Samford’s ‘minister’ named associate religion professor

Samford’s ‘minister’ named associate religion professor

James R. Barnette was recently named associate professor of religion and director of ministerial formation at Samford University in Birmingham after serving as the minister to the university since 1994.

In his new role, he will teach courses in preaching, ministry and biblical perspectives and oversee the development of ministerial students through mentoring, internships and other ministry-related courses.

“A significant number of Samford students are committed to or are considering the gospel ministry, so it is important to develop a quality program of study, guidance and formation for them,” Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed said. “Because of his background as university minister, his experience in teaching and his extensive preaching ministry in local churches, Jim Barnette is well suited for this role.”

In addition to his new duties, Barnette will continue to direct the Samford Sunday preaching program with former Samford religion professor Sigurd Bryan. The program allows churches to schedule ministerial students to deliver sermons. It began many years ago as H-Day.

“Samford Sunday has operated under the office of the minister to the university during recent years, but it is very appropriate that it be moved to the religion department,” Barnette said. “It was begun by religion students and had a close relationship with the religion department for many years.”

Barnette also will oversee the recently endowed Holley-Hull Lectures Series that brings world-renowned biblical scholars to speak at Samford. He will also continue to preach regularly, as he has throughout his Samford tenure.

Barnette is a former pastor of churches in Indiana and Kentucky and has served as interim pastor of churches in North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama. Prior to joining Samford, he was professor of religion and philosophy at Campbell University in North Carolina. A 1983 Samford graduate, Barnette holds master of divinity and doctorate degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Barnette is the author of a new book, “Homely Joys,” a collection of prayers and poems by Barnette and his late father, Henlee Barnette, a longtime faculty member at Southern Seminary.  (SU)