October 11, 2023
Asbury Professor of Theology Dr. Brian Shelton ’89 recently served as keynote speaker for an international symposium at the Francis Asbury Society (FAS) with panelists Dr. Suzanne Nicholson, Dr. Christopher Bounds ’88, and President of FAS Reverend Bill Kierce. As part of the Dennis F. Kinlaw Symposium for Theological Dialogue, Shelton’s topic surrounded “The Positive Principle of Prevenient Grace.” Sixty participants from around the world attended the event, including pastors, students, and faculty from Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary.
“Prevenient grace is the divine act of God coming to each lost sinner to draw him or her to Him, enabling and kindling a desire for something beyond the human condition of sin,” Shelton said. “The symposium advanced what the Bible seems to testify to all the world: The grace of God has come to all, and the Holy Spirit invites all to come to God.”
As an Asbury alumnus, Shelton received his M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in historical theology from Saint Louis University. With numerous articles and books published, Shelton released “Prevenient Grace: God’s Provision for Fallen Humanity” in 2014, ultimately sharing about the merits and implications of prevenient grace at the FAS symposium. Learn more: https://www.asbury.edu/about/directory/brian-shelton/.
In 1983, Dr. Dennis F. Kinlaw and Dr. Harold Burgess co-founded FAS with a purpose “to spread the message of Scriptural holiness to the ends of the earth in accordance with the Great Commission.” According to their website, FAS “is made up of people who have resolved to live and proclaim the truth that complete Christian salvation involves not only forgiveness, but also complete transformation through the Holy Spirit’s power.” Learn more: https://francisasburysociety.com/.
Shelton encourages current Asbury students to engage the world and to grow in knowledge and faith.
For Asbury students interested in traveling to Rome, Italy, and fulfilling up to two foundational courses (ENG 205: Literature and Culture and TH 250: Foundations of Christian Thought), Shelton recommends the two-week study tour in May 2024. He will co-lead the trip with Professor of English Dr. Daniel Strait. Learn more: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/global-initiatives-programs/travel-courses/.
“This tour is for students who love the humanities — especially literature and theology,” Shelton said. “The two subjects intersect before the student in this experience, such as Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ as literature that displays theological thought in the very city of Florence where he wrote it.”
An additional opportunity with the Christian Studies & Philosophy Department involves a two-week trip to Jordan for students to support and study local organizations in their community development efforts. This trip will be led by Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies Dr. Sam Kim in late April 2024.
“This trip will take a look at the historical, cultural and religious context of the Jordanian church and will offer interaction with church leaders and missionaries learning how the Church is contextualizing the Christian Gospel, hoping to appropriately reach a population,” Kim said. “Students also will be exposed to an overview of the development of the Christian faith within the Jordanian cultural and historical context from its inception up to the present day.”
The Asbury University Christian Studies & Philosophy Department offers seven majors and six minors for traditional undergraduate students, including youth ministry, Bible-theology, intercultural studies, and pastoral ministries. The online program offers a major in leadership and ministry: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/degrees/online/leadership-ministry/.