Message from the Dean
Having spent the last 20 years of ministry serving both Christian higher education and the local church, my vision for ministry has been shaped by three basic questions: First, what is God doing right now in the world? Secondly, what does the church look like that recognizes, understands, and is actively participating in what God is doing in the world? And finally, what does the school look like that is preparing women and men to lead and serve the church that recognizes, understands, and is actively participating in what God is doing in the world? Azusa Pacific University’s Graduate School of Theology is committed to answering this third question, while we search for people whose passion is to wrestle with the first two.
The university was founded more than a century ago by a small group of Quaker women and men seeking to train pastors and missionaries. The school remains committed to that founding vision and to the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition from which it emerged. The Wesleyan-Holiness tradition is shaped by the conviction that God’s grace is both prevenient and transformational.
Prevenient grace means that God is at work universally and prior to us even recognizing it. It is God’s intention that every person and every square inch of the creation be redeemed and his Spirit is actively present in the world working out that redemption and inviting believers to participate in his work. Wesleyan Christians also believe that God’s grace does not just offer pardon from sin, but is also active in transforming people into the loving image that God created humankind to be. This optimism of grace drives Wesleyan believers into the world—even the darkest places in the world—looking for Christ at work in all his “dreadful disguises,” as Mother Theresa liked to say.
No matter what your age or stage of ministry preparation, we offer a vibrant, faith-filled community in which to pursue disciplined learning with several goals in mind: deepening the intellectual foundation of faith, exploring the eternal significance of the human experience, and preparing for effective, practical ministry, locally and globally.
May God bless and give you wisdom as you explore what it means to prepare fully for the call that God has placed upon your life.
Welcome to our community.
T. Scott Daniels, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Theology