The doctoral program process is rigorous and robust, with great expectations placed upon students in this culminating experience of academic formation. Doctors for the Church was birthed out of a desire to assist doctoral students in divinity and theology programs in adopting the appropriate stance and practicing the correct academic disciplines that will help them to flourish and become doctors.
Chapter One opens the book by exploring the process of doctoral formation in theology as described by the magisterial reformer, Martin Luther. In the second chapter, Mark Jumper roots the journey undertaken by doctoral students in the biblical construct of a vocation. Kevin Spawn follows by mapping out the relationship between scholarship and the Holy Bible, demonstrating how a firm commitment to God’s Word is central to the process of doctoral formation. Chapter Four broadens our horizons as Leroy Gilbert explains that true theological study is always done in and for the community. Jordan Jones introduces us in Chapter Five to the twin disciplines of writing and research and teaches how these disciplines function in robust doctoral formation. In Chapter Six, Jeffrey Anderson explores the role of doctoral formation as part of God’s renewal of His Church and our world. Lyle Story follows by reminding students of the vocation to teach as a guiding goal in doctoral programs. The book concludes with an exhortation of how doctors for the Church flourish in their roles as faithful theologians.
Chapter 1 Doctors for the Church
Chapter 2 Voices of Vocation
Chapter 3 The Bible and Scholarship
Chapter 4 On the Shoulders of Giants
Chapter 5 The Discipline of Writing and Research
Chapter 6 Renewal and the Academe
Chapter 7 The Call to Teach
Chapter 8 Flourishing as a Theologian
Dr. Corné J. Bekker joined Regent University in 2005. He previously served as the Associate Dean for Academics for Rhema Bible College in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a Professor of Biblical and Ecclesial Leadership for the School of Business and Leadership as well as the chair of the Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry at the College of Arts & Sciences. He was appointed as the Dean of the School of Divinity at Regent University in December 2015. He is the 2010 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award at Regent University for outstanding scholarship, teaching, and service. He has also served as an extraordinary professor for the Research Unit for Reformed Theology at the Northwest University in South Africa. Bekker holds a D. Litt. et Phil. in Biblical Studies from the Rand Afrikaans Universiteit in Johannesburg, South Africa. His research interests are in the Gospel of Matthew, Biblical perspectives in leadership, and Biblical hermeneutics. When asked, he describes himself as a sinner saved by grace, a follower of Christ, a husband, and a father.
Dr. James Flynn has a Doctor of Ministry from Regent University, a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Presbyterian Seminary, and a B.A. from Geneva College. He serves in several roles in the School of Divinity at Regent University. He is the Associate Dean of Instruction and Operations and Director of the school’s Doctor of Ministry program. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Practical Theology focused on teaching about the practical aspects of local church and parachurch ministry with a special emphasis on ministerial leadership, administration and wellness.
Before coming to Regent, Dr. Flynn served as associate pastor and then senior pastor of the church that he helped to plant in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. His particular interest is equipping ministers to be fruitful leaders in ministry with the tools and skills they need to fulfill their calling and advance the Kingdom of God. Special research interests include ministerial health and wellness, church administration, and the application of digital technology to online ministerial training.
Dr. Flynn resides in Virginia Beach with his wife of 45 years, Monica, has four adult children, and eight grandchildren.
Dr. Mark A. Jumper is an Associate Professor, and Director of Chaplaincy and Military Affairs, at the Regent University School of Divinity. Ordained by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, he has served two churches as pastor. He is also a retired Navy chaplain, including service with the Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and a veteran of Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Hurricane Katrina operations. He earned a B.A. in History from Oral Roberts University, an M.Div. from Columbia Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Humanities from Salve Regina University, with a dissertation on “Justice After War.” He has published numerous articles, co-edited The Holy Spirit and the Reformation Legacy, and co-authored Chaplaincy: A Comprehensive Introduction.
