Saint Paul Alum EvaMarie Campbell Making a Difference in How Children Learn the Bible

Stories of Saint Paul students continue to inspire us and fill us with hope.

EvaMarie Herndon Campbell’s story invites us to think about working with young lives. She has dedicated her ministry to relevant children’s ministry that enriches and incorporates the entire congregation.

EvaMarie and Children's MinistryEvaMarie has served for 24 years at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the children’s ministry area. She strives to enrich the faith of every child. Campbell is always open to new ways to engage children in stories of faith and credits retired Saint Paul Christian Education Professor Dr. Sondra Matthaei for instilling her commitment to innovative pedagogy.  (The picture on the right has Dr. Matthaei on the left and EvaMarie on the right.)

On a typical Sunday, you will see children cooking in a room set up like a 1950’s diner, playing games in a room set up to look like a city park, performing science experiments in a room with a life size skeleton and fish tank or watching a movie in the movie theater with plush seats, a popcorn machine and surround sound. Each month a new story from the Bible is introduced. The children then use all of their senses as they learn the story in the various settings. By the end of the month the children know the Bible story inside out.

“I want the children to experience the stories in fresh and inviting ways that will integrate the meaning into their daily lives,” said EvaMarie. The energy and enthusiasm of the teachers and shepherd helpers also add to the positive learning environment.

Since moving from the single room, grade level concept to the rotational model, EvaMarie has heard marks of success. “I’ve received feedback from our teenage Youth Leaders that the incoming youth are able to articulate the meaning of Bible verses and stories and they are living out what they learned. The growth in their formation has become evident.” As the children mature they get to celebrate “rites of passage” events which provide additional learning opportunities. The children look forward to moving into upper elementary as third graders are presented Bibles and get to stay for a lock-in and 4th and 5th graders experience Bible Boot Camp, Wednesday Night LIFE Group (Living Faith Everyday) and Blessing of the Backpacks.

EvaMarie believes that “a thriving ministry takes everyone to be engaged and involved in the process”.

As a result, she established a 50 person Children’s Council with clear goals and expectations. The Council sponsors many all-church events for families such as the Advent Workshop, Downtown Hoedown, Lenten Workshop, Father-Daughter and Mother-Son Dances, and Easter Egg Hunts. As caring, trained leaders, the Children’s Council becomes the “eyes and ears” for Campbell. Each Adult Sunday School Class has a representative on the Children’s Council which has had a positive impact on adults being informed. She uses email blasts, texts, tweets, posters, postcards, flyers and pulpit announcements to keep the congregation informed and engaged. This multi-channel communication helps her to maintain a high volunteer presence at events.

EvaMarie and Children's MinistryEvaMarie understands that inter-generational ministry is vital for the perpetual growth of the church. She is known nationally for establishing bold connections with the United Methodist Women’s (UMW) groups. The fourth and fifth grade girls are paired with an adult UMW Circle. They meet once a month to learn about the work of the UMW, the reading and mission programs, and the writings of Response magazine. The Hope Circles have been active for many years and have proven very successful. “Because we started our girls out in UMW Circles they understand the importance of the groups. We now have established two adult groups of young women,” she said.

EvaMarie has had the privilege of watching children grow. She has assisted with their weddings and later their children’s baptisms. She enjoys having the new parents active as the second generation in children’s ministry. “It is always a thrill to my heart when someone I have guided as a child or an intern goes into full-time Christian ministry,” said EvaMarie. “It is a blessing to be an active part of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!”

It’s awesome to see what our alums are doing in the real world!

Saint Paul Students Learn Earth Day Worship Planning at National Level

Earth Day ServiceThe seminary community gathered on Wednesday, April 22nd in Wesley Covenant Chapel to celebrate God’s creation during Earth Day.  There were readings, songs, and an interactive sermon lesson.

As the offering, the congregation was asked to write three things on colored paper leaves:

  1. What they would do to take action and care for creation this week.
  2. How they would lead their congregation or others to think about caring for creation.
  3. Where they would seek to find answers about questions that occurred about the Earth and eco system.

Each person then gave their leaf to the artist who had been slowly making a collage on a campus. Together, the leaves and base artwork formed the community tree!

