It was 1998 when Dr. Mark Cartledge, Regent University School of Divinity (DIV) professor, made his first trip to the United States.
His destination? Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) annual conference, a place where he discovered his academic and spiritual life connected.
“I went and got hooked,” said Cartledge. “Over the years it’s been an organization that’s extremely friendly – they’ve all become my mentors and friends.”
In March 2016, Cartledge was elected as the organization’s second vice president. The term is a launching pad for an academic-brand of musical chairs. He will serve a four-year term in a series of different roles he’ll play every year, moving from his current position, to first vice president, president and eventually past-president.
As second vice president of SPS, Cartledge will learn the internal workings of the society.
“It’s a learning and serving role, and then the next year you step up quite considerably,” said Cartledge. “I like the way they do it, they don’t just throw you in.”
Eventually, on the 20th anniversary of his first SPS meeting in 2018, he’ll be responsible for planning and coordinating the event. After the conference finishes he begins his term as society president.”
“That’s poetic, actually,” said Cartledge.
And that’s only the beginning of the organization’s poetic ties to Regent’s DIV professors. The school has had a long-standing relationship with SPS, beginning at its roots.
Dean emeritus, Dr. Vinson Synan, served as one of the organization’s first founding members when the SPS began in 1970. Through the decades, several Regent-affiliates such as former dean Dr. Amos Yong, associate professor Dr. Kim Alexander have served on the executive board.
Last year, Dr. Dale Coulter, associate DIV professor, was elected into SPS leadership. As Cartledge assumes his role of second vice president, Coulter will move into his role of first vice president.
Now, the organization stands with more than 550 members represented by 18 different nationalities from 30 different states in the U.S. Cartledge is one of the very few European members to be selected for a leadership role – a factor he doesn’t take for granted.
“It’s exciting because it means we’re at the heart of an important society,” said Cartledge. “Regent is already a leader in [Renewal] theology – and we’re strengthening our links and our networks. It’s all very encouraging.
Learn more about Regent University’s School of Divinity.