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

Professor Larry Olson

Christmas in the Wesleyan Tradition

Professor Larry Olson

Published: December 6, 2017

An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and inspires the individual in society, the human condition? LO:  Sure.  Great question!  In our Integration of Faith and Psychology course, we talk about personality theories.  Why do we need them? 
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society, especially from a Christian perspective where faith in Christ transforms personality.  Now, as we celebrate Christmas and the new year, can you explain how studying psychology illuminates and
An Interview with Prof. Larry Olson, Chair, Department of Psychology Q: Thanks for taking time to discuss how studying theories of personality helps us better understand human behavior and society
Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis

Hope Springs Anew–OCU Responds to Opioid Crisis image

Published: November 28, 2017

As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership Conference on the effect of poverty and the opioid crisis on Ohio youth.  They joined some 600 attendees in the University of Akron’s historic Quaker Station conference center to hear Ohio Senators Sherrod
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian University. On Nov. 17, Teacher Education Professors Valerie Jones and Angela Flowers, along with student majors Maddy McCain and Emily Morton, attended Propel Ohio’s Collegiate Leadership
As the tragic effects of opioid addiction continue to grip the nation, in Ohio efforts to address them are well underway through initiatives by organizations such as Propel Ohio and Ohio Christian
Reformation Day Celebration

Join OCU's Reformation Day Celebration!

Reformation Day Celebration

Published: October 30, 2017

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by a panel Q
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and finish by 8:30 p.m. The evening is headlined by special guest speaker Reverend Gerhard Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville.  Rev. Kraus' presentation on the Reformation will be followed by
On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, Ohio Christian University is hosting a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  Festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Library and
Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

A Wesleyan’s Debt to Luther on Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Martin Luther - Reformation's 500th Anniversary

Published: October 30, 2017

By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans are children of the Reformation. The three great hallmarks of Reformation theology are: Salvation by grace through faith alone, Sola Scriptura (scripture alone), and the priesthood of all
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be overstated. Discoveries made by Luther that led to the moment on October 31, 1517, when he nailed his “95 Theses” to the Wittenberg Chapel door had a profound effect upon John Wesley.  All Wesleyans
By Prof. Ben Williamson One is tempted to ask what has Wittenberg to do with Circleville? The answer is Wittenberg’s impact on the spiritual ancestors of the American Holiness Movement cannot be
Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Importance of a Christian Education

Detty Chapel in fall at Ohio Christian University's main campus in Circleville, Ohio.

Published: November 8, 2016

Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of a college or university form the imagination and hearts of its students—whether designed or not. If drinking and partying are accepted and even expected to “fit in,” then many students will
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular” education). Colleges and universities are forming students into something. The question is: what? Education is formative in that not only does it impact the mind but also the heart. All the practices of
Dr. Hank Kelly OCU Provost A college or university education is more than just learning information. There is no neutral, nonformative education (i.e., there is no such thing as a “secular”