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CONTACT: Beth L. Lorow
Nationally recognized scholar on American religion, Richard T. Hughes, to join the Messiah College community
In his new appointment, effective July 1, Hughes will work with the college’s current Boyer fellows, Donald Murk and Cynthia Wells, to provide shared leadership and program development of The Boyer Center, founded at Messiah College in 1997 in recognition of the late Ernest L. Boyer, Sr., one of Messiah's most distinguished alumni, a former U.S. commissioner of education, and former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Boyer Center promotes Boyer's educational vision through a national network of programs and initiatives that enhance school and community renewal and higher education and civic collaboration.
Hughes will also direct a Messiah College initiative funded by a recent grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., that will enable the college to develop an institutional infrastructure that will sustain the work of its “Christian Vocation” initiative. Through this initiative, which was launched in 2001 and funded over a five-year period by a $2 million Lilly grant, the college developed an integrated network of educational programming that equips students to explore the unique facets of Christian vocation and ministry. In addition to his leadership role with The Boyer Center and the Lilly grant, Hughes will also teach general education and religion courses at the college.
“I am delighted that Dr. Hughes will be joining the Messiah College community,” said Kim S. Phipps, president of Messiah College. “His leadership role in the national conversation related to higher education and to faith and scholarship is highly respected. I am pleased that Dr. Hughes will continue his scholarship on Messiah’s campus in collaboration with our students and faculty.”
About Richard Hughes
Hughes is an accomplished scholar and author on American religion and culture. He comes to Messiah College from his role as distinguished professor of religion at Pepperdine University (Calif.), where he founded and directed the Pepperdine Center for Faith and Learning. Hughes has been a compelling voice in the nationaldialogue about the significance of Christian higher education for contemporary society, and has published several works including his most recent, “The Vocation of a Christian Scholar: How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind,” and “Myths America Lives By,” which critically examines the ideologies that have historically shaped the core of American identity.
Hughes holds a doctorate in the history of Christianity from the University of Iowa; a master’s degree from Abilene Christian University (Texas); and a bachelor’s degree in Bible and history from Harding University (Ark.). He has held teaching positions at Pepperdine University (1971-76, 1988-present); Abilene Christian University (1982-88); and Southwest Missouri State University (1976-82). He has also served in various academic administrative positions including: director of “The Pepperdine Voyage: a Lilly Endowment-funded project on ‘the theological exploration of vocation,’” (2001-2005); chair of the department of history at Abilene Christian University (1983-85); and assistant to the president at Abilene Christian University (1982-83).
Hughes was selected by the Pepperdine student body as “Faculty Person of the Year” (1992-93) and “Outstanding Freshman Seminar Teacher” (1993-94). He was honored as an “Outstanding Alumnus” of the College of Arts and Sciences at Harding University (1986) and as “Distinguished Alumnus” of the College of Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University (1996).
He has authored numerous books and other publications on the history of American religion and on Christian higher education, including: “Reclaiming a Heritage: Reflections on the Heart, Soul, and Future of Churches of Christ” (Abilene: ACU Press, 2002); “How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind” (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001); “The Churches of Christ” (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001); co-authored with R. L. Roberts; “American Origins of Churches of Christ: Three Essays on Restoration History” (Abilene: ACU Press, 2000); book includes essays by Richard Hughes, Nathan O. Hatch, and David Edwin Harrell Jr.; “Founding Vocation and Future Vision: The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Churches of Christ” (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999; co-authored with Anthony L. Dunnavant and Paul Blowers); and “Models for Christian Higher Education: Strategies for Survival and Success in the 21st Century” (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997; co-edited with William B. Adrian); “Illusions of Innocence: Protestant Primitivism in America, 1630-1875,” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988; co-authored with Leonard Allen; and “Proclaim Peace: Christian Pacifism from Unexpected Quarters,” (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997; co-edited with Theron Schlabach).
About Messiah College
Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences, enrolls more than 2,900 undergraduate students in 50 majors. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Grantham, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg. A satellite campus affiliated with Temple University is located in Philadelphia.
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ARTICLE DATE: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2006
ARTICLE NUMBER: MC-019-06