The HPU team led ministry activities among the Roma and Slovak people and learned from Shane and Dianne McNary, field personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
“It was our privilege and joy to be able to interact with such a dynamic and talented group of young scholars,” wrote the McNarys in an e-mail newsletter following the trip.
Dr. Maxwell’s class prepared for the trip the semester prior by studying short-term missions along with the history and culture of the area and the Roma people.
“The Roma are a people group in Europe who are often marginalized and frequently live in poverty,” said Dr. Maxwell. “We were blessed with the opportunity to briefly serve among the Roma alongside the McNarys.”
Among other activities, the group taught English at a public school in Važec and hosted a Bible school for Roma children in partnership with Jekh Drom, a local non-profit. They also connected with Word for the World – Slovakia, a group of people translating the Bible into a local Roma dialect, and the Slovak Bible Society who has partnered with the group in publishing and distributing the Bibles.
“This trip specifically taught me about the importance of having cross-cultural knowledge and how that shapes our presentation of the Gospel,” said Zoe Emley, junior from Natalia. “This trip was one where I felt that I gained an overwhelming amount of great information about Slovak and Roma culture and the culture of short-term missions.”
Before departing from Europe, the team traveled to Poland where they visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, Schindler Museum and the Polish Roma Association Museum.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that what we did as tourists directly related to who we had been working with while we were on mission,” said Kara Strange, May 2017 graduate from Fredericksburg. “Our tourism was not without a purpose.”
Tara Carroll, junior from McKinney, said the trip taught her that God speaks to everyone differently.
“God transcends human limitations and can transcend cultural differences as well,” she said. “The Gospel is multifaceted and can to speak to everyone in many ways. God has used the McNarys to do beautiful work in Slovakia and with the Roma people. We were able to come alongside this work with them for a short time. They will continue to do this Gospel work long after we are gone.”
In addition to Emley, Strange and Carroll, those on the trip included Daniel Harris, May 2017 graduate from Boerne; Kindell Hill, junior from Jarrell; Tom Kyle, May 2017 graduate from Salado; Anthony McCarson, May 2017 graduate from San Angelo; Erin McCleer, junior from San Angeolo; and Caitlin Vincent, junior from Brownwood.
Cutline: A group from HPU completed a short-term mission immersion experience in Slovakia at the beginning of the summer. They are pictured at the High Tatra Mountains as they traveled from Slovakia to Poland. Left to right: Caitlin Vincent, Kara Strange, Kindell Hill, Keith Platte, Erin McCleer, Tom Kyle, Zoe Emley, Anthony McCarson, Tara Carroll, Daniel Harris and Dr. Melody Maxwell.
Information for this press release was provided by Hardin-Simmons University.
BROWNWOOD – May 5, 2017 – Howard Payne University students Caitlin Alexander, junior from Brownwood, and Adam Jones, senior from Irving, were among 18 Texas Baptist students recently honored as 2017 Young Maston Scholars by Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary. The awards were announced during the 17th annual T.B. Maston Lectures in Christian Ethics held on the HSU campus.
Each year, officials from partnering Texas Baptist universities nominate two students from their universities to become Young Maston Scholars, an award recognizing outstanding undergraduate students for their interest in, engagement with and integration of Christian ethics. Nominations for the award are based upon a student’s demonstrated faithfulness to the ethical example of Christ; a commitment to Christian ethics lived out in theological inquiry and academic excellence; an established reputation among peers for ethical Christian leadership; and an articulated clarity in an occupational expression of ministry, though it is not required to be in a congregational setting.
Alexander majors in cross-cultural studies and elementary education. Jones, a Guy D. Newman Honors Academy student, majors in Christian education and youth ministry. Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of HPU’s School of Christian Studies, nominated the pair for the award.
“I was proud to nominate Caitlin and Adam for this honor from our sister institution,” said Dr. Auvenshine. “They are both excellent representatives of HPU’s values and commitment to Christian education.”
For more information about Howard Payne University’s School of Christian Studies, visit www.hputx.edu/christianstudies or call 325-649-8403. More information about Hardin-Simmons University may be found at www.hsutx.edu.
BROWNWOOD – April 11, 2017 – Representatives from Howard Payne University were among those in New York City recently for the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Thanks to the Baptist World Alliance, two HPU faculty members, two students and a recent graduate were able to attend the UN conference among diplomats and other leaders from around the world.
HPU representatives included Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies; Jennifer McNiece, assistant professor of government and director of international studies and academic travel; Elizabeth Allen, senior cross-cultural studies major from Brownwood; Rebeca Puente, senior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and jurisprudence social science major from Waskom; and Jessi Jordan, a 2015 HPU graduate now studying at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut.
The Commission on the Status of Women helps shape global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Through her connections with the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance, a fellowship of Baptist conventions and unions from around the world, Dr. Maxwell received five conference passes. Others representing the BWA included female leaders from each continent and representatives from 14 countries.
“The conference discussed what life is like for women around the world,” Dr. Maxwell said. “It was eye-opening to learn about issues that many women face and a great opportunity for our student leaders to discuss issues related to women. Learning about these topics alongside outstanding Baptist women from across the globe was an invaluable experience.”
Puente, who is preparing for a career in law, spoke about the opportunity to meet with leaders from around the world.
“At one of the events, I sat next to the Minister on Gender Equality for Iceland and listened to him talk about the work he’s doing for gender equality in his country,” she said. “At another event, women parliamentarians from around the world told us about their experiences facing violence in their countries because they are women in politics.”
As Christians at a largely secular conference, the HPU group members were tasked with considering how their faith speaks to such issues. Together with leaders from the Baptist World Alliance Women’s Department, they prayed for the women of the world and discussed how the love of Christ motivated them to serve women in need.
“Our students, who are moving toward careers in ministry and law, were able to think about how they can be Christian leaders in today’s society,” said McNiece.
Cutline: A group from Howard Payne University recently attended the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women conference in New York City. Left to right: Dr. Melody Maxwell, Jennifer McNiece, Rebeca Puente, Jessi Jordan and Elizabeth Allen.
BROWNWOOD – March 10, 2017 – Four Howard Payne University students were named Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology at the university’s tenth annual Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics event in late February.
Those honored include Joseph Flanigan, junior cross-cultural studies major from Round Rock; Kindell Hill, junior cross-cultural studies major from Salado; Daniel Palacios, senior practical theology major from Kaufman; and Jordan Pitman, junior cross-cultural studies major from Bangs.
Each year, the scholars are selected based on an evaluation of achievement in their classes and on the ways they have excelled in their thinking in the fields of Christian ethics and theology. This year, each student received a certificate and two books including “Do Justice, Love Mercy” by Phil Strickland.
“We are very proud of these four students and their accomplishments,” said Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies. “Among all of our wonderful HPU students, these four exemplify what it means to be dedicated to serious critical reflection within the life of the church.”
For more information, contact HPU’s School of Christian Studies at 325-649-8403.
Cutline: HPU recently named four students as Currie-Strickland Scholars in Christian Ethics and Theology. Left to right: Kindell Hill, Jordan Pitman, Daniel Palacios, Joseph Flanigan and Dr. Derek Hatch, associate professor of Christian studies.
Realism and idealism combine to offer a Christian social ethic (Baptist Standard)
HPU sends 17 to Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Conference (Brownwood Bulletin)