp Super Summer at HPU. These trips were some of her early experiences at the university.

“While at Super Summer, I got to meet members of the Christian studies department who were helping,” she said. “It seemed like a really encouraging atmosphere.”

This encouraging atmosphere and the closeness of the HPU community, found in the relationships of faculty, staff and students, is a key part of what makes the university special in Bush’s eyes.

“I feel like everyone cares about everyone,” she said. “Where else are you going to see that?”

She has found the School of Christian Studies to be full of great people with meaningful experiences. The faculty’s familiarity with a variety of ministries imparts a unique value to the education that they offer their students.

“What our Christian studies faculty are teaching us is important on its own, but also a lot of it comes from their personal experiences,” she said. “What they have experienced is not going to be very different from what we are going through or will go through as ministers, so their knowledge is very helpful.”

When she first came to HPU, Bush knew God was leading her to pursue a life serving in music ministry.

“I came to HPU to become equipped for music ministry and decided I wanted to focus on the ministry aspect of this and study toward a major in the Christian Studies department,” she said. “However, because music is a part of my calling and also a passion of mine, I chose to minor in music.”

Bush is active in the HPU music department in addition to pursuing a life of ministry. In the fall, she plays the mellophone and marching horn while also serving as a drum major. During the spring concert season, she plays in HPU’s Symphonic Band.

Music has played a significant role in her life. While in high school, Bush said she benefited from her participation in her high school’s band. In addition to spurring personal growth, music brings her enjoyment even when practicing.

“In music, there are compositions from great composers who express feeling through music,” said Bush. “Knowing this and getting to play that expression is meaningful, especially when the expression aligns with your life and experience.”

Thanks to the faculty of HPU’s music department, she has been able to follow God’s leading in an atmosphere conducive to learning about a subject she loves.

“The professors in the music department are so talented and knowledgeable,” said Bush. “They care about our lives, not just about what we are playing, but what is going on in our personal lives.”

As she nears the final year of her time at HPU, Bush reflected on what the university has meant to her life.

“Hopefully when you leave these walls you are a reflection of what you are learning and a reflection of the God you serve,” she said. “The person I was when first arriving on campus two years ago is different than the person I am now. I am definitely shaping and forming as a person and it’s because of the people pouring into my life.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: Kaitlyn Bush has chosen to follow the passions God has given her, pursuing a life in music ministry.

HPU honors six students for servant leadership

Nat Tracy Servant Leader awards 2018, Josh Dykes, Jordan PitmanBROWNWOOD – May 22, 2018 – Six Howard Payne University students were recently honored for acts of servant leadership on campus and in the community. The awards were presented during HPU’s annual Servant Leadership Program.

The Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award was presented to spring 2018 graduates Josh Dykes and Jordan Pitman. Dykes, a native of Mount Pleasant, majored in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and youth ministry with a minor in Spanish. Pitman, a native of Bangs, majored in cross-cultural studies with a minor in psychology.

HPU Servant Leadership Awards were presented to juniors Jessica Catlett, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social work major from Alleyton; Sarah Fernandez, education major from Goliad; Caleb Kostreva, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major and social science major from Clifton, Colorado; and Emma Reed, Guy D. Newman Honors academy major and family studies major from Arlington.

“Formally recognizing servant leadership is an indication that it is an attribute highly valued by the university,” said Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies. “As a Christian university, we cherish the type of servant leadership demonstrated most clearly by Jesus Christ.”

The Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award was established in 1998 to honor the life of the late Dr. Nat Tracy, a member of HPU’s Bible faculty from 1950 to 1975.

Dykes is the son of Chris and Martha Dykes of Mount Pleasant. He was involved in the Ministerial Alliance, Student Government Association, Student Appeals Committee, Baptist Student Ministry (BSM), BSM state lead team, Mock Trial and Model United Nations and Delta Epsilon Omega Christian-service fraternity. He also served as a resident assistant in one of the men’s residence halls. Dykes received the Servant Leadership Award in 2017, made honorable mention as Model United Nations delegate in 2017, received the Model United Nations Distinguished Delegation Award in the fall of 2017 and was the outstanding youth ministry student in 2017. He serves in youth ministry at Southside Baptist Church in Brownwood and plans to spend the next year doing mission work in Gracias, Honduras, with 61 Isaiah Ministries.

