Matt Hufman joined the In Trust Center team in Octo- ber 2020 as vice president for communication with oversight for In Trust magazine. Matt is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, master of divinity graduate, experienced minister, and committed leader in theological education who comes to us from the leadership team of Evangel University where the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary is embedded. He understands the opportunities and issues facing theological schools and the churches and communities they serve. I’ve asked him to reflect on three themes as the start of a conversation, and I hope you’ll connect with him. – Amy Kardash.
God-given calling and purpose
When I came to seminary, I was in my 40s, and I’d had experience preaching, teaching, and ministering in a variety of settings, including in jail and a recovery group. Still, seminary was formative. It helped me widen my worldview, and it provided a vocabulary for what I had only felt, but not understood. It also showed me how powerful a formal education – and a formation process – for ministers and church leaders could be. It not only provides preparation for a calling but also shapes and forms the calling. I think the future of our churches rests in no small part on the success and vitality of our theological schools.
What it means to be mission focused
To me, mission is how and where I carry out my calling. My first calling is to Christ. Vocationally, if I’m called as a communicator, the mission may look different depending on the context I’m in – journalism, ministry, or higher education administration – but it still flows from the same place. One of the things I greatly appreciate about the In Trust Center is its commitment to helping schools and leaders in their specific contexts. I don’t believe that it can be overstated that seminaries and theological schools each have a unique God-given mission within the broader context of higher education and the church and with their own traditions. Those should be celebrated.
Story-telling and connections
One of the powerful elements of Christian history to me is the stories of how people have fulfilled their callings and missions. Hearing people’s stories has been one of the things I’ve loved about both journalism and ministry. I really want to learn about you, how you serve, how and who your school serves, as well as your needs and where you’re doing well and innovating. I’d love to set up some time to hear your story. Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.