Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-03-09

Thomas Joseph was named recipient of the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by Samford University's Beeson Divinity School.

Joseph, pastor of Presbyterian Church of the Hills, received a Master of Divinity degree at Beeson in 1996. He was recently named clerk of the Evangel Presbytery.

The award was presented during the William E. Conger, Jr., Lectures on Biblical Preaching at the divinity school in February.

"Thomas was an exemplary student while at Beeson," said Beeson professor Dr. Frank Thielman in making the presentation, adding that the winner left a managerial position and worked as a church janitor so that he could attend divinity classes.

Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University, holds a master's in public and private management from Birmingham-Southern College. A businessman before being called into the ministry, he has served as pastor of Presbyterian Church of the Hills since 1997.

He and his wife, Peggy, have two children, Taylor and Edmund.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.