Pitman is the daughter of Seth and Amy Pitman of Bangs. She was involved in the Ministerial Alliance in which she served as vice president and president, Pi Theta Chi Christian-service sorority, BSM, BSM state lead team, Jacket Ambassadors, Psi Chi International Psychology Honor Society and Gamma Beta Phi honor society. She also served as a student worker for HPU’s University Services office running A/V for campus events. Pitman has served as a Mission Friends leader to children at Zephyr Baptist Church in Zephyr, a youth worker at First Baptist Church in Bangs and part of HPU’s summer staff working with and serving the needs of the university’s summer camps. She was honored as a Currie-Strickland Scholar in Christian Ethics and Theology in 2017 and a Young Maston Scholar in 2018. Pitman plans to finish her Master of Arts degree in theology and ministry at HPU in spring 2019. After completing her education, she plans to work in immediate-disaster-response ministry by running an organization that can monitor weather patterns and deploy relief and aid teams soon after disasters occur.

HPU Servant Leadership Awards 2018Established in 2007 by the Moore Foundation and Barney II Foundation, the HPU Servant Leadership Award recognizes student excellence in the areas of service and leadership. A $1,000 scholarship is provided to each recipient of the award, and each student designates $250 of the scholarship award to be given to his or her chosen charity.

Catlett is the daughter of Bart and Amy Catlett of Alleyton. A Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, she is also involved in the Social Work Club, BSM leadership team, Gamma Beta Phi honor society and Spring Sing committee for 2017. Catlett has also served as a resident assistant in the women’s residence hall on campus. She volunteers in the children’s AWANA program at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood and at Good Samaritan Ministries in Brownwood. She has been an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars since 2013. After she graduates, Catlett wants to become a licensed social worker.

Fernandez is the daughter of Lee and Nycki Fernandez of Goliad. She is involved in the BSM and Pi Theta Chi Christian-service sorority, in which she is the organization’s vice president for philanthropy and missions. Fernandez interns at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church in Brownwood and has participated many times in the “Love Brownwood” ministry that her church hosts as well as other mission- and child-related ministries. After she graduates, she plans to be a teacher and also hopes to work with victims of human-trafficking in whatever way God leads, whether by volunteering or being part of an organization that spreads awareness.

Kostreva is the son of Kyle and Michelle Kostreva of Clifton, Colorado. He is involved in the BSM through its drama ministry, community groups, student-led worship and leadership team. He is also involved in the Alpha Psi Omega theatre organization, HPU theatre, Mock Trial team and the Model United Nations team. Kostreva is a resident assistant at one of the men’s residence halls on campus and is part of the Student Government Association as well as the Christian Association of Student Leaders 2019 conference planning committee. He also studied abroad in China during 2016 and had the opportunity to volunteer at the Shanghai Healing Home, an orphanage for disabled and special-needs children. When he graduates, Kostreva plans to engage in humanitarian aid and policy development for underserved and oppressed populations throughout the world.

Reed is the daughter of Philip and Regina Reed of Arlington. A Hatton W. Sumners Scholar, she is also involved in the Model United Nations team, Gamma Beta Phi honor society and Pi Theta Chi Christian-service sorority in which she serves as meeting facilitator. Reed was also the Christian Association of Student Leaders executive committee president. After she graduates, Reed plans to become a Child Life specialist working in children’s hospitals with kids and their families. She will pursue a graduate degree and certification from the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Nominations for both the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award and the HPU Servant Leadership Award are solicited each spring from HPU employees and students.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutlines:

  1. Nat Tracy Servant Leader Awards were presented to HPU seniors Josh Dykes and Jordan Pitman.

2.  HPU Servant Leadership Awards were presented to HPU juniors, from left, Jessica Catlett, Sarah Fernandez, Caleb Kostreva and Emma Reed.

