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Volume 98, Number 1

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Richard T. Hughes presents a charge to President Kim S. Phipps at the 2005 inauguration ceremony.
Richard T. Hughes presents a charge to President Kim S. Phipps at the 2005 inauguration ceremony.

Nationally recognized scholar joins Messiah College
Acclaimed author Richard T. Hughes brings expertise in American religion history to multifaceted leadership post

“President Phipps, I want to say from the outset that there is no college anywhere in America like Messiah College, and it may well be that the most important task you will face over the life of your presidency will be to preserve and enhance the distinctive characteristics of this institution.”

—Richard T. Hughes (distinguished professor of religion and history at Pepperdine University) in his fall 2005 inauguration charge to President Kim S. Phipps

On July 1, Richard T. Hughes, a nationally recognized scholar on the history of American religion joined the Messiah College community as a distinguished professor and senior Boyer fellow. As his inauguration charge reveals, even prior to his Messiah appointment, Hughes has held the College’s unique mission in high esteem.

“I am delighted that Dr. Hughes will be joining the Messiah College community,” says President Kim S. Phipps. “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.”

As the senior Boyer Fellow, Hughes will work with the College’s current Boyer fellows to participate in shared leadership and provide program development for The Boyer Center. Founded at Messiah College in 1997, the Boyer Center was established in recognition of the late Ernest L. Boyer, Sr., one of Messiah’s most distinguished alumni and a former U.S. commissioner of education. Hughes will also direct an initiative funded by a recent grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., which will enable the College to develop an institutional infrastructure that will sustain the work of its “Christian Vocation” initiative.

Hughes comes to Messiah College from his role as distinguished professor of religion at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, where he founded and directed the Pepperdine Center for Faith and Learning. During his illustrious career, he has published several works, including his most recent books, The Vocation of a Christian Scholar: How Christian Faith Can Sustain the Life of the Mind and Myths America Lives By, which examines the ideologies that have historically shaped the core values of American identity.

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