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Today on the podcast, I welcomed Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, back to the podcast for the third time. So grateful that he could join us today to talk about his new book Foundations of the Christian Faith: A Resource for Catechesis and Disciple-Making. In addition to his book, we talk a little bit about his own faith story, how he was discipled, why discipleship is so important for us as individuals and to the church today, and how we can incorporate these practices into our minds, hearts, and the way we live. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll be sure pick up a copy of Foundations of the Christian Faith. It’s available on Amazon or So now let’s listen to my conversation with Dr. Timothy Tennent!
Today on the podcast, I got to talk to Dr. Alan Meenan, founder and president of The Word Is Out. He is the author of numerous articles, books and study guides. He teaches extensively throughout Asia, Africa and America. Besides being born in Belfast Northern Ireland, he has lived in Scotland and East Africa and the U.S.   He has served the Church in the United States for more than 40 years, in Virginia, Texas and California – most notably as Senior Pastor of the famed Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Dr. Meenan holds five academic degrees from the Queen’s University of Belfast (B.A. Hons), Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div. & Th.M.) and a Ph.D. from Edinburgh University. In today’s conversation, we, of course, talk about how he came to know Jesus, his call to ministry, how he came to the Seminary, his work as a pastor, and how The Word Is Out came to be. Let’s listen!
Dr. Michael Matlock joined the podcast today. The Rev’d Prof. Michael Matlock is Professor of Inductive Biblical Studies, Old Testament, & Early Judaism & Co-director of Anglican Studies and Formation at Asbury Seminary. Prof. Matlock has served in the School of Biblical Interpretation since 1998, as the department chair of Inductive Biblical Studies since 2013, and as co-director of Anglican Studies and Formation since 2019. He understands his calling to be a beloved son and servant of Jesus, unconditional lover of Robin, loving encourager of his children, and to teach Scripture for the sake of God’s church and world. Outside of teaching biblical studies, he teaches the Anglican history and polity course. His books include "Discovering the Traditions of Prose Prayers in Early Jewish Literature" (T&T Clark) and a devotional commentary on Daniel 1-6 (Seedbed). He is currently writing a two-volume commentary on the Greek text of 1 and 2 Chronicles and the Prayer of Manasseh for the Septuagint Commentary Series (Brill Publishers). He and his wife Robin have been married for more than 30 years and have three insightful, resourceful children. In today’s conversation, we talk about Dr. Matlock’s calling to ministry and how that unfolded, what he knows about calling now that he didn’t then, marriage and a little bit about his work here at Asbury Seminary. You won’t want to miss this delightful conversation. Let’s listen!
Today on the podcast, I got to talk to Bishop Keith Cowart and Bishop Linda Adams. Both are bishops of the Free Methodist Church USA. Both oversee portions of the US with Bishop Cowart overseeing Europe and the Middle East, while Bishop Adams oversees the northern US and Latin America. Bishop Cowart is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and Asbury Seminary for the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees. He and his wife Pam, who is also a graduate of the Seminary, have two adult sons. In 1997 Keith planted Christ Community Church in Columbus, Georgia, where he served for 21 years as lead pastor. Christ Community planted or played a major role in planting four other churches and sent out more than 35 men and women to serve as pastors, parachurch ministry directors, military chaplains and missionaries around the world. Bishop Linda Adams is a graduate of Spring Arbor University and Asbury Seminary for the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees. She has enjoyed serving in three pastoral appointments in Spring Arbor, Michigan; St. Charles, Illinois; and as lead pastor of New Hope Church in Rochester, New York. During her ten years at New Hope, the church incorporated more than 30 refugees from Central Africa into the congregation, opening her eyes to the reality of global poverty and the migration of people because of war and ethnic strife. For 11 years, she then served as director of International Child Care Ministries, a vibrant global Free Methodist movement in 33 countries. Linda and her husband John have been married for nearly 45 years. Both Bishop Keith and Bishop Linda were elected as bishops of the Free Methodist Church USA in 2019. In today’s conversation, we talk about their calling, their time at Asbury Seminary, how God led them on their journey to bishop, and a little bit about what the future of the Free Methodist Church looks like. Let’s listen!
