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GBHEM Publishing Office Releases Two New Titles

May 12, 2017

The Publishing Office at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) today announced the release of two new books, “Common Worship: Tradition, Formation, Mission” by E. Byron Anderson and “The Vocation of Theology: Inquiry, Dialogue, Adoration” edited by Rex D. Matthews.  

“Common Worship: Tradition, Formation, Mission” says a broken church cannot heal a broken world. Anderson explains, “To say that Christian liturgy is a place and set of practices through which we come to inhabit the habit of Christ means that how and what we worship says something about the character of the church’s life in the world.” Anderson is the Ernest and Bernice Styberg professor of Worship and director of the Nellie B. Ebersole Program in Music Ministry at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. 

“The Vocation of Theology: Inquiry, Dialogue, Adoration” examines what it means to be a theologian in today’s world. As Candler School of Theology enters its second century of service, the faculty and students seek to anticipate major theological challenges so they can speak God’s truth in the midst of rapidly changing circumstances. The issues cut to the core of Christian identity and witness: theological imagination and secularization, the image of God in contemporary society, creation and care of the earth, and the kingdom of God and global pluralism.  

“The Vocation of Theology” contributors include: Teresa Fry Brown, Jehu J. Hanciles, Carl R. Holladay, Luke Timothy Johnson, Thomas G. Long, Jan Love, Ellen Ott Marshall, Carol A. Newsom, Don E. Saliers, Luther E. Smith Jr., Ted A. Smith, Brent A. Strawn, and Steven M. Tipton. General editor, Rex D. Matthews is a professor in the Practice of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Candler, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.  

The books have received endorsements from scholars across the country. Russell E. Richey, dean emeritus of Candler School of Theology, William R. Cannon Distinguished professor of Church History Emeritus and research fellow at the Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition at Duke Divinity School, said, “We live in a shrinking world where religious pluralism and conflict impose incredibly on those who would present and represent the Christian witness. This book calls us to speak yet again and in fresh idiom of creation, providence, faith, love and hope to a world filled with carnage, sin, evil, and judgment,” about “The Vocation of Theology: Inquiry, Dialogue, Adoration.”   

L. Edward Phillips, associate professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology and coordinator of the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology at Candler School of Theology said, “Anderson provides a blueprint for developing the practical wisdom and canonical expertise necessary for forming faithful and effective disciples of Jesus through faithful and effective worship and sacrament. He shows why the liturgical traditions handed on us are God’s gift to unite us as ‘church,’ a community that transcends local culture, even as it embodies God’s mission in a fragmented world. I look forward to using this clearly-argued and challenging book in my work with Methodist pastors.” 

Brent D. Peterson, dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministries at Northwest Nazarene University added, “With erudition and grace, Ron Anderson issues a pastoral call to celebrate the unity of the faith and Christian worship, that does not divide but brings together as God is the source of such unity. I heartily recommend this book to pastors, laity, and students of worship as a helpful resource for a broader and deeper imagination of Christian communal worship.”  

“Common Worship: Tradition, Formation, Mission” is available at “The Vocation of Theology: Inquiry, Dialogue, Adoration” is also available at Both books will be available on and soon. For more information on GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of the church. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.

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