[Department of Theology]

School of Arts and Sciences

   Issue 2: Fall 2013


Exciting things have been happening since the spring! Here are some highlights.


Bible translation in Nigeria

   Dr. Pat Mays spent three weeks, June 9-30, in Nigeria serving as a translation consultant with The Seed Company. He worked with the Ehugbo language project on their translation of Galatians, which they were able to get ready for trial publication. This trip was supported by a GSL grant, so Dr. Mays was able to take Micah Geyman, one of our star students in Greek, along with him. Micah was able to contribute to the project using both his Greek and Computer Science expertise. For more on the project, read the story in the Longview News-Journal. Add a description


Worship Arts at LeTourneau and beyond



   On Oct. 27, the Worship Arts students led our first ever REVIVE night, a worship and praise night to which students and the greater Longview community were invited. 400-500 people attended. The program was 90 minutes long, and everyone was encouraged to gather in groups and pray for one another. Here are some responses from surveys afterwards: "Tonight brought back memories of chapel worship at LETU. May God continue to honor your worship and praise. Thank you for ministering to me." "Having time to pray with people was amazing." "This night was a blessing!  It is so great to worship as the body of Christ!"


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   Mark Jonah notes, "Not only is the event directed toward the unity of the body of Christ in the greater Longview area, but it is also a training opportunity for Worship Arts students and students involved in chapel worship teams." The next REVIVE will take place on Sunday, January 12, 2014, and we plan on continuing in 2014-2015 with two events per semester.


Chapel at Full Armor 
   On Oct. 25, the Worship Arts team led chapel at Full Armor Christian Academy in Henderson, TX. Dr. Jonah gives us the inside scoop: "It was an early start to the morning as their chapel begins at 8 am. So at 6:20 am students were gathering in the Belcher parking lot." After praise and worship, Dr. Jonah and the Worship Arts team talked about LeTourneau and answered questions. Dr. Jonah congratulates the team, "Kudos to the LETU worship arts students who led worship well and represented LETU in a great way!"


New faculty!

Dr. Luke Tallon

"When I was six, I used to tell people that I wanted to be a firefighter. I really wanted to be a secret agent, but I thought that I should keep those cards close to my chest. As it turned out, my first job was a nurseryman, delivering and planting trees. After that, I began a five-year stint as a backpacking guide, leading youth groups into the mountains of Colorado and, usually, back out again. During that time I also began working in campus ministry, with a special passion for integrating the college students into the life and work of the congregation. In that ministry I was partnered with a wonderful woman, Holly, and eventually asked her to be my ministry partner for life. She agreed and we then served as the interim youth ministers for the year before we went to the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), where I earned my doctorate in theology with a thesis on human transformation in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger, John Zizioulas, and Karl Barth. From there, our family (now including a son, Isaiah, and a daughter, Noelle) moved to Barbados, where I taught at the oldest theological college in the West, Codrington College. Although we loved our ministry at the seminary and our local church, we decided that we should return to the States. We returned to our alma mater, Pepperdine University, where I taught for two years (just long enough to add a Californian, Lucia Jane, to the clan). Then, we discerned a call to come to LeTourneau University, where I now teach Christian Doctrine, Ethics, Apologetics, and the new G.E., Biblical Theology for the Christian Life"

Dr. Aaron Kuecker 
"I was born and raised in rural Iowa and attended Central College in Pella, Iowa, where I majored in Political Science.  Following college, I served a church in West Michigan as a youth pastor and, eventually, as an associate pastor.  I attended Western Theological Seminary over the course of those years, eventually graduating with an M.Div.  Many important things happened during those years.  I met and married my wife, Kerri, and our first two children, Gabe and Isabel were born.  We pursued PhD studies in New Testament at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland from 2005-2008.  There, we learned again the value of Christian community, the excitement of intensive study of the Scriptures, and we welcomed our third child, Josiah into the world.  For the five years prior to coming to LeTourneau, I taught at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois.  There we received the gift of our fourth child, Adeline.  I've spent most of my academic research working in Luke-Acts, initially with concerned with issues of human identity, reconciliation, and the Holy Spirit, and more recently broadening out to wonder how we can best bear witness to Luke's vision of salvation.  We're glad to be at LeTourneau and are eager to join in with the work God is doing here in Longview."


