Faculty Focus: Dr. Mike Thompson
Amid the busyness of the Christmas season, a time filled with the additions of planning special church services, grading or finishing finals, strategizing for the upcoming year, shopping and all that goes into a professor and pastor’s “time off”, I was able to sit with Dr. Mike Thompson, Professor of Practical Theology, and discuss some of the current themes in American Christianity. Our time was filled with passionate proclamations of wisdom and an honest heart for the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in and through the faculty, staff and students at Ashland Theological Seminary.
Dr. Thompson has been a part of ATS off and on since the mid-eighties when he came to complete a second Master’s degree. Having already done some master’s work, and having worked as a full-time pastor for four years, he felt there were still some things that he needed to learn to more fully develop himself, and in turn the people placed in his charge. Twenty-some years later, when given an opportunity to serve on the faculty at ATS, he leapt at the chance to be a part of this community.
As a student and enrollment counselor at ATS, I find little more exciting than hearing a professor articulate their fondness for the institution that has blessed so many. We read professors’ explanations of how their class fits with the core values of ATS and so on, but this pales in comparison to the authenticity we sense when professors who have made our institution a part of their lives are given an opportunity to explain how ATS works.
Dr. Thompson illustrates, as many of our professors do, the thing that makes ATS such a dynamic place at which to learn how to serve in Christ’s kingdom. In many ways Dr. Thompson is a pastor first, whether to the growing congregation he serves or to the students who occasionally need to be loved more than they need to be lectured and graded. Like so many of our faculty, he is a humble servant, whose heart is tuned first to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and who teaches our students as a pastor first.
There are four complete recordings of Miles’ time with Dr. Thompson. See the full interview here.