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Hazelip School of Theology

Serve More Effectively Wherever You're Called.

The landscape of ministry is changing as never before. At the Hazelip School of Theology, we will train you for the challenges you face today. We are here to equip you with the knowledge, skills and abilities that will empower your calling in the Kingdom, whether that’s in local congregations, faith-based nonprofit spaces, chaplaincy roles or other forms of ministry you are supporting.

Your degree is more than just an academic experience. It is also about the personal journey you take as you study the complexities of Scripture, the textures of church history, the breadth of Christian theology and the pastoral practices of personal and communal formation. Here at Hazelip, the classic theological disciplines are meaningfully connected to the practical concerns of how to sustain Christian faith within your circles of influence.

Our way of educating is holistic regardless of the particular program you choose. We consider ourselves theological educators first and foremost, women and men that are willing to share our scholarly resources alongside our personal pieces of wisdom that flow out of our own journeys with Christ. We are thus accessible outside the classroom for other kinds of formative conversations because we highly value the personal dimensions of a seminary experience.

People interact at Christian Scholars Conference

Graduate Programs

The Hazelip School of Theology offers several innovative graduate programs specifically created for professionals serving in today’s congregations and other faith-based initiatives. Learn from expert faculty and understand how to serve more effectively in your calling. Join our learning community and grow with us in our commitment to advance the Kingdom of God.

View Graduate Programs

graduates in church or para-church ministries

Dr. Lauren White teaching

Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools

Our accreditation through the Association of Theological Schools means we are a seminary focused on our educational mission. We continually examine our classroom practices and improve our ways of teaching so that our students flourish in this learning community. Accredited by ATS since 2011, we pursue excellence in all that we do and regularly ask our students and graduates for feedback on how we might improve our work together.

Our Academic Programs
LIFE class at DJRC

LIFE Program

We seek to provide higher education to every person who desires it. Our Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) program provides one of the most extraordinary learning experiences available at the university. Through LIFE, traditional graduate students are able to journey alongside residents of the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center (DJRC) as together they earn their Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degrees. This graduate program is currently the only ATS-accredited degree being offered inside a prison setting within the United States.

About LIFE

states served by our graduates


Meet the key people that make up the Hazelip School of Theology.

  • Leonard Allen Headshot

    Leonard Allen

    Dean of the College of Bible

    C. Leonard Allen serves as dean of the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb University. He taught theology, ethics, and philosophy at the graduate and undergraduate level for over...

    Meet Leonard Allen
  • Frank Guertin headshot

    Frank Guertin

    Assistant Dean and Associate Professor

    Frank Guertin is Assistant Dean for the Hazelip School of Theology at Lipscomb University and Assistant Professor of Theology. Guertin completed his bachelor's degree at Ohio Valley University and his...

    Meet Frank Guertin
  • Carlus Gupton headshot

    Carlus Gupton

    Director, Doctor of Ministry Program

    Dr. Carlus Gupton is Assistant Dean, Professor of Ministry, and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Hazelip School of Theology. Before that, he was Professor of Ministry and...

    Meet Carlus Gupton
  • Randy Willingham headshot

    Randy Willingham

    Competency-Based Education Director

    Randy Willingham is the Director for the Hazelip School of Theology's Competency-Based Theological Education. He holds degrees from Oklahoma State University, Harding University, Harding School of Theology, and Abilene Christian University. His 1994 doctoral thesis ...

    Meet Randy Willingham
  • Greg Anderson

    Adjunct Faculty

    Greg Anderson and his wife Dalene live in Bryan, TX, where Greg serves as Co-Leader of Hope Network Ministries and Assistant Director of Lipscomb University's Doctorate of Ministry Program. Greg...

    Meet Greg Anderson
  • Mark Black

    Mark Black


    Mark teaches Luke-Acts, Synoptic Gospels, New Testament Theology, Corinthians, New Testament Exegesis, and Biblical Ethics. He has preached at the Moreland Ave Church of Christ in Atlanta, the Okolona church...

    Meet Mark Black
  • Lee Camp headshot

    Lee Camp


    Lee is an Alabamian by birth. He met his wife Laura at Lipscomb as an undergrad (BA in Computer Science), and then did seminary at Abilene Christian University (MA and...

    Meet Lee Camp
  • Phillip Camp headshot

    Phillip Camp


    Phillip Camp teaches Old Testament and Hebrew courses. He is the author of "Finding Your Way: A Guide to Seminary Life and Beyond" (Cascade, 2009) and "Living as the Community...

    Meet Phillip Camp
  • John Mark Hicks headshot

    John Mark Hicks


    John Mark Hicks has taught full time in higher education among Churches of Christ since 1982 and is currently Professor of Theology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has...

    Meet John Mark Hicks
  • Aaron Howard headshot

    Aaron Howard

    Assistant Professor

    Aaron teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in ethics. He holds a PhD in Ethics and Society from Vanderbilt University. an MA in Theology & Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary,...

    Meet Aaron Howard
  • Earl Lavender headshot

    Earl Lavender


      Earl was born to missionary parents in Trieste, Italy. He earned undergraduate degrees from Ohio Valley College and David Lipscomb College (Physical Education and Coaching).  He is married to the...

    Meet Earl Lavender
  • Kris Miller

    Kris Miller

    Assistant Professor

    Kris Miller joined the faculty of the College of Bible and Ministry in 2015, serving as assistant professor of theology and director of Lipscomb's Institute for Christian Spirituality. He has...

    Meet Kris Miller
  • Josh Strahan headshot

    Josh Strahan

    Associate Professor

    Josh teaches courses in Biblical Interpretation and the New Testament. He received his bachelor's degree in Bible from Lipscomb University in 2004, his Master of Divinity degree from Abilene Christian...

    Meet Josh Strahan
  • Paavo Tucker headshot

    Paavo Tucker

    Adjunct on Contract

    Paavo was born in Nashville, and grew up in Finland as a missionary kid before moving to the United States to go to college at Freed-Hardeman University. He attained his...

    Meet Paavo Tucker
  • Lauren White headshot

    Lauren White

    Assistant Professor

    Lauren Smelser White has served as Assistant Professor of Theology at Lipscomb since 2018 and teaches various undergraduate and graduate courses in Bible and systematic, historical, and contextual theology. She...

    Meet Lauren White


Meet Johanna Newsome

Lipscomb Missions would like to welcome our new team member, Johanna Newsome! She started in the Program Coordinator role a few weeks ago and is quickly becoming familiar with our program, processes and all of our host partners.  Johanna is originally from Chattanooga and moved to Nashville in 2019 to finish...

Mon, 01/09/2023 - 12:42
Posted by Grace Evans

Church as Classroom: Competency-Based Theological Education

"It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t matter.” “It’s not enough to have the best class in the world if it doesn’t connect,” says Randy Willingham, Director of Lipscomb’s new Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE) program. “The question becomes ‘does it work or not?’” With the launch of the CBTE, Lipscomb’s Hazelip School of...

Mon, 01/09/2023 - 12:37
Posted by Grace Evans

What? Why? How? Now?

Walter Surdacki, professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Lipscomb, has co-authored Practical Wisdom for Youth Group Parents (2022). It is a quick start guide for adults in youth ministry structured around these four practical questions.  Its authors, David Fraze and Walter Surdacki, wrote Practical Wisdom to help readers “get ready...

Thu, 11/17/2022 - 12:10
Posted by Grace Evans

More Blog Posts

Graduate Programs

Our graduate programs provide theological training in a relational context, emphasizing advanced knowledge of Scripture, theology and the history of Christian thought. Your education experience at Hazelip will be filled with purposeful, personal growth.