Today on the podcast, I had the real privilege of getting to talk to Tish Harrison Warren. She’s a priest in the Anglican Church in North America as well as an author. She’s written Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, which won Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year and Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work, or Watch, or Weep, which won Christianity Today’s 2022 Book of the Year. And releasing May 31 of this year, she has written Little Prayers for Ordinary Days. In addition to all of that she currently writes a weekly newsletter for The New York Times, which you should subscribe to, and she is a columnist for Christianity Today. Her articles and essays have appeared in Religion News Service, Christianity Today, Comment Magazine, The Point Magazine, The New York Times, and elsewhere. For over a decade, Tish has worked in ministry settings as a campus minister with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries, as an associate rector, and with addicts and those in poverty through various churches and non-profit organizations. Now, Tish serves as Writer in Residence at Resurrection South Austin. She is a founding member of The Pelican Project and a Senior Fellow with the Trinity Forum. She lives with her husband and three children in the Austin, Texas area. In today’s conversation, we talk about all the things. We talk about her books Liturgy for the Ordinary, Prayer in the Night and her new release, Little Prayers for Ordinary Days. We talk about her faith journey, the liturgies that form our daily lives, and finding God in the suffering—the importance of liturgical prayer to give us words when we don’t have the words. We also talk about how we can take God off trial and rest in his goodness, love and mercy in the midst of difficult and sad seasons through the hope of the resurrection. And now let’s listen to my conversation with Tish!
Today on the podcast, I got to talk to Major Andrew Murray, current Asbury Seminary student and officer in the Salvation Army. Andrew has been a Salvation Army pastor since ordination in 1985. For 37 years, he has served as a congregational pastor both in the US and in Southern Africa. He started a Masters in Pastoral Counseling at Asbury Seminary in the Fall of 2019 when his wife had major spine surgery, and he took a year of medical sabbatical to help her. He found the classes at Asbury Seminary to be a form of self-care, family, and distraction. In today’s conversation, we talk about his calling to the Salvation Army, his current role and how he is finding God in the midst of this season. Let’s listen!
Today on the podcast, I got to talk to my friend Dr. Stacy Minger. Dr. Minger is the Associate Professor of Preaching at Asbury Seminary and has been teaching here since 2004. In 2007 she received the Faculty Mentoring Award. Dr. Minger was ordained in the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church as a deacon in 1988 and as an elder in 1991. She has pastored several United Methodist churches and volunteered in several community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Christian Neighbors Food Pantry. In today’s conversation, we talk about how she came to Asbury Seminary, not once, not twice, but three times! How she experienced her call to ministry, her role at Asbury Seminary and why preaching is so important to her and to us. Let’s listen!
Today on the podcast, I got to talk to Dr. Jackie Perry. She is a North Carolina Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Supervisor and is currently an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary. Since 1991, she’s had the privilege of counseling hundreds of children, adolescents and families as they cope with anxiety, depression, grief and loss and other emotional and behavioral challenges. She uses a God-centered, soul-focused, and neuro-informed blend of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), narrative therapy, and internal family (IFS). She also is a clinical supervisor for counselors who are pursuing licensure in the state of North Carolina. In  2019, she released Heart Cries of Every Teen: Eight Core Desires that Demand Attention. This book was written to equip parents and caring adults to understand and address the eight heart core desires that drive and direct much of the best and worst behaviors we see unfolding during the adolescent years of development. In today’s conversation we talk about her calling, her work as a counselor, her book, and how an understanding of these core desires can help us see, hear, value and delight in our teens and model a curious, compassionate way of looking at the world. Let’s listen!
Today on the podcast, I had the real privilege of getting to talk to Dr. Joseph Okello, Professor of Christian Religion in Orlando. Dr. Okello graduated from the University of Kentucky with an M.A. and Ph.D. both in philosophy. He also holds an M.A. and an M.Div. from Asbury Seminary, as well as a bachelor’s in theology from Scott Theological College in Kenya. He is originally from Kenya and has been in the U.S. since 1996. He has authored seven books and is currently working on four more. In today’s conversation, we talk about his calling, how he came to know Jesus and became a pastor and professor, and we talk about the relationship between ethics, philosophy and Christianity and how we can find Jesus in the wilderness moments. You won’t want to miss this episode. Let’s listen!
