February 8, 2024
In January, four Asbury Bible-Theology professors participated in the John Wesley Institute’s New Methodism Summit II in Alexandria, Va. Dr. Brian Shelton ’89, Dr. Suzanne Nicholson, Dr. Kevin Anderson, and Dr. Joy Vaughan joined a collection of scholars and church leaders to craft a document on Wesleyan values related to the topic of holiness to offer theological guidance to a Methodist church in transition.
“This enterprise is important for the emergence of the Global Methodist Church and the continuing United Methodist Church, both of whom are revisiting scripture and their Wesleyan heritage to establish their theological identity,” said Shelton, who serves as Asbury University’s Wesley Scholar-in-residence and chair of the Christian Studies & Philosophy Department. “Every generation finds its people revisiting who they are and what they believe —not necessarily to change their values but to reinforce them. This is an exciting time for Methodism, and it was an honor to help shape a revitalized vision for the church.”
In 2022, the Next Methodism Summit provided a foundation of Wesleyan theology that led to the production of The Faith Once Delivered: A Wesleyan Witness to Christian Orthodoxy (Seedbed, 2024), “offered as a guide to help clarify the theological trajectory of Methodism for the next century and beyond.”
Asbury professors share about their experiences serving at the 2024 summit.
“With nearly 70 scholars at work on a document for the church describing holiness of heart and life, the group at my table worked on the section about holiness in scripture,” said Nicholson, who recently contributed her expertise in Revival Roundtable, a five-part video series produced by City on a Hill Productions. “It was a challenging yet wonderful process to collaborate on our writing with amazing colleagues and the Holy Spirit.”
“It was a high privilege to gather with world-class scholars and clergy to confirm and clarify the truth of scriptural holiness and to commend an ‘optimism of grace’ for full Christian discipleship in our churches — at a time when holiness is needed now more than ever,” said Anderson, who published “Hebrews and the General Epistles,” a new book in the “Reading and Interpreting the Bible Series,” in October.
“My heart is full after being among so many brilliant men and women who love God so deeply,” said Vaughan, who published her book, Phenomenal Phenomena: Biblical and Multicultural Accounts of Spirits and Exorcism, in September. “It was such an honor to join this group of Wesleyan scholars for the John Wesley Institute Summit on Next Methodism.”
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. Asbury Online offers a major in Leadership & Ministry: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/degrees/online/leadership-ministry/.