The Great Deluge

A Special Report from Dr. Mays:


"It occurred on Friday, September 30th. That was the day of the Great Deluge. All majors and faculty in the department ate together at Jason's Deli, and then we proceeded to Viktor Roudkovski's house for some community formation time. When we arrived at Viktor's house, it was flooding! So, our community formation time became a service project as everyone, faculty and students, pitched in to save the floors and furniture from the water that was pouring into the house. What could have been a disaster turned into a grace-filled and even fun event. We spent about an hour mopping up and transporting water out of the house.

"Although we had to abandon our agenda, true community was indeed formed as we were able to serve together in sparing the Roudkovski's house from damage."

In this issue

v  Bible translation in Nigeria

v  Worship Arts at LeTourneau and beyond

v  New Faculty!

v  The Great Deluge

v  News articles by our faculty

v  Rodney McFarland in the news!

v  Scholarship by our faculty

v  Service recognition to our faculty

v  Just chilling


News articles by our faculty

"Israel was a pilgrimage of a lifetime" by Dr. Viktor Roudkovski


"Faith today: Tradition of prayer days rooted in history" by Dr. Larry Frazier


"Welcome to 'Finding God in Pop Culture'"by Dr. Pat Mays


"Why pray the Lord's Prayer?" by Dr. Kelly Liebengood


Rodney McFarland in the news!

Christian Ministry senior Rodney McFarland was in the news last month! Rodney comes from a long line of pastors, and at 16 he accepted a calling to the ministry. Now 24 and married with a one-year-old daughter, he has been head pastor at Hebron Missionary Baptist Church for four years. He will graduate this December and plans to enroll in seminary school. Read the whole story at the Longview News-Journal!


Scholarship by our faculty

Dr. Pat Mays and his wife Kathleenattended the Global Scholars Vision Conference, where he interviewed 15 professors for our faith integration project. He presented the preliminary findings at the LeTourneau Excellence in Teaching Conference under the title, "Purpose, Perspective, Practice: What Christian Professors Teaching in Non-Christian Contexts Can Teach us About Faith Integration."

Dr. Mays was also attended to invite the Oxford Round Table on Religion and Culture (July 28-August 2), where 40 scholars from around the world presented and discussed issues on the role of religion in society. He was a discussion leader following a presentation on human trafficking.


Dr. Viktor Roudkovski presented a paper at the International Society of Biblical Literature at St. Andrews, Scotland, in July 2013. He presented "Sojourners on the Way", on the theological correlation between 1 Peter and Mark's Central Section.


Dr. Kelly Liebengood also presented a paper at the International Society of Biblical Literature Conference. He presented "Confronting Roman Imperial Claims: Following the footsteps (and the narrative) of 1 Peter's Eschatological Davidic Shepherd". The paper was a draft of a chapter that he is contributing to a collected volume entitled "An Introduction to Empire in the New Testament".


Dr. Kelly Liebengood and Dr. Aaron Kuecker have co-authored a chapter in the book Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism. The book seeks to address the challenges of historical criticism which, at times, seem to undermine the Christian faith. In their chapter, titled "The Paul of Acts and the Paul of the Epistles," Kuecker and Liebengood analyze the historical critical claims that the chronology of Paul's letters does not match the account of Paul's life in Acts, and that the theology found in Paul's letters is different than the theology that Paul promotes in his sermons in the book of Acts. (Source: Longview News-Journal.)


Dr. Wilson Cunha has authored a chapter in the book Formation and Intertextuality in Isaiah 24-27 (eds. J. Todd Hibbard and Hyun Chul Paul Kim;Ancient Israel and its Literature 17) published by the Society of Biblical Literature. His chapter, titled "'Kingship' and 'Kingdom:' A Discussion of Isaiah 24:21-23; 27:12-13," argues that these two passages should be read as thematically linked. Isaiah 24:21-23 depicts judgment on those entities that challenge Yhwh's reign while asserting the fact of Yhwh's reign. Isaiah 27:12-13 completes the idea by suggesting that gathered exiles who come to worship Yhwh as part of the restoration offer a demonstration of that rule. The latter completes the thought of the former in his view.  (Source: Society of Biblical Literature.)


Service recognition

In the School of Arts and Sciences joint academic chapel on Oct. 2, Dr. Mays received a 10-year service recognition.


Just chilling 

Pat Mays, Luke Tallon, and Mark Jonah at the beginning of the semester pool party.


Contact Us

Pat Mays, Department Chair