California Baptist University seeks to incorporate faith in different tenets of its mission, such as Baptist Studies Online, a website dedicated to researchers and students to provide a history and study of Baptists.
The Journal for Baptist Studies, a peer-reviewed journal on the Baptist Studies On- line website, serves as a component of that and publishes articles regarding Baptist theology, biblical interpretation and historical figures.
The publication is a free online collection funded by CBU to which various Baptist scholars contribute. Through its research, it serves both academics and pastors interested in Baptist thought, as well as students.
“For Christian studies majors and applied theology majors at CBU, I think it’d be good to be aware of this specifically Baptist approach to theology and ministry,” said Dr. Luke Stamps, assistant professor of Christian studies at CBU Online and Professional Studies.
The journal began at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009 by a group of faculty.
Dr. Anthony Chute, professor of church history and associate dean of the School of Christian Ministries at CBU, was a contributor at the time, and Dr. Matthew Emerson, assistant professor of Christian ministries and the chair of Arts and Sciences at CBU/OPS, was a secretary who uploaded the content for the journal to the website.
“I knew the previous editors and was aware that they were ceasing publication due to lack of support from their
institution,” Chute said. “I approached Dr. (Ronald L.) Ellis (CBU president) with the idea, and he was immediately supportive.”
The transition was complete by 2013. CBU began to house the journal on its website, and Chute became the content manager and editor. Emerson stepped into the position of co-editor, and Dr. John Gill, assistant professor of Christian ministries at CBU/ OPS, became the book review editor.
“We solicit articles personally and we are open to receiving