Dr. James R. Barnette has been named associate professor of religion and director of ministerial formation at Samford University. Dr. Barnette has served as minister to the university at Samford since 1994.
In his new role, he will teach courses in preaching, ministry and biblical perspectives and oversee the development of ministerial students through a program of 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," said Samford Provost J. Bradley Creed. "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 helps Alabama Baptist churches schedule ministerial students to deliver sermons in their pulpits. It began many years ago as "H-Day," when Samford still was known as Howard College.
"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," said Dr. Barnette. "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 continue to preach regularly in Baptist churches throughout the region, 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 M.Div. and Ph.D degrees from Southern Baptist Seminary. A popular preacher and conference speaker, he regularly contributes articles to journals on preaching and ministry.
Barnette is the author of a new book, Homely Joys, a collection of prayers and poems by Barnette and his late father, Dr. Henlee Barnette, a longtime faculty member at Southern Seminary. Barnette and his wife, Deanna, are parents of a daughter, Hannah, and son, Nicholas.