Today on the podcast, I got to talk to Rev. Khristi Lauren Adams. She is a speaker, author, youth advocate and ordained Baptist minister. She authored Parable of the Brown Girl that released in February 2020. The book highlights the cultural and spiritual truths that emerge from the lives of young black girls. Parable of the Brown Girl has received awards for Best Young Adult Book from The African American Literary Awards and the New York Black Librarians Caucus. In March of 2022, her next book Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way releases. She also works as Dean of Spiritual Life & Equity at the Hill School and is an instructor of religious studies at the Hill School. Khristi is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Advertising and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary where she obtained a Master of Divinity degree. In today’s conversation we talk about her calling, her faith journey, what being an advocate means to her, and, of course, her new book Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way. You can go ahead and pre-order a copy on Amazon or wherever books are sold, but in the meantime, let’s listen!
Overview Dr. Ken Collins, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesley Studies, joined the podcast today. He joined the Asbury Seminary faculty in 1995 and received the Professor of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in 2008. Prior to coming to the Seminary, he was recognized for exemplary teaching in a national competition among United Methodist schools in 1994. Dr. Collins is a past president of the Wesleyan Theological Society and a member of the editorial board of the Asbury Journal. Beyond this, he currently serves on the faculty of the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary in Tallinn, Estonia. He has lectured and taught throughout the world and is known for his engaging, critical-thinking style. Dr. Collins serves as the Director of the Wesleyan Studies Summer Seminar which fosters research, scholarship and publication globally in the broad field of Wesleyan studies. The program began in June 2011 and continues today. Dr. Collins is a member of several professional organizations and has published a host of books and scores of articles exploring topics ranging from Wesleyan theology to Christian spirituality. In today’s conversation, we talk about Dr. Collin’s most recent book Jesus the Stranger that takes readers through a journey that allows us to see the love, beauty, goodness, and yes, suffering of Jesus in a new way. Let’s listen!
Overview Today on the podcast, we’re joined by Dr. Craig Keener, FM and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Seminary. Dr. Keener joined the Seminary faculty in 2011. He’s a prolific author, writing 34 books, six of which have won awards in "Christianity Today." Altogether he has more than one million copies in circulation. In today’s conversation, we talk about his new book Miracles Today that answers common questions about miracles and provides compelling evidence for why we should believe in them today. Let’s listen!
Overview Today on the podcast, I had the privilege of talking to Dr. Brad Johnson. He serves as an affiliate professor at Asbury Seminary and as the pastor of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. He holds two master of arts degrees, one in biblical studies and one in theological studies and also a Ph.D. in biblical studies, all from Asbury Seminary. He, his wife Christina and four sons, all live in Wilmore, Ky. In today’s conversation, Dr. Johnson and I talk about his calling, how he came to be involved and now serve as the executive director for The Word is Out, and how and why having an informed faith is so important and leads to actual change. Let’s listen!
Overview Today on the podcast, I got to talk to Rev. Valarie Grimes. She is a coach, pastor, church planter at Radiant Church, international speaker and kingdom builder and soon to be an Asbury Seminary student. She will also be speaking in chapel on November 9, so be sure to give that a listen as well. Her passion is inspiring believers to reach their God-given potential in order to change the world. Along with her many other roles, she is also a registered nurse, but her most important roles as she says are the ones she holds in her own family as wife, mother, sister and grandmother. In today’s conversation, we talk about her journey of calling, how she became a church planter and the way she seeks to empower others to say their yes to God. Let’s listen!
Overview Today, Bishop Emilio Alvarez joins the podcast. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Asbury Seminary and serves as the Primate of the Union of Charismatic Orthodox Churches. He is also the founder and Rector of The Cathedral at Gathering Place in the city of Rochester, New York, as well as The Institute for Paleo-Orthodox Christian Studies. Bishop Alvarez has a forthcoming book with InterVaristy Press, titled "Towards A Pentecostal Orthodoxy" (2021) and is also a contributor to the forthcoming IVP liturgical series, "The Fullness of Time: A Journey Through the Church Year" (2022). In this conversation, we talk about his faith journey, calling, why he’s passionate about training clergy and laity to worship, believe and live our faith in integrated practical ways. And, of course, we talk about his new book. Let's listen!
