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    Harding University
  Sep 23, 2023
2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
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2019-2020 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

General Information


Harding School of Theology (HST) challenges Christian leaders to develop deeper faith in God and higher standards of ministry and scholarship.

Theological education at HST is characterized by:

  • Integration - HST challenges Christian leaders to integrate spiritual growth, ministry experience, and rigorous scholarship.
  • Formation - HST challenges Christian leaders to pursue spiritual maturity and the virtues and skills required for theological reflection.
  • Faithfulness - HST is committed to seeking and following God through the careful study of scripture, and to pursuing truth in the context of the historic Christian faith.
  • Community - HST is committed to serving Churches of Christ and the larger faith community by providing ministerial training and scholarly resources.
  • Witness - HST is committed to proclaiming and living out the Gospel in diverse ministry settings, including urban and global contexts.

Faith Statement:

Harding School of Theology is committed to faith in God as the Creator of the world and the loving Father of humanity; to Jesus of Nazareth as the Incarnate Word, the only Son of God, and the risen Christ; and to the Holy Spirit as the indwelling presence of God among his people. We believe the gospel of God, ultimately revealed in the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, is the only hope for fallen humanity. We believe that Scripture is the Word of God given by divine inspiration to be our infallible guide in religious matters.

As a theological school associated with the Churches of Christ, Harding School of Theology embraces the goals of restoration as a theological principle. This means that we affirm such identifying theological practices as the baptism (immersion in water) of believers into Christ for the remission of sins, the weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper, autonomous congregations led by a plurality of elders, and a capella singing in congregational worship.

Given these theological commitments, we encourage the open and honest pursuit of truth through past and present resources so we can continue to be formed into the image of Christ.


Harding School of Theology provides quality training for excellence in ministry and scholarship. We offer strong biblical and theological scholarship that is seasoned with a commitment to ministry. Consequently, our mission is to produce biblically informed and spiritually mature men and women who will devote themselves to long-term ministry.

Given this mission and history, Harding School of Theology is committed to preparing men and women for the holistic task of ministry in a fallen world, where holy servants of Christ communicate God’s grace. We provide (1) training for a wide range of professional opportunities to serve in churches or Christian ministries, (2) a community for spiritual formation where faith is deepened and commitment to Christ and his church is increased, and (3) a vision for service that is both urban and global. As an institution located in an urban environment, HST is committed to supporting the mission of the church as it proclaims the Gospel in diverse social and cultural contexts. As an institution with a historic commitment to evangelism, HST is committed to increasing the church’s global perspective and broadening the worldview of its students for the sake of ministry and mission throughout the world.


Harding School of Theology is a branch school of Harding University in Searcy, Ark. Harding began as a senior college when two junior colleges merged in 1924. The college moved to its present location in Searcy in 1934, and it was renamed Harding University in 1979. The University now has 44 buildings on its 275-acre campus, which, in conjunction with the Memphis, Tenn., campus, are valued at approximately $249 million.

Harding School of Theology is an outgrowth of graduate studies in religion that began on the Searcy campus in 1952. An extension program offering such courses in Memphis was begun in 1955. In 1958, the Board of Trustees of Harding University officially expanded the Memphis program into a branch of Harding University.


Harding School of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The following degree programs are approved: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Ministry. The Commission contact information is: The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, 10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, Penn., 15275, USA (; 412-788-6505; fax 412-788-6510).

Harding School of Theology is part of Harding University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, 312-263-0456 or 800-621-7440).


Harding School of Theology is strategically located in Memphis, Tenn., the twenty-fifth most populated city in the United States and the fourth largest in the Southeast. Metropolitan Memphis, with more than 1 million citizens, is a modern cultural, medical and educational center with abundant opportunities for the graduate student to work. Seventy churches of Christ offer help for religious activity and spiritual development.

Memphis not only serves the citizens of western Tennessee but also has become the urban hub of eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi and southeastern Missouri.

Harding School of Theology is ideally situated in a beautiful residential section of East Memphis near the corner of Park Avenue and Cherry Road (see map). It is easily accessible to shopping centers and restaurants and is within 30 minutes of downtown Memphis.


