Adjunct professor brings urban ministry experience to Graham School

Communications Staff — January 7, 2009

Troy Bush, an experienced urban ministry specialist, will now regularly share his expertise with students at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as adjunct professor of Christian missions and urban ministry in the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth.

Bush began teaching courses at Southern as a visiting professor last summer and began his new position on Jan. 1. He will continue teaching J-term classes focusing on missions and urban ministry. Bush earned his doctor of philosophy from Southern in 1999.

Currently Bush serves as director of church starting for the North American Mission Board’s Embrace Baltimore emphasis. Previously he served as a strategy coordinator for Moscow with the International Mission Board. In both roles he focused on making disciples in large cities.

“If we want to see genuine transformation in our cities, it can’t happen … solely from good government and nongovernmental organizations,” Bush said. “It will take place as the people of God engage their cities both on an individual basis and as the church to make disciples and address systems, structures and centers of power in the city.”

Chuck Lawless, dean of the Graham School, said Bush’s ministry experience will serve students well.

“Dr. Bush brings both IMB and NAMB experience to the Billy Graham School, with a strong emphasis on urban evangelism,” Lawless said. “He is a gifted scholar and a seasoned practitioner who is uniquely gifted in missions strategy.”

Bush will work in conjunction with the recently launched Wayne and Lealice Dehoney Center for Urban Ministry Training. He hopes to be a part of both instructing students in the classroom and guiding them through practical urban ministry experiences.

“I am thrilled that Southern Seminary and the Dehoneys have launched the center,” Bush said. “When we look at missions around the world, a people group focus remains a great need and a strategic avenue for engaging the world. At the same time, one of the areas I think has been under developed is how we engage our cities.

“And to be part of the Wayne and Lealice Dehoney Center for Urban Ministry Training at Southern is an honor and frankly very exciting. I hope that in days ahead I will be able to continue to be part of this ministry.”

Urban ministry must address social issues, Bush said, but successful urban ministry must center on God’s Word.

“It’s not sufficient, for example, to see a drug addict become liberated from narcotics. The focus must be that he would become a disciple of Jesus Christ free from his addiction to drugs,” he said.

“Transformation in urban contexts must extend beyond the goal of social redemption. Urban ministry must be based upon the proclamation of the Word of God, seeking first the kingdom of God in the city so that we are making vibrant, reproducing disciples.”

Bush said he looks forward to sharing with students his passion for urban ministry.

“I’m excited to be involved at this level and to be able to encourage and support what’s being done,” he said.

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