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New Testament professor to lead NOBTS’ Research Doctoral Program


NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Charles Ray, professor of New Testament and Greek at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, has been announced by seminary president Chuck Kelley as the director of the seminary’s research doctoral program. Ray has served as acting director since August 2000.

He became a Christian in the second grade, when he was bothered by his “sin problem,” he said. “Though my Daddy was standing next to me and telling everyone that he had talked with me about the Lord, I wanted them to know that it was my decision,”

His subsequent baptism gave him such a euphoric feeling that right away he began sharing about Jesus to his young classmates.

These events began a lifetime of Christian service for Ray, who recently celebrated his tenth year of service at the seminary. Prior to this service, he served seven years as a missionary professor of New Testament and Greek for the International Mission Board at the seminary in Taejon, South Korea.

Noting that he always wanted to teach, Ray said learning to speak Korean was difficult, but fun. He still remembers the first sentence he learned from the Korean grammar book: “Korean is difficult but interesting.” His children, Angela, Charlie III, Kevin and Amanda, all learned the language while attending Korean elementary schools.

So great was their experience in Korea that it was difficult for his family to leave. “Korea was home for my children,” he said, especially true for their youngest daughter, Amanda, whom he and his wife, Sheryl, adopted from an orphanage in Seoul.

Since returning to the United States, Ray has served as interim pastor for a number of Louisiana churches, most recently at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Pine Grove. Prior to his appointment to the foreign mission field in 1984, he served for seven years as pastor of that same church. During his student days he served as minister of youth at the Williams Boulevard Baptist Church in Kenner, La.

He has written several articles for the Biblical Illustrator, a publication of LifeWay Christian Resources, and in two Korean publications, Bogeumkwa Shilcheon [Journal of the Korea Baptist Seminary] and the Korea Times. Ray has presented his research in several scholarly papers at meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies. Most recently he presented “Psalm 95: Literary Context and Application to Hebrews 3,” at the Nov. 14-16 annual national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Ray holds the Bachelor of Arts and master of education degrees from Mississippi College, the Master of Arts in English teaching degree from the University of New Orleans, and the master of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from NOBTS.

“We are excited to have Dr. Ray providing direction to our research doctorate degrees,” said Steve Lemke, seminary provost. “His international missions experience in Korea, his pastoral experience, and his research expertise in New Testament make him uniquely qualified to lead our Ph.D. program into this new century as we train the next generation of Baptist college and seminary teachers.”

The doctor of philosophy degree program is the highest academic degree awarded at NOBTS. Majors are offered in Christian education, church history, evangelism, missions, New Testament, Old Testament, preaching, psychology and counseling, and theology. A primary goal of the degree is to prepare candidates for a vocation in theological instruction, and Christian scholarly research and ministry.

The research community consists of about 40 professors and 95 students.

The doctoral of musical arts degree, also directed by Ray, is a resident terminal degree that focuses on equipping persons for research, performance, teaching, ministry, and denominational leadership in the field of church music. Concentrations are offered in conducting, organ, piano, voice, music history, hymnology, church music education, composition, and theory.

A faculty of five is available to offer each student individualized guidance.

To date, NOBTS Ph.D. and D.M.A. graduates have held teaching positions in over 70 educational institutions. In addition to the research positions acquired, full-time teaching positions have been secured by 45 of the 174 alumni who graduated in the 1980s and 46 of the 152 alumni who graduated in the 1990s.
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For more information, contact the Office of Research Doctoral Programs, at 1-800-NOBTS-01 or 504-816-8010; fax: 504-816-8039; email: [email protected]. (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: CHARLES RAY.

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  • Shannon Baker

    Shannon Baker is director of communications for the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey and editor of the Network’s weekly newsletter, BRN United.

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