Dr. Kevin L. Spawn is the Director of Master's Programs, and Associate Professor of Old Testament at Regent University School of Divinity. Before coming to the School of Divinity, Dr. Spawn taught full-time at both Simpson University, Redding, California (1998–2006), and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford, England (1997–98), with prior part-time instruction between 1993-97. His publications include: “As It Is Written” and Other Citation Formulae in the Old Testament: Their Use, Development, Syntax and Significance (Beihefte zum Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 311, Berlin, Germany: de Gruyter, 2002), and his contributions to Spirit and Scripture: Exploring a Pneumatic Hermeneutic (London, UK: T&T Clark International, 2012).
Dr. Leroy Gilbert is an Assistant Professor, Regent University School of Divinity. He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from the Regent University School of Business and Leadership; completed course requirements for an Ed.D. at Nova Southeastern University; has an S.T.M. in Pastoral Theology and Counseling from the Yale University Divinity School; an M.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling from United States International University; an M.Div. in Practical Theology from Howard University; and a B.A. in Social Studies and Preparatory Theology from American Baptist College.
Dr. Gilbert served on active duty as a Navy Chaplain, retiring with the rank of Navy Captain (O-6), having served in all four sea services: Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine. He was selected to several key leadership, managerial, pastoral, teaching, supervisory, and administrative positions, including the Chaplain of the United States Coast Guard. After retirement from the Navy, he served as the Outreach Coordinator and Expert Consultant for the Department of Homeland Security, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
His pastoral experience includes: Senior Pastor, Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Washington, DC; Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Manassas, VA; Co-Pastor, the Black Church at Yale, New Haven, CT; Senior Chaplain, U.S. Coast Guard Academy Chapel, New London, CT; and Chaplain, Naval Postgraduate School Chapel, Monterey, CA. He is affiliated and ordained by both the American Baptist Churches, USA, and the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
Dr. Gilbert is married to the former Sharon Berry of Washington, DC. They are the parents of a daughter, Jessica, and a granddaughter, Saraiya.
Dr. Jordan Jones is an Assistant Professor for the Regent University School of Divinity. He received a B.A. in Pastoral Leadership and Biblical Exposition and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Liberty University. After this, he studied historical geography for a brief term at Jerusalem University College in Israel. He then attended Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH, where he received an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Jones concentrated on the First Temple Period, focusing on the languages, history, and archaeology of Iron Age Israel. He also spent time at the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, excavating at Tel Dan.
Jones and his wife Rachel have served together at churches in Virginia and Kentucky for many years, during which time they have especially loved investing in middle and high school students. After nearly 10 years of serving at Belleview Baptist Church, they returned to Hampton Roads where they now work and worship. In his free time, Jones enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with family.
Dr. Jeffrey Anderson is Professor of Christian Theology at Regent University, School of Divinity. Dr. Anderson has lived most of his life in the greater Seattle area, where he served in several pastoral roles (e.g., Associate Pastor, Lead Pastor, Teaching Pastor, Founding Pastor, etc.). Additionally, throughout this same time, he also worked as an Adjunct or Guest Professor at Puget Sound Christian College, Regent University, Northwest University, and other institutions. He joined the full-time faculty at Regent in July 2017. Dr. Anderson and his wife, Trisha, have been married for 30 years and have two grown sons (Ryan and Mike), a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Dr. Anderson has a B.A. in Biblical Studies, an M.Div. in Theological Studies, a D.Min. in Theology, and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.
Dr. J. Lyle Story joined the Regent University School of Divinity in 1984 after a teaching and pastoral role at Melodyland School of Theology, during the time of the Jesus-Movement in Southern California, and while working as a pastor in Orange, California. He is a professor of New Testament and Biblical Languages, and has served in various administrative capacities in past years, including interim dean and associate dean, in the School of Divinity. He has taught various biblical courses, involving hermeneutics and biblical languages, with the goal of helping students to translate and interpret the timeless message(s) of the New Testament. Dr. Story holds a Ph.D. and M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary and a B.S. from Wheaton College. Dr. Story is an ordained minister with Harvest Network International and has been fully engaged with the Renewal Movement since his time in seminary when he began to explore the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.