on Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Outstanding student performance and faculty achievement in scholarship, research, and ministry were recognized at the annual Celebration of Excellence service recently at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College.

A standing ovation marked a special moment when Adam Harwood, professor of theology and Army National Guard chaplain currently deployed overseas, received the Marvin Jones Award for Excellence, Outstanding Faculty Churchman.

In opening remarks, Provost Norris Grubbs noted that the achievements, particularly for students, were significant in light of a year made difficult by COVID 19.

“Today we celebrate students, staff and faculty who have served the Lord above and beyond what was required. They have truly excelled,” Grubbs said.  

The Marvin Jones Awards for Excellence, named for Louisiana minister of education, church planter, and NOBTS alumnus, recognizes faculty contributions in research and writing, church ministry, and classroom performance. Adam Hughes, assistant professor of expository preaching, received the Outstanding Classroom Teacher award. Alan Bandy, professor of New Testament and Greek, received the Outstanding Research Professor. Laura Harwood, wife, accepted Adam Harwood’s award in his absence.

Grubbs expressed his hope that Harwood was watching online, then said, “We are grateful for your excellent service during this time of deployment.”

The Ola Farmer Lenaz Grants providing faculty research support were awarded to two professors: Jake Roudkovski, professor of evangelism and pastoral ministry, during his studies in the Oxford Executive Leadership Program, Oxford University, England; and Sandra Vandercook, professor of English and education, Leavell College, in continued coursework supporting her NOBTS role as associate director of accreditation.

Noted were recent faculty publications: the second edition of “How Do We Know?” by Jamie Dew, president; “Kingdom Students” by Norris Grubbs and Cory Barnes; “Divine Wrath in Paul,” by Gerald Stevens; “Can We Trust the Bible on the Historical Jesus?” and “What Did the Cross Accomplish?” by Robert Stewart; and “The Millennial Cantor and Conductor” and “Graduate Music Theory” by Greg Woodward.

The Outstanding Student Awards presented by publishing houses included these recipients: Jonathan Escarra, Zondervan Hebrew Award; Joshua Boucher, Zondervan Greek Award; Conner Hinton, Zondervan Theology Award; Andrew Wilson, Broadman & Holman Seminarian Award; and Christopher Kyle Pieri, Lifeway Pastoral Leadership Award.

Other Outstanding Student Award recipients were: Corey McKinney, Leavell College Best Senior Thesis; Alana Robinette, Baptist Association of Christian Educators Award in Christian Education; Keith Hanks, C.C. Randall Award in Evangelism; Thomas Johnson, David and Sue Meacham Award for Outstanding Church Planting Student; Maria Shuler, James A. Headrick Award for Excellence in Christian Counseling; George Adams, Daniel H. Holcomb Christian History Award; Gary Havlin, Outstanding Student Award in Christian Thought; and Fedosie Chevalier, Excellence in Missional Living Award.

Five students were awarded the Jack and Juanita Cunningham Scholarship for Holy Land Travel: Laura Hui, Keith Taylor, Matthew Beard, Jessica Stovall, and Joshua Boucher.

Receiving the Robert S. Magee Doctoral Scholar Award, given in recognition of academic excellence and scholarly potential, were Sara Robinson and Shan Taylor.

Outstanding Student Award recipients in the degree programs were: Victoria Dixon, Master of Divinity; Jeremy Starnes, Master of Divinity in Christian Education; Cortney Bruketta, Master of Arts in Christian Education; Thomas Johnson, Master of Music in Christian Music; Amy Garvin, Baccalaureate Program, and Geran Maples, Associate Program.