Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University announces that they will have a full-time faculty member in place to teach restorative justice and prison ministries beginning spring 2013. Donors Ivan and Mary Joe Keatley helped to create the position with their generous gift to the seminary through the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation. "Matthew 25 is clear that followers of Jesus are to visit those in prison. And the church takes seriously its calling to transform the world -- a world in which such high levels of incarceration exist. Dr. Basler's expertise in restorative justice and the criminal justice system will be a great asset to our students as well as the churches here in Oklahoma and beyond. We are deeply grateful to the Keatleys for their generosity and compassion," said Dr. Elaine Robinson, Academic Dean of Saint Paul at OCU.
Dr. Stan Basler will fill the new faculty position as Visiting Professor of Restorative Justice and Prison Ministries through Fall 2016. Basler is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He received his M.A. at the University of Oklahoma, M.Div. at Phillips Theological Seminary, J.D. at the University of Kansas School of Law, and D.Min. at Saint Paul School of Theology. Dr. Basler has served as the Director of Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries for the Oklahoma Conference for nearly twenty years. Before work in prison ministry, he practiced law and worked in various government positions.
Stan Basler has helped to develop and teach three courses in the master's curriculum as an adjunct instructor. He has also taught classes in the Saint Paul School of Theology Course of Study program. Each summer he directs the New Day Camp, a special ministry for children with at least one parent in prison.
Basler received the Distinguished Graduate Award from Saint Paul School of Theology in 2011. Rev. Susan Southall, MDiv '98, President of the Saint Paul Graduate Association spoke these words when presenting the award, "Stan Basler is a constant reminder to those of us in Oklahoma (and beyond) of the difference between retributive justice and restorative justice. He merges his background in the legal profession with his Christian faith and seminary education. In his role as the Director of Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries, he has influenced many lives helping men, women, and children recognize God's love while also challenging them to find a healthy path for their lives. He truly cares about those who have been incarcerated as well as for their families."