Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Professor Scott Barr: Fruits of Summer Labor image

By Amber Ginter ‘19

English Professor Scott Barr, after over four decades of teaching, is no stranger to being productive during Central Ohio's long, hot summers. Investing in summer projects this year, Barr found his activities refreshing and fruitful.

In May, Barr became lead writer for Ohio Christian University’s (OCU) accreditation report for the Higher Learning Commission. In preparing for the Commission’s 2019 visit, he is examining all aspects of OCU’s effectiveness. Barr met with the audit preparation team to discuss five main areas within 21 sub-components. These included how to meet standards and support claims with plans for improvement. Completing two-thirds of the project has occupied Barr’s time the past few months. He is putting into practice what he teaches his English Composition students. “This is a big project of about 100 pages,” Barr explains.

During the summer, Barr interacted with OCU friends, faculty, and retired teachers and classmates of Teays Valley High School’s Class of 1971. In May, he presented “Raising the Bar on College-level Writing” to teachers in the Trailblazer Academy/ College Credit Plus program and shared creative ideas on how to handle frustrating aspects of writing, encouraging educators to overcome challenges. Barr noted the importance of passionate discipline in teaching: “As Emerson writes, ‘Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.’ We need to bring God’s spirit into instruction,” he asserted.

In addition to OCU-related activity, God had many fruitful summer experiences for Barr. Speaking at Village Chapel, Barr referenced Psalm 90:12-17: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” He related how this Biblical advice applies to his farm chores. “Since my riding mower broke, I have time to think as I walk laps with my push mower!” Of chasing his sheep back into the yard, farmer Barr asks, “Perhaps the grass was greener on the other side of the fence? ‘Good fences make good neighbors,’ wrote Robert Frost. I see the wisdom of this saying. I'm thankful that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, leaves the 99 and comes after each of us when we are lost.”

When Barr isn’t writing, gardening, remodeling his house, or tending his flock of Cheviot sheep, he is re-reading Wendell Berry’s fiction. Berry’s Civil War to World War II works particularly inspire Barr since he wrote his master’s thesis on Berry in 1975. Figuratively, Barr has spent time in Berry’s fictional community, Port William, Kentucky, which influences his teaching. “I teach a course on ‘The Beloved Community’ and hope to again next spring.”

Coming to the end of his “stay-cation” of the summer’s long days of sweltering heat and now cooling nights, Barr reflects on a fruitful summer: “This has been a fun and productive summer. I’m ready for the new academic year. Bring on compositions and books, and especially the fall weather, football, and pumpkin pie!”

Perhaps Professor Barr’s productivity is instructive for nurturing our spiritual fruit?

Articles of Interest

2019 Georgia Commencement image

2019 Georgia Commencement

2019 Georgia Commencement image

Published: April 11, 2019

On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be out there in society being salt and light.” He further challenged them stating that “your community needs you, your city needs you and your country needs you”.    Terence Chatmon was the commencement
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location. OCU President, Dr. Jon Kulaga welcomed the record crowd of nearly 1,300 students, family and honored guests declaring, “We are living in a time where Christians have never been more needed-to be
On Saturday, April 6th, Ohio Christian University held its fourth commencement ceremony in Jonesboro, Georgia at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. This is the first year at this location
Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus

Faith and Work Seminar a First on Campus image

Published: April 10, 2019

On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith
On Saturday March 23rd, Ohio Christian University hosted the Faith

Archived Articles of Interest

Academic Presentation: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Headache Pain image

Academic Presentation: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Headache Pain

Academic Presentation: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Chronic Headache Pain image

Published: March 1, 2013

On February 20, OCU Assistant Professor of Psychology Matthew Decker provided an academic presentation on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Headache Pain.” The presentation was attended by OCU faculty, students and members of the community. The ACT treatment involves being in the moment and making sure your actions match your values.“For me, ACT and other ‘third wave’ treatments are improvements on the older treatments, but many of them are still being validated for various problems and disorders,” Decker said.Professor Decker led a study in which participants who
On February 20, OCU Assistant Professor of Psychology Matthew Decker provided an academic presentation on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Headache Pain.” The presentation was attended by OCU faculty, students and members of the community. The ACT treatment involves being in the moment and making sure your actions match your values.“For me, ACT and other ‘third wave’
On February 20, OCU Assistant Professor of Psychology Matthew Decker provided an academic presentation on “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Chronic Headache Pain.” The presentation was
OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations image

OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations

OCU Faculty Provide Monthly Academic Presentations image

Published: December 3, 2012

Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made available live through video conferencing so that faculty and students in online programs are able to participate.On December 5th, Prof. Thad Hicks will present on the topic of Managing Compassion Fatigue. Prof. Hicks serves as Assistant Professor of Disaster Management and is working on a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies. Compassion Fatigue, or secondary traumatic stress disorder, is a condition
Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made available live through video conferencing so that faculty and students in online programs are able to participate.On December 5th, Prof. Thad Hicks will present on the topic of Managing Compassion
Ohio Christian University faculty have begun monthly presentations to enhance the academic quality and engagement of faculty, students, and community members. These events are also being made
Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012 image

Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012

Ohio Christian University to Celebrate a Record Number of Graduates on May 5, 2012 image

Published: April 30, 2012

President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation includes the conference of 141 associate's degrees and 235 bachelor's degrees. OCU also celebrates its first conference of master's degrees with 10 students earning the Master of Arts in Ministry.Graduation practice (required for all graduating students) begins a 1 p.m. on Friday, May 4. The graduation ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 in the OCU Maxwell Center. 
President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation includes the conference of 141 associate's degrees and 235 bachelor's degrees. OCU also celebrates its first conference of master's degrees with 10 students earning the Master of Arts in Ministry.
President Mark A. Smith will preside over the largest graduation ceremony in the history of Ohio Christian University this coming Saturday, May 5, 2012, with 386 graduates.This year's graduation
Dr. Jim Smith

OCU Professor is Published

Dr. Jim Smith

Published: November 30, 2010

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Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for Congregational Care, available from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The two chapters are on lay ministry care for those with substance abuse issues and mental disorders.  Smith is well qualified to write on these
Ohio Christian University Professor of Substance Abuse Counseling Dr. Jim Smith contributed two chapters for the recently published collaborative work Nelson's Church Leader's Manual for