I'm glad you've taken the time to stop by the blog. As the first post, I want to give a bit of my story and what led me to this project.
My interest in catechesis began nearly ten years ago, when one of my first roles in church work entailed teaching an adult education class in a large non-denominational church in North Carolina. Through teaching and writing curriculum, I was made profoundly aware of (a) how little integration there was between Christian belief and Christian practice, and (b) how great of a need there was for basic instruction in the Christian faith.
I then set out for Regent College in Vancouver, BC, where I obtained a Master of Divinity degree (2016), with a focus on historical theology, all the while continuing to teach and serve in a local congregation. It was under the luminous shadow of J. I. Packer, a long-time professor of Regent College, that I became acutely aware of the contemporary church’s need for catechesis. It was particularly instructive for me that Dr. Packer, a self-described “latter-day Catechist,” had chosen to dedicate the majority of his efforts in the final years of his career to the work of catechesis.
At Regent I also came under the tutelage of Hans Boersma, currently the J. I. Packer Chair of Theology at Regent College. From Hans I learned to love the Great Tradition—for all its seeming otherness—and to appreciate the study of historical theology and its relevance for the church today.
In addition to directing the Institute for the Renewal of Christian Catechesis, I am working on a PhD in historical theology at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Here I have the privilege of studying with D. H. Williams, one of the leading evangelical patristic scholars. My research interests tend towards conceptions of ecclesiology, spirituality, and biblical exegesis in the early Church, especially in Augustine.
My wife and I, with our two young boys, are members of Christ Church, Waco, part of the Anglican Church of North America. Our priest, Fr. Lee Nelson, the founding vicar of Christ Church, and co-chair of the Anglican Catechesis Task Force, is an excellent catechist and priest, and it is largely through his influence that I've come to see how catechesis can actually happen in a local church.
Despite a lifetime in the church, over three years of graduate theological education, and beginning a doctoral program, I've come to realize that no amount of church attendance or higher education can substitute for the value of sound catechesis. It's with this conviction that I hope the work of the Institute will be of some service to the many faithful and diligent pastors out there who desire to see more people come to deeper knowledge and love of Christ.