Alum Serves as New Wesley Scholar at Asbury

Thanks to gifts made through “Ignited: The Campaign for Asbury University,” Chris Bounds ‘88 serves as Asbury’s new Wesley Scholar and chair of the Christian Studies and Philosophy department.

WILMORE, Ky. — In some ways, “Ignited: The Campaign for Asbury University” looks to Asbury’s future. The most comprehensive campaign in Asbury’s history, Ignited supports the building of a state-of-the-art Collaborative Learning Center and the revitalization of the Student Center — two projects that will impact students for generations to come.

In other ways, though, Ignited also looks to the present. Recruiting & Equipping Faculty is just one example of the ways Ignited is already making a difference in campus life.

Dr. Chris Bounds ’88, a pastor, theologian and well-known voice for the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, is a recent addition to Asbury’s faculty. Thanks to gifts made through Ignited, he serves as Asbury’s new Wesley Scholar and chair of the Christian Studies and Philosophy Department.

Through writing, research, teaching, preaching and conversation, Bounds uses his role as Wesley Scholar to share Asbury’s distinctive Wesleyan-Holiness perspective.

“We share great common ground with all the major Christian traditions, and every major Christian tradition has a distinctive voice that we all need to hear,” Bounds said. “My role is to help highlight, not just the great common ground that we share with others, but also the distinctive theology that we bring to the table of the body of Christ. 

Provost Jon Kulaga says Bounds’ grounding in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition allows him to be an important voice, not only on Asbury’s campus, but also in the wider culture. 

“As we think about engaging the culture, one of the things we talk about is, ‘Who is speaking into the culture from a Wesleyan perspective?’” Kulaga said. “Chris has the capacity to not only be that person externally, but also to help drive those conversations on campus.”

With theological commitments encompassing the breadth of the Christian faith and rooted in Asbury’s Wesleyan-Holiness heritage, Bounds brings a valuable perspective to the Christian Studies and Philosophy Department. Without funding from Ignited, though, he says his position would not have been available.

“Ignited provides a wonderful way to bring in mission-fit faculty,” Bounds said. “It makes it possible to bring in someone who would contribute to what is already being done here, even if that is not part of the regular budget. And they wouldn’t be able to do that without the funding through the Ignited Campaign.” 

In his new position, Bounds looks forward to helping students explore their faith — a process that shapes them and equips them to impact the world for Christ.

“Students in Asbury’s Christian Studies and Philosophy Department are well grounded in a historic Christian faith that will form and shape them as Christians, and as pastor-theologians,” Bounds said. “What we do here is not merely informational — it’s formational. 

 

To learn more about "Ignited: The Campaign for Asbury University," visit: asbury.edu/Ignited.

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