The school occupies a beautiful, wooded, 13-acre campus adjacent to one of the largest Christian academies in the city.

Administrative, faculty and advancement offices are housed in the E.H. Ijams Administration Building. This impressive brick structure is a 40-room, three-story Georgian mansion. It was once the home of E.L. King, original owner of the property. The building also has a reception/conference room. The Pittman Chapel, in the east wing of the mansion, is used for chapel services.

The Dr. W.B. West Jr. Center was completed early in 1978 and includes three classrooms, the Heritage Room, the Hospitality Room, a conference room, a student lounge and an auditorium (divisible into three classrooms) equipped with videotaping facilities.

The Benson Apartments and the James A. Harding-G.C. Brewer Apartments provide 23 on-campus housing units for both married and single students.

The Fitness Center opened in the summer of 2001 in the south end of the Mansion Annex. The center is open to all students, faculty and staff. Along with exercise and weight machines, a shower/dressing room is available.

L.M. Graves Memorial Library was constructed in 1964, and a major wing was added in 1978. The Oliver and Norma Rogers Research Center was completed in 2006. Postal services are available in the Harding School of Theology library..


Since the educational purpose of the institution determines the character of the library, L.M. Graves Memorial Library quite naturally reflects the curriculum of Harding School of Theology (HST). In addition to its teaching function, the library seeks to meet basic research needs of the faculty and students. The online catalog can be accessed from the HST Web site.

The administration, faculty and the library staff combine their efforts to build a quality collection of religious literature. The library’s 140,000 volumes offer an extensive collection of resources in biblical studies, including Hebrew and Greek manuscripts; English versions; important critical editions of the Greek New Testament; facsimiles and critical editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls; a large collection of materials on the Greek and Hebrew languages; and substantial holdings of older and recent commentaries and monographs, many in French and German, reflecting scholarly and critical study of the biblical text. Complementing these materials is a significant collection of resources on the ancient Near East and the Graeco-Roman world, which includes critical editions of important works and collections of original resources, such as paprology, epigraphy, and numismatics, and excavation reports from sites throughout the ancient Near East.

The collection also includes hundreds of Restoration Movement books, periodicals, pamphlets, debates, hymnals, histories, lectureships and scholarly studies, as well as thousands of reports reflecting the missionary history of the churches of Christ.

The 445 periodicals and annuals received represent a wide range of confessional diversity and theological perspectives. The 28,000-volume periodical collection contains very few gaps. Providing access to these journals are all the major indexing and abstracting tools in theological studies in print and electronic format.

The library’s annual budget is supplemented each year by proceeds from endowment funds. The P.G. and Anna E. Lewis Memorial Library Fund, established in 1975 by Dr. Jack P. Lewis in honor of his parents, now exceeds $425,000. The Mount Pleasant Church of Christ Electronic Library Endowment Fund was established in 1999 by Mount Pleasant Church of Christ in Wilmington, Del. This $40,000 fund provides means for the library to expand electronic resources available to its users. In 2011 the library added the Don and Evelyn Meredith Fund for Restoration Literature. This $20,000 gift funds materials related to the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.

The library participates in cooperative programs with academic and theological libraries in the city and state; and holds membership in the Memphis Area Library Council, Tennessee Theological Library Association, and American Theological Library Association. The library staff are all members of the Christian College Librarians group.

Students should consult the Handbook for a detailed statement on library policies and regulations.

Legal Statements

Privacy Rights of Parents and Students: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.

Institutional Rights and Responsibilities: The graduate catalog represents the offerings and requirements in effect at the time of publication, but there is no guarantee that they will not be changed or revoked. The course offerings and requirements of the institution are continually under examination and revision. However, adequate and reasonable notice will be given to students affected by any changes. This catalog is not intended to state contractual terms and should not be regarded as a contract between the student and the institution. The institution reserves the right to change any provision, offering or requirement and its effective date. These changes will govern current and readmitted students. Enrollment of all students is subject to these conditions.

Harding School of Theology is authorized for operation as a post secondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.  In order to view detailed job placement and completion information on the programs offered by Harding School of Theology, please visit and click on the “Authorized Institutions Data” button.