God transforms HPU senior Jordan Pitman’s passion into calling

Jordan Pitman - HPU 2018BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2018 – As Jordan Pitman, Howard Payne University senior from Bangs, would attest, God cares deeply about the individual interests and desires of His children. In fact, Pitman, who will be among the graduates crossing the Commencement stage this Saturday, has already witnessed God planting passions in her heart and beginning to cultivate them for His purpose.

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to chase storms,” she said. “My favorite movie is ‘Twister’ and I watch it all the time. I knew that I wanted to study meteorology to help people understand weather patterns and to help keep them safe.”

God further clarified Pitman’s future career path through a mission opportunity in high school. While a student in the youth group at First Baptist Church of Gonzales, Pitman had her first experience with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery program. BOUNCE offers high school students the opportunity to assist communities in recovery efforts following natural disasters.

Pitman and others from her youth group traveled to Moore, Oklahoma, one year after a massive tornado ripped through the community, killing 24 people and leaving utter destruction in its wake.

“I was shocked to see how much help the community needed even after a year,” she said. “I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to come in and help after a real disaster like that.”

Though her plan from a young age had been to study weather patterns to forewarn individuals of impending storms, God used BOUNCE to show Pitman a new calling in life. Rather than chasing storms, she would be arriving in communities after disasters to serve people and help them rebuild their lives.

“It’s great that I don’t have to stray too far from a career that is related to meteorology,” she said. “It’s a blessing from God that He still uses my desires to fulfill His Kingdom work.”

Pitman, who had previously been applying to universities to study meteorology, changed her focus to ministry. Through prayer and research, God led her to HPU. She’s found HPU’s faculty and staff to be supportive spiritually as well as academically.

“I am able to tell my professors when my week has been rough and ask them for extra prayer,” she said. “I’ve also found the faculty and staff to be great resources as I continue my ministry work.”

In the summer of 2017, Pitman returned to BOUNCE as a member of the collegiate staff. She served as the communications/missions specialist as the team traveled to five relief locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. At each location, the collegiate staff of four individuals worked with a different group of high school students – around 600 in all – to provide relief and support to those in need.

“My job was to reach out to local media contacts to hopefully get them to cover the relief work we were doing in their communities,” she said. “I also promoted different future mission opportunities to the students at each location. I encourage other people to get involved, even if it’s not with BOUNCE. Through service to others, I was able to experience God in a new way by seeing how He is moving in people’s lives.”

At HPU, Pitman has continued to serve God by serving her classmates and her community. She is an active member of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry, serving as a ministry co-leader as well as on the BSM State Lead Team. She is president of the Ministerial Alliance, which seeks to prepare men and women preparing for ministry; is a member of the Pi Theta Chi sorority; a member of HPU’s Gamma Beta Phi scholastic honor and educational-service organization; and a member of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology students. She is also a member of Appointed, an organization that strives to encourage ministry-driven women. In addition to her work through BOUNCE, she has participated in mission opportunities through the BSM and Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions.

HPU designated Pitman as a 2017 Currie-Strickland Scholar in Christian Ethics and Theology and Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary named her one of the 2018 Young Maston Scholars, an honor given each year to two students from each partnering Texas Baptist university. Additionally, Pitman was named a 2018 recipient of HPU’s Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award, given to selected HPU students in acknowledgement of their character and commitment to service honoring Jesus Christ. She was also recognized as an Outstanding Christian Studies Student during HPU’s spring Academic Awards Convocation.

A cross-cultural studies major in HPU’s Christian studies accelerated degree program – through which students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in as few as five years – Pitman will return to the HPU campus in the fall to complete her Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree.

Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s graduate programs in Christian studies, said, in his experience, it is unusual for a person so young to have such a defined sense of what God is calling her to be and do.

“Jordan’s love for missions, compassion for others, and thoughtful approach to service combine to make her a wonderful minister,” he said. “Since I have known her, Jordan has continually articulated a sense that God is calling her to help those in need, especially those who find themselves in need due to natural disasters or other emergency situations. Because of her gifts, experience, and genuine devotion to Christ, I believe God will use Jordan greatly in the days ahead.”

HPU’s Commencement will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum. For more information and a livestream of the event, visit www.hputx.edu/commencement.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu

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Cutline: Howard Payne University senior Jordan Pitman pursues her passion through God’s calling on her life.