Overview Donna Burske, Senior Chaplain for AdventHealth Medical Group, M.Div. grad, and current D.Min. student, joins the Thrive with Asbury Seminary Podcast today. She provides pastoral care to a 4,000 person congregation composed of doctors, nurses, physician assistants and staff. As she integrates her faith with her work, she provides a listening ear, a non-anxious presence and spiritual care for those who are working on the front lines to heal others. In today’s conversation, we talk about her calling, heart to serve others and explore her dissertation research that is finding ways to equip health care workers to become spiritual ambassadors, so that they can find a deeper meaning in their work, and provide whole person care to others. Let's listen!
Overview Today on the podcast, Dr. Brian Russell, award-winning professor of biblical studies and former dean at Asbury Theological Seminary, as well as a transformation coach for pastors and spiritually-minded professionals, joined the podcast. He is the author of several books, with his most recent being “Centering Prayer: Sitting Quietly in God’s Presence Can Change Your Life” and is the host of the Deep Dive Spirituality Conversations podcast. In today’s conversation, Brian talks about his new book “Centering Prayer: Sitting Quietly in God’s Presence Can Change Your Life.” We talk about what centering prayer is, how this practice has helped Brian grow deeper in his relationship with the Lord, some of the gifts he’s received as a result, and how we can start our own journey with this practice. Brian would love to meet you and your group study virtually! When you buy 15 or more copies of his book for a group study, email him at For the first 10 people to do so, he’ll reply and set up a time to meet you and your group virtually, lead you through a time of centering prayer and do a brief Q&A session. His book can be purchased on Amazon and we’ll link to everything in the show notes. Let's listen!
Overview Today on the podcast, we’re joined by Dr. Luther Oconer, Associate Professor of Global Wesleyan Theology on the Florida Dunnam Campus. Dr. Oconer teachers in the area of United Methodist studies, the Holiness Movement, Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement, and church renewal. He has written several book chapters and journal articles on the history of global Methodism, the intersection between revival and missions, and the connections between Methodism and Pentecostalism. In 2017, he published "Spirit-Filled Protestantism: Holiness-Pentecostal Revivals and the Making of Filipino Methodist Identity." It was awarded the Wesleyan Theological Society’s Timothy L. Smith and Mildred Bangs Wynkoop Book of the Year Award in 2018. In today’s conversation, we talk about his story of calling and revival, what revival means for us and how we can join God in the work he is doing around the world. Let’s listen!
Overview Today Bud Simon, current Ph.D. student at Asbury Seminary and consultant with TMS Global, and Dr. Jay Moon, Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism at the Seminary, join the podcast. Bud and his family served for 20 years as church planters in Brazil and Dr. Moon spent 13 years in Ghana, Africa. In today’s conversation we talk about their recently released book Effective Intercultural Evangelism: Good News in a Diverse World. They talk us through four common worldviews, how to recognize and engage those who may think differently through conversation and friendship. They even developed an app to help us do that!! Jesus meets all needs, so we also talk about why it’s so important to present the Gospel message in a way that makes sense to our friends and our neighbors, right next door and around the world. Thanks to their generosity, listeners of the show receive a 30% discount when you order their book Effective Intercultural Evangelism: Good News in a Diverse World at and use the code EVANG21. Let’s listen!
Overview Drs. Craig and Médine Keener join the podcast today. Médine holds a Ph.D. from University of Paris 7 and is Community Formation and Pastoral Care Coordinator at Asbury Seminary. Craig is the F.M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, also at the Seminary. He has authored more than 30 books, several of which have won awards and altogether have sold more than one million copies. Craig and Médine co-authored Impossible Love: The True Story of an African Civil War and Hope Against All Odds. The book talks about how Médine lived as a refugee in the Congo for 18 months while Craig waited, not knowing if she were dead or alive. In today’s conversation, they share about her war experience, romance and how God provided healing and wholeness. Let’s listen!
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