Character and Leadership

The most important factor to consider when choosing a leader is not their beliefs or ideas, but their character.  Experience, vision, ideas, and strategies are all important, but character trumps all.  A leader can gain experience.  Vision, ideas, and strategies change, but character tells who a leader really is and what they will do. Jeremiah [...]

Foundation for the Future

Many years ago, when my wife Amy and I visited New York City for the first time, I was in awe of the size of the skyscrapers. New York City boasts over 6,000 tall buildings and over 250 Skyscrapers. I was impressed and somewhat mesmerized by these giants and so curious to know what it [...]

Skills in Ministry

What does it take to be an effective minister of the gospel? That was the question that launched Rockbridge Seminary. When we began this new approach to seminary education, we worked with hundreds of pastors to identified 35 competencies for effective ministry. Those competencies were organized by purpose: fellowship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism, and worship. Out [...]

The Meaning of Commencement

Commencement comes from a Latin word that means inception or beginning. The name refers to the ceremony of initiation for new scholars into the fellowship of university teachers in medieval Europe. The event marked their entrance into full-fledged academic lives. In other words, those who had been taught were expected now to teach others what [...]

Juneteenth

I live in Galveston, Texas, where Juneteenth, the celebration of the emancipation of slaves, originated.  It was on June 19th, 1865, that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed on our island with the news that the war had ended and slaves were now free.  This news was two and a half years [...]

Passing the Baton

Dear Members of the Rockbridge Seminary Community, Over a year ago, I announced my plans to retire as president at the end of 2020. The board of trustees and I have been working on a succession plan to select the next president. It has been an awesome privilege and honor to serve as one of [...]

The Power of Ministry Coaches

One group of servant leaders who invest in the lives of our students are local mentors.  Rockbridge students are required to enlist local ministry coaches for every course.  Our students serve in a wide variety of settings, including small rural churches, ministry organizations, large urban churches, and in other countries and language groups.  The coaches [...]

It’s Friday, but . . .

This Sunday will be the most unusual Easter we have experienced in our lifetime. We will not dress up in our spring outfits or gather with others at a church building.  We will not be together with family to enjoy an Easter egg hunt with the kids or eat a lavish meal.  We will not [...]

Coronavirus: What the Church Can Learn from the Black Death Pandemic

In the mid-1300s there was a pandemic so virulent that it killed 75-200 million people in Asia and Europe. Called the Black Death, an estimated 40-50% of Europe’s population died from it during a four-year period. In certain countries the death toll was closer to 75-80% of the population. It took centuries for the population [...]

An abundance of . . .

Churches are being advised to provide hand sanitizer for all visitors during the coronavirus crisis, yet no hand sanitizer can be found.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  One of my friends, who is a Baptist pastor, found a recipe for making your own sanitizer.  Only one problem: It required 190 proof vodka and you [...]