Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Steven Harmon

Associate Professor of Historical theology Seeks to Encourage and Support Christian Unity

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Steven Harmon

Guided by the words of Jesus in the New Testament, Dr. Steven R. Harmon’s research focuses on Christian unity. “In John Chapter 17, Jesus prayed that his followers might be one as he and the father are one, so the world might believe that God had sent Jesus,” said Harmon, associate professor of historical theology for the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity. “If we can have more visible, more discernable, forms of unity the world can see, the world may believe because of seeing the unity we have in Christ.”

Recently, Harmon completed his fifth book, which was co-edited and partially co-authored with Dr. Amy L. Chilton, visiting professor of religion at Wingate University. Titled “Sources of Light: Resources for Baptist Churches Practicing Theology,” it will be published in 2020 by Mercer University Press. The collection includes chapters from a diverse group of 23 Baptist theologians. Their insights can help the local church discern how to be a part of God’s mission in the world.

Harmon received his Ph.D. in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He has taught at Southwestern, Howard Payne University (Brownwood, Texas), Campbell University Divinity School (Buies Creek, N.C.), Duke University Divinity School (Durham, N.C.) Samford University, Beeson Divinity School (Birmingham, Ala.), and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Columbia, S.C.) He’s written several articles for academic journals and also presented numerous lectures at various scholarly conferences.

Another of Harmon’s ongoing projects is a book about ecumenical pioneers, individuals and institutions that have championed Christian unity. He’s written four chapters after presenting draft versions of them at academic society meetings. The draft of a fifth chapter was given as the Carlyle Marney Lecture at Carson-Newman University on Oct. 31. His subject was Marney’s close friend, Claude Broach, a Southern Baptist pastor who sought unity with the Catholic church and other denominations. Broach was pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church in Charlotte, from 1944-1974, and then served as director of the Wake Forest University/Belmont Abbey College Ecumenical Institute, from 1974-1979.

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