Aaron Howard appointed assistant professor of ethics, reconciliation
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Howard, who begins his appointment in August, will teach graduate courses in the Hazelip School of Theology and undergraduate courses in the CEA’s worship arts program as well as organize and lead the university’s first gospel choir.
“Dr. Howard is a man who brings a rare combination of three things: top-level Bible and theology training, expertise and long experience in worship ministry, and a passionate commitment to Christ,” said Leonard Allen, dean of the College of Bible & Ministry. “That commitment to Christ is woven throughout Dr. Howard’s background as both educator and minister. I am thrilled that he is joining the Lipscomb faculty.”
Prior to his appointment at Lipscomb, Howard served as director of diversity, community and inclusion for the lower, middle and upper schools at Franklin Road Academy in Nashville. He has also been on faculty at Tom Bradley Elementary School in Los Angeles, Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Vanderbilt Divinity School. In addition to his educational experience, he has served as worship minister at a number of congregations across the country.
Howard holds a Ph.D. in religion, ethics and society from Vanderbilt University, a Master of Arts in theological studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in counselor education, school counseling and guidance services from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Christian education at its best doesn’t just teach to inform minds but seeks to transform our loves,” said Howard. “We can become so academic in our theological pursuits that we can talk about Jesus without really knowing who he is. God gives us our minds for reflection and cognition and also calls us into worship and deep communion with him.”
The gospel choir will offer Lipscomb students a new avenue to engage God in that worship, said Howard.
“Reverent worship does not have to be just contemplative and reflective,” he said. “It can be emphatic and exuberant. Gospel music is embodied. It’s affective, rhythmic, and visceral. It draws on the black tradition in which I was raised. Your whole body is engaged when you sing gospel music—you sing full-throated and with emotional intensity. It’s also one of the most popular music forms in the world. I definitely look forward to introducing it to the Lipscomb community.”
He said the choir will also offer Lipscomb students a new way to engage with each other. “I am passionate about the multi-cultural church and I believe music is one of the best ways to build community. I hope that a natural result of spending this kind of time together in worship will be the formation of deep, meaningful, significant cross-cultural relationships,” said Howard.
Randy Gill, assistant CEA dean and director of the worship arts program, said, “Aaron Howard will be an invaluable addition both to the College of Bible & Ministry and the School of Music. He brings a depth of experience and scholarship to his new role. As an experienced worship leader and teacher, he is well prepared to serve our students in the classroom, as the director of a new gospel choir, and as a mentor to young worship leaders.”
In 2019, Lipscomb launched the worship arts degree. It is designed for students with dreams of becoming a worship minister in a church, touring artist, worship songwriter or who wish to be part of the team that helps with the technical aspect of worship gatherings. This program facilitates opportunities for students to learn from professionals in the worship arts industry and will provide them with experiences that will be a platform for them to begin their careers in worship. Learn more about Lipscomb’s worship arts degree program here.
Lauren White, assistant professor in the College of Bible & Ministry, was a classmate of Howard’s while both were pursuing their doctoral studies at Vanderbilt. “Not only has Aaron spent years cultivating a keen and in-depth knowledge of racial diversity and reconciliation issues, but he is also sincerely and foremostly committed to the truth of Scripture,” said White. “In this, he brings together a singular combination of vision, savvy, and wisdom befitting the ethos of a community with a ‘firm core and soft edges’ [like Lipscomb].”
Lipscomb’s College of Bible & Ministry offers undergraduate degrees in children’s ministry, theology and ministry, vocational ministry, worship arts (joint program with the CEA), Greek and Hebrew. Its Hazelip School of Theology, one of the only two schools in Middle Tennessee that is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, offers a Master of Arts degree in Christian ministry, a Master of Divinity in theology, a Master of Theological Studies and a Doctor of Ministry degree. Learn more at www.lipscomb.edu/bible.