Earth Day ServiceSaint Paul Chapel Coordinator Teresa Stewart made contact with the Creation Care Team of the United Methodist Church in New York regarding worship resources for Earth Day. She noticed the genuine concern of students Kurt Magelky and Dan Norwood around the topic and hoped that they could obtain additional information. Not only did the Creation Care Team provide information, but they also awarded two scholarships to Norwood and Magelky to attend a Caring for Creation Conference at the end of April. The Saint Paul School of Theology students were also invited to participate in an additional day to help plan nationally with this ministry area for the United Methodist Church.

11:30-1:00 PM / C041

Dan Norwood and Curt Magelky will give a talk over lunch on Tuesday, May 12 in Room C041 about their trip to Georgia for the Care of Creation Conference. All are invited.

RSVP by May 8th for the Culminating Lecture and Celebration Dinner Honoring Dr. Young Ho Chun

Chun, Young-HoPlease join us for the Culminating Lecture and Celebration Dinner honoring Dr. Young Ho Chun that will be held on Thursday, May 21st at 6 pm.

Dr. Chun has graced the seminary with his academic research and excellence in teaching for over twenty years.

The Venue in Leawood
4800 W. 135th Street, Suite 108
Leawood, Kansas  66209
Map & Directions

RSVP Deadline:
Friday, May 8th, 2015

Register Online:

RSVP Via Phone: 913-253-5085


Letters of thanksgiving may be sent by May 8th to:
Ms. Tracy Miller
Saint Paul School of Theology
4370 West 109th Street, Suite 300
Overland Park, Kansas 66211



Come See Author, Professor, and NPR Talk Show Host Dr. Michael Dyson Speak at the 2015 Cleaver Lecture

Saint Paul School of Theology presents the 2015 Cleaver Lecture in Religion and Public Life with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson on April 29th at 7:00 p.m.

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to see Dr. Michael Dyson present a lecture titled, “Policing the Black Body: Fast Terror and Slow Terror in America.”  This event is free and open to the public!  Dr. Dyson is currently University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and NPR host of the “Michael Eric Dyson Show”.

The lecture will take place at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri at 7:00 p.m.  The lecture is free and open to the public with a reception following.

Dr. Dyson blends scholarly insight with popular culture and provides commentary on modern social and intellectual thought.  He makes use of cultural criticism, race theory, religion, philosophical reflection, and gender studies.

He has been named by Ebony as one of the hundred most influential black Americans, is the author of sixteen books, including Holler if You Hear Me, Is Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr.

Michael Eric Dyson

Saint Paul School of Theology Cleaver Lecturer will be Dr. Dyson on April 29.


Saint Paul Preaching Professor Mike Graves has a New Book on

Mike-Graves-Profile-Photo (Custom)Saint Paul McElvaney Preaching Professor Dr. Mike Graves has written his latest book as a nonfiction narrative. Readers can immerse themselves as a participant in a seminary classroom. Through these pages you will come to know a professor and his students and learn along with them about narrative preaching.

Once a new trend, narrative preaching is now older than most styles of preaching. As the professor notes, two things went wrong with narrative styles: over time the church became biblically and theologically illiterate, and the promised stress on experience didn’t always measure up to the weight of the gospel.

Readers will experience the stories of some modern storytellers-Flannery O’Connor, Alice Walker, and others-to see what they might teach us about narratives of depth.

Spiritual Formation Retreat – Focus on the Sabbath

Saint Paul School of Theology students, faculty, and staff experienced their second off-campus Spiritual Formation Retreat on March 13th at Atonement Lutheran Church (9948 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, KS). Dr. Jim Brandt, Saint Paul professor, and Rev. Connie Wilson, Saint Paul alum and pastor led the group with the topic of Sabbath.

Participants learned that pastors experience a high level of burn out when they forget to take time for themselves and their own families.

They prepared for the experience by reading a book about Sabbath and by developing a plan to practice Sabbath themselves. There was singing, silence, and small group sharing. Then the group performed skits. A panel discussion occurred at 2:30pm and the group closed with a Eucharist service before going forth renewed!


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Saint Paul Students Get Real-World Look Into Church Finances

Budgeting-Practicum-2015-Brent-and-Kelly (Custom)The new Saint Paul practicums are a wealth of practical information! The Church of the Resurrection financial leaders Brent Messick and Kelly Williams led this practicum called Budgets and Financial Documents. Together they opened up the church books and informed future pastors about the realities of church finance.

Other practicums that have been especially popular this semester have been Funeral and Memorial Services and Ministry with Youth.

Practicums are short, workshop style courses which focus on experiential learning in a particular practice of ministry. They are taught by a faculty member or faculty member in collaboration with a practitioner of ministry.

Saint Paul Academy April 21st and 28th – Register Now!

Elaine RobinsonSaint Paul Academy offers non-degree classes for clergy and laity who would like to deepen their faith, better understand theology, and grow in ministry and leadership skills. These opportunities for continuing education and personal enrichment allow participants to engage at their own pace and are taught by Saint Paul School of Theology faculty.

To Register:

Class: United Methodist Heritage

In this course we will examine the basics of our United Methodist identity:  History, Polity, and Doctrine. Questions will be considered such as: Where do we come from as a denomination? What does John Wesley have to do with us today?  How do we organize the denomination and why? What are the basic beliefs of United Methodists? Do I have to agree with them? Why do we baptize infants? And why does any of this matter?

 Suggested Reading: The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (2012) pages 11-142.

Also consider reading the following sermons by John Wesley (available online):

“The Scripture Way of Salvation”

“Catholic Spirit”

“The Means of Grace”

Tuesdays, April 21 & 28, 2015

Dr. Elaine Robinson


Church of the Resurrection
13720 Roe Ave
Leawood, KS 66224

6:30 – 8:30 PM

$25 (childcare provided)

SPST-Academy-2015-Elaine-Robinson (Custom)Earn a Certificate in Lay Theology!

There are six basic courses that lead to a Certificate in Lay Theology that can be taken in any order:

  • Introduction to Hebrew Bible
  • Introduction to New Testament
  • Introduction to Church History
  • Introduction to Christian Theology
  • Introduction to Worship
  • United Methodist Heritage (Polity/History/Doctrine)

Faculty Focus – Dr. Hal Knight

Henry Knight

What I am teaching

Pentecost and Charismatic Theology
In a single century Pentecostals and Charismatics have grown from non-existence to encompass one fourth of all Christians. We are reading books by a new generation of Pentecostal theologians who are providing theological grounding for Pentecostal identity as well as engaging the entire church globally and ecumenically.

Dr. Frank MacchiaEspecially exciting is that one of those authors, Dr. Frank Macchia, will be visiting the class on April 14, the evening prior to his giving the Evangelical Society Lecture. There are also two class sessions on the difference these theologies make in ministry: one led by Jeff Kirby from the Church of the Resurrection on healing ministries, and one consisting of a panel of three United Methodists and a Pentecostal.

United Methodist Doctrine
This continues to be my favorite class, and although I’ve taught versions of it for three decades it never gets old. There is nothing more exciting than the theology of John Wesley and its optimism of grace! While as in all my classes we keep ministry in mind, in this class I am devoting three sessions specifically on the shape of Wesley on ministry: two led by Chuck Russell of the UM Church of the Resurrection, and one with a panel of very Wesleyan United Methodist pastors.

Funerals and Memorial Services Practicum
Practicums are perhaps the most exciting part of our new curriculum. In this one I have a supporting role. Reverend Karen Lampe and her team at UM Church of the Resurrection will involve about a dozen students in caring for grieving families, and planning and leading the services.

What I am reading

Kenda Creasy Dean, Almost Christian
Drawing on a survey of teens in the church, Dean presents a disturbing portrait of the faith of youth in mainline Protestant churches. Termed Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, this pale alternative to authentic Christianity posits a God uninvolved in our lives except in times of trouble, and whose basic concern if for us to be “nice,” and nice people go to heaven when they die. Where would teens get such a religion? The study is clear: they get it from their parents and the church itself.

Matthew T. Lee, Margaret M. Poloma, and Stephen S. Post, The Heart of Religion
Three sociologists show how encountering God’s love transforms and empowers persons, leading them to lives devoted to serving others. It is fascinating to see the variety of ways people encounter God’s love, and the equally various kinds of ministry produced. To varying degrees these persons have become much more aware of God’s acting in the world. Reading this right after reading the book by Dean was an especially powerful experience!

Frank Macchia, Justified in the Spirit
The most recent book by this leading Pentecostal theologian, Macchia uses recent New Testament scholarship to expand the meaning of justification from forgiveness only to participation in God, and ultimately the promise of new creation. Justification then is not only the result of the cross but Easter and Pentecost; it is a Trinitarian work necessarily involving the Holy Spirit. Indeed life in the Spirit, both personal and communal, is at the heart of justification.

Sammy Alfaro, Divine Compañero: Toward a Hispanic Pentecostal Christianity
This impressive young theologian proposes a Spirit Christology as most appropriate for Hispanic Pentecostalism. Jesus is the Spirit-anointed Divine Companion who travels with those who follow him.

What I am writing

My most recent book is Anticipating Heaven Below: Optimism of Grace from Wesley to Pentecostals (2014). In it I argue that Wesleyanism is a theology of hope, leading the overlapping Methodist, Holiness and Pentecostal movements to pray and work with the expectancy that the love and power of God will transform hearts and lives, renew the church, and bring compassion, healing, and justice to a suffering world.

I have two new book projects underway. Doug Powe and I are writing Transforming Community, a kind of sequel to our earlier Transforming Evangelism, for Discipleship Resources.  I am writing a short book introducing John Wesley’s theology for Wipf and Stock’s Cascade Companion series.

I continue to write the Consider Wesley article for Catalyst, now found online at I also write a monthly “Wesley and World Today” article for The Missouri Methodists, available both in printed and online here.

Four Full Ride Scholarships Available in 2015!

Saint Paul FellowsSaint Paul is excited to announce a collaborative Fellows Program with the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference.

The Fellows Program is a first-of-its-kind pastoral program designed to eliminate student loan debt, immerses students in varied church settings.

Four Full Ride Scholarships

Saint Paul School of Theology will award four full-ride scholarships to seminary students commencing study in 2015. “The three-year Fellows program offers a groundbreaking opportunity to equip candidates called to full-time ministry with excellent academic formation and real-life pastoral experience while reducing the need for student loans,” Saint Paul President H. Sharon Howell announced.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for prospective students interested in the Saint Paul Fellows at Oklahoma City University-Oklahoma Conference or the Saint Paul Fellows at Church of the Resurrection is March 15, 2015. A total of eight finalists will be invited for on-site interviews in March, and Saint Paul will announce scholarship recipients on April 15, 2015.

More Details

“Saint Paul is one seminary on two campuses. Applicants for our Fellows program can choose between two very different church settings to prepare for leadership in the church and in the world,” Howell said. “Whether it is serving on staff at the country’s largest United Methodist congregation or assuming pastoral duties in a rural or small church setting, these select Saint Paul Fellows will receive intentional practical experience combined with rigorous scholarship.”

The awards will be granted to two students at each campus and will cover tuition, books and fees for three years. The Oklahoma Conference Fellows will receive a student appointment to pastor a small church, including a parsonage and salary to cover living expenses; the Church of the Resurrection Fellows will receive a stipend to cover living expenses while serving at the 21,000-member congregation’s suburban campus in Leawood, Kansas within the Great Plains Annual Conference.

The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation provided the lead gift to “kick start” the Fellows Program. Bill Junk, President, believes providing scholarships while students are in seminary not only assists them financially, but also demonstrates an investment in the future leadership of The United Methodist Church.

Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection, called the collaboration between Saint Paul and the Church of the Resurrection exciting: “Students will serve on our team, learning from our lead staff and exploring nearly every dimension of Resurrection’s ministry. They will graduate with experiences and tools few seminary students have when beginning their full-time ministry.”

Nationally, average seminary student loan debt is $45,000. Combining salary, stipend and scholarship money ensures Saint Paul Fellows will receive the finest theological education and formation for the least amount of out-of-pocket expense. Saint Paul and its collaborative partners are committed to coming along side seminary students to help them focus on their formation experience without the burden of debt.

“These awards are open to United Methodist men and women of any age seeking their Masters of Divinity who will be first year students at Saint Paul in the Fall 2015. We are seeking students who will lead and serve an ever-changing church in a broken and hungry world,” Howell said. “Selected Fellows will show exemplary leadership and promise for creative and faithful ministry.”