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HPU honors six students at recent Currie-Strickland lectures

BROWNWOOD – March 6, 2023 – Howard Payne University honored six students as Currie-Strickland Scholars during the 15th Currie-Strickland Lectures in Christian Ethics, held recently on the HPU campus. The event featured guest lecturer Dr. Clark Elliston, associate professor of religion and philosophy at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

Students honored were Daniel Archer, a junior from Houston majoring in civic leadership and public policy, and youth ministry; Landon Clark, a senior from Joshua majoring in Bible; Austin Griffin, a junior from Alvord, majoring in Bible and practical theology; Cara Juergens, a sophomore from Deer Park, majoring in kinesiology all-level certification; and Zoe Sprayberry, a junior from Bonham majoring in Christian education and math education.

Dr. Gary Gramling, dean of the School of Christian Studies, director of graduate programs in Christian studies and professor of Christian studies, oversees the event each year.

“I’m so thankful we were able to host the event this year to recognize these outstanding students and hear from Dr. Elliston,” Dr. Gramling said. “It was especially meaningful this year because of the close friendships between the Currie, Strickland and Elliston families.”

Dr. Elliston centered his presentation on the theme of “Flourishing in a Technological Age: Cultivating Rest.”

Dr. Elliston’s research interests lie at the intersection of constructive theology and wider issues of culture. He has published work on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, film and theology, and human flourishing in a technological age. When not engaged in teaching and writing, he enjoys his family, the outdoors and books.

“Dr. Elliston is an engaging speaker and his topic was so timely,” said Dr. Gramling. “His insight on intentional rest was a valuable message to all who attended. We are glad for the privilege of hosting him on our campus.”

The Currie-Strickland lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. Gary Elliston and was established to honor the life of Dr. David R. Currie, retired executive director of Texas Baptists Committed; and the memory of Phil Strickland, who dedicated nearly 40 years of ministry to the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Christian Life Commission.


Cutline #1: Pictured are Currie-Strickland Scholars Landon Clark of Joshua, Zoe Sprayberry of Bonham, Austin Griffin of Alvord, Cara Juergens of Deer Park and Daniel Archer of Houston. They are joined by HPU faculty and administrators Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, Chuck Gartman, Jordan Villanueva, Dr. Gary Gramling and Dr. Cory Hines.

Cutline #2: Dr. Clark Elliston speaks during HPU’s 15th Currie-Strickland Distinguished Lectures in Christian Ethics.