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James M. Henderson, Ph.D.

Instructor, Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry

Education

  • Ph.D. Regent University, 2012
  • M.A. in Theology with Emphasis in Biblical Studies. Fuller Theological Seminary, 1983
  • B.A. in Bible and Biblical Languages (Double Major) Life Pacific University, 1980

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Graduate, Doctor of Philosophy, Regent University School of Divinity, 2013
  • Zondervan Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Study of Theology, Regent University School of Divinity, 2013
  • Outstanding Professor of the Year (academic year 2005-2006), Regent University College of Arts and Sciences, 2006
  • United States Air Force; The Air Medal, 1974
  • National Merit Scholar, 1969

Classes Taught

  • RELS 107: Worldviews
  • RELS 111: Introduction to Christian History and Thought
  • RELS 201: Principles of Theology
  • RELS 260: Church History I
  • RELS 261: Church History II
  • RELS 301: Apologetics
  • RELS 307: Worldviews
  • RELS 310: Biblical Background and Interpretation
  • RELS 332: Systematic Theology II
  • RELS 370: Contemporary American Cults and Sects
  • RELS 420: Systematic Theology
  • RELS 340: World Religions and Cultures
  • RELS 430: Christian Ethics

Research Interests

The Holy Spirit as the divine agent in this present age, especially in justification and sanctification, How classical and contemporary Christian doctrine can effectively engage New Age and neo-Pagan worldviews and teaching.

Teaching Philosophy

My methodology of teaching - my pedagogy - begins with engaging the student's attention with the subject at hand. Whether by asking questions, relating the issue to a video or to music, or some other method, the student's interest must first be engaged. Next, I focus on critical thinking. Both data and critique are necessary for critical thinking, and so a certain amount of information relevant to the subject matter must be mastered. In my classes, such mastery starts with reading relevant texts, which we then examine and question in discussion. Last, I make an affective and contemporary application to the student's own spiritual, ethical, and social context. Such affective and contemporary application is the most effective way to facilitate student learning. This method builds on good study habits, intellectual apprehension of the content and meaning of data, and critical thinking, but aims at melding the students understanding of history and doctrine with a personal appropriation and application of the information, ethics, values, and behaviors implicit in or demanded by one's understanding of history and doctrine.

Wesley's "quadrilateral" - his hermeneutical understanding of how we understand theology and doctrine - is my model for the integration of faith with reason and learning in my discipline. We begin by privileging the Holy Scripture as revealed truth and the ultimate authority. We understand Scripture by applying our reason to what it says, bounded by the limits set in early church tradition, as we reflect on what Scripture has to say to, and in light of, our experience. Learning begins with revealed truth, continues by asking questions and making conclusions within the boundaries set by early church dogma, and concludes as we interrogate our experience by the Scripture and understand how our experience illuminates the Scripture.

While mentoring requires time outside of the classroom, mentoring flows from the same kind of understanding and affectively appropriating the ethical, social, and behavioral implications of doctrine that I aim for in class. I mentor students by modeling a biblical lifestyle and reflecting with them on the demands of devotion and discipleship. As we reflect, my present lifestyle and my journey of over forty years as a servant of Christ provides an example of how to live out loving God with all one's heart, soul, mind, and strength while asking questions of eternal significance.

Biography

I grew up in Ventura, a beach town in California. In high school I abandoned the church and became a revolutionary. I was converted to Christ as an adult in the "Jesus Movement," and have been a Christian for 41 years. I am a Vietnam veteran. I have been a pastor and teacher since 1974 in Asia and on both East and West coasts of the United States. I have taught Bible, Theology, and Church History for 24 years.

Although I have lived in major urban areas, I grew up as an outdoorsman and still love the wild. My experiences include interacting with New Age people, neo-Pagans, and others who are not often in the "mainstream" of American Christian culture. My major interests include developing a Semi-Augustinian theology, and making healthy thinking accessible to unchurched and neo-pagan people of both modern and post-modern persuasions. I am passionate about theology, especially as it translates into discipleship, spirituality, and wisdom for human life and relationships. I strive to lead students into a passion for God and for others.

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