Asbury Prof Explores Salvation Army Theology – Asbury University
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February 3, 2017

A new book by Dr. David Rightmire, professor of Bible and Theology at Asbury Univeristy, explores the holiness foundations of The Salvation Army’s non-sacramental practice.

WILMORE, Ky. — From shared history and theology to a growing educational partnership, Asbury University and The Salvation Army have much in common. In terms of worldview, they’re close cousins — a family connection reinforced in a newly-revised book by Dr. David Rightmire, professor of Bible and Theology at Asbury. 

Rightmire’s book, “The Sacramental Journey of the Salvation Army: A Study in Holiness Foundations,” explores The Salvation Army’s non-sacramental practice — in layman’s terms, its decision not to observe baptism and Communion in its worship services. The book is an extensively revised version of an earlier study published in 1990. Offered at a much more accessible price, the new edition features two new chapters, an updated bibliography (with an additional 138 sources) and a more comprehensive index.

A life-long Salvationist and an Asbury faculty member for 32 years, Rightmire emphasizes that the Salvation Army’s non-sacramental practice is rooted in its Wesleyan-Holiness commitments.

“For the Army, in its commitment to the experience of entire sanctification, the whole focus is on closer communion with Christ,” Rightmire said. “It’s about experiencing the reality of Christ’s presence, not just as something that is present at a ritual or a worship service, but the reality that now Christ is in me and transforming me so that my very life is a sacrament. By loving others and serving others, we are the extension of Christ to the world, and they encounter Christ in and through us.”

Asbury and The Salvation Army share a firm commitment to Wesleyan-Holiness theology — one of many reasons more than 500 Salvation Army students have attended Asbury since 1924.

“Of all the schools you could go to as a Salvationist, this is the one where you will get the best grounding in Wesleyan-Holiness thought,” Rightmire said. “Theologically we have a lot to offer, and many of the leaders within The Salvation Army have come out of Asbury.”


To learn more about Asbury’s Salvation Army programs, visit: