David R. Bauer for Asbury Theological Seminary Faculty Testimonials

September 08, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: David R. Bauer, Professor of Inductive Biblical Studies

Please introduce yourself and tell us how you found your way to your current role at Asbury Theological Seminary.

David R. Bauer: I'm David Bauer. I am the uh Dean of the School of Biblical Interpretation at, here at Asbury Theological Seminary have been since around um uh 2005. And uh actually, since 1984 I have been a professor of inductive uh biblical studies uh here at Asbury Theological Seminary. Um uh When I was uh a teenager, I sensed the call to ministry. I was raised, born and raised really in the Free Methodist church in North Central Ohio. And uh I was raised in a church that uh put a high value on ministry. Uh As a matter of fact, in the church, which I grew up, if a young person uh showed any real interest at all in the things of God or the things of the church, uh he or she had to give a uh a uh an explanation of why uh they didn't feel uh called to ministry. So that was always there. But as I say, as a teenager, I sensed a call to ministry. And for me that meant at that time, pastoral ministry. And so I matriculated at uh spring Arbor College now Spring Arbor University uh and upon graduation from there, I came here to Asbury and did my Master of Divinity degree here at Asbury Theological Seminary. And while here I uh clarified my sense of specific vocation um and came to believe that God was calling me more specifically to theological education. Uh Thankfully, I was able to be ordained. Uh And um uh so I, I have uh that ordination um uh as part of my background and qualifications, I suppose you might say, which does indicate that I've, I've done uh some uh uh amount of work in the local church uh there over the years. And uh I uh was confirmed really in that sense of vocation of uh finishing my seminary experience here at Asbury. And then I went from here to do my phd in Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and later did postdoctoral studies at Princeton Theological Seminary uh upon my finishing my work uh for my phd at BIB at uh at Union Theological Seminary. I started here as professor, as I say of uh as uh a professor of inductive biblical studies. And it's been a wonderful journey. I've enjoyed very much uh working with the students here over the years. I love teaching, I love my students and I love, I love Asbury Seminary. This is a, a wonderful place to live and to study and to work and to grow uh together. Um The uh plan that I have moving forward is actually to continue and to round out my, uh, my, my teaching career here at Asbury Seminary, uh, and I pray that God will help me to, uh, to, uh complete my time here. Uh, strongly I want actually to become a better, a more effective, uh, biblical scholar and biblical teacher, uh, as I, as I continue on. So that's my story briefly. But here my, uh, my role here at Asbury.

Could you share a few details about your favorite part of being on faculty here?

David R. Bauer: My favorite uh part of uh teaching here uh at uh Asbury Theological Seminary is the students. Um I think we have really very fine students in terms of their, of their commitment to the Lord, in terms of their commitment to ministerial preparation. Uh in terms of their, their um strong desire uh to grow in the Lord. And their attitude is that there should not be a wedge between serious rigorous academic study of Bible and theology and all the other disciplines that relate to ministerial preparation and spiritual formation, that study should be spiritually formation. Uh And that, and that activities or uh uh uh various types of uh of experiences that are typically uh that are typically associated with spiritual formation, more narrowly such as prayer, worship, chapel, all these kinds of things should be informed by their studies as well. And so, uh these, these things really go hand in hand. That's one of the things that I very much appreciate about, about teaching here at Asbury Seminary. I could mention also wonderful faculty colleagues uh of, of, of, of, of a community in which the um in which there is a deep desire to seek after the Lord and the Lord's will. Um a strong sense of hospitality and a welcome and openness. All of these things are really come together to make it a wonderful experience to teach here. And this is to say that is not, is not to try to sell the seminary. It, it really is the case. I'm glad it is. I thank God for it.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

David R. Bauer: The best advice I've ever been given of course, is advice that comes right out of the scriptures and certainly out of my Christian nurture. And that is in every and all situations to trust in the Lord. There are all sorts of decisions that, that we have to make in life that I've had to make in life. It's often not easy to know what to decide when confronted with choices, but to trust in the Lord in every situation is always the right thing to do. There's never any question about that.

If you had to teach a class on one thing for the rest of your life, what would you teach?

David R. Bauer: If I had to teach just one thing, the rest of my life it would be to teach what I'm teaching now. Uh, inductive Bible study or inductive biblical studies of, uh, of, of New Testament books. Uh, I have taught in The Old Testament too and that would be fine. It's just that, uh, because particularly my work is dean. I have to restrict myself to, to the New Testament now. But, uh, I love teaching the gospel of Matthew. I've written mostly in Matthew. Uh, but, uh, uh, all the classes I teach teach a course on the Book of Acts in the Pauline Epistles on Hebrews. I love, I love teaching in this area. And, uh, if that's one, if there was one thing that I could do, um, that is to, it would be to continue to teach and to teach in the kind of environment that I do.

What skill do you think everyone entering ministry should have?

David R. Bauer: My own sense is that the one skill that is most important for ministry across the board is the skill of interpreting and applying the scriptures. Well, Paul says, you know, uh makes it instruction or ammunition to Timothy show yourself to be a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. The scriptures stand at the center of all forms of ministry no matter what form of ministry it is. Uh and uh it's not enough simply to know what the Bible says as important as that is, but to know what it means and to be able to discern and to draw out its meaning for yourself so that you can minister to others, the word of God.

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