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September 7, 2018

Dr. Chris Bounds ’88, chair of Asbury University’s Christian Studies and Philosophy Department, touches the lives of Asbury students each and every day. Whether he’s instructing students in key Biblical and theological concepts, expounding on deep spiritual messages in Chapels or attending various campus activities, his insightful lessons and continual contributions to campus made him the perfect choice for this year’s Francis White Ewbank Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award was announced during Academic Convocation, the inaugural Chapel of the semester.

The Francis White Ewbank Award for Excellence in Teaching is the University’s highest honor for teaching. The award was created in 2002 by Dr. Paul A. ’56 and Dr. Kay Fuller ’57 Rader and is conferred annually on one full-time faculty member who demonstrates outstanding achievement in teaching effectiveness and spiritual modeling in and outside of the classroom. During the spring semester, graduating seniors submit nominations which are then reviewed by a committee before a final selection is announced at the initial chapel of the fall semester.

“Dr. Bounds is a gifted speaker, teacher and scholar,” Interim Provost Dr. Bonnie Banker said. “In addition to being sought as a speaker at events around the nation and internationally, our Asbury community values him as an engaging Chapel speaker, insightful classroom teacher and an involved campus participant. As well as being fully engaged in our academic endeavors, he actively embraces the campus community in its fullest sense. We are blessed to have him as a part of our Asbury community.”

When he’s not teaching, Bounds contributes to the wider community of academia through extensive research and writing. Read more about his publishing credits here. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at One Mission Society (OMS) and The Francis Asbury Society.

Bounds completed his undergraduate studies at Asbury University, graduating with a degree in Bible and minor in Greek in 1988. Following this, he received his M.Div. degree with a focus in theological studies from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1991. He earned his M. Phil. in 1994 and a Ph.D. with an emphasis in systemic theology in 1997 from Drew University.

He recently returned from presenting a paper at the Oxford Institute for Methodist Theological Studies entitled “Toward a Wesleyan Theology of Revival.” In which, Bounds examines stories of revival in Wesleyan tradition, inspired greatly with Asbury’s own history of revival throughout the ages. Following a successful presentation, Bounds began preparing the paper for submission to academic journal Wesley and Methodist Studies. His current projects also include serving as editor for a patristic devotional wherein Bounds oversees the work of 12 other scholars who are writing entries in the realm of Christology.

“The purpose of this exercise in spiritual formation is to walk a reader through all the major points of Christian doctrine by appropriating the teaching of the Fathers (and some Mothers) in a devotional manner, helping the reader see the relevance of these truths for life and apply them,” Bounds said of the devotional, which should be completed by June 2019.

In the everyday, Bounds paints an excellent picture of what it looks like to walk out the Christian faith and commit one’s life to learning and service.

“At the very heart of who we are as Asburians is the love of God and neighbor,” Bounds said. “We believe that through the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the Holy Spirit can impart to us the life of Christ, so that we can truly walk in holiness and love, fulfilling this command. At the heart of this is having the ‘mind of Christ’ which is to have the heart of a servant (Philippians 2:4-11). It is this empowerment that hopefully forms the foundation for my engagement with the world on a daily basis.”

As both an alumnus and devoted faculty member, Bounds felt honored to be recognized for his hard work and contributions to the University.  

“Wow, [this is] deeply and profoundly humbling,” Bounds said. “Asbury has always been gifted with incredible teachers and spiritual mentors. As an alumnus, I have been the beneficiary of them. I can’t imagine being considered this type of teacher when I look at the level of excellence embodied by my faculty colleagues. They are incredible. Many of them have modeled for me what it is to be a teacher and mentor. Whatever I am as a faculty member is because of the many faculty here who have invested in me.”

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Bounds on being named this year’s Francis White Ewbank awardee and for all of his professional successes.

To learn more about Asbury University’s Christian Studies & Philosophy Department visit asbury.edu/christian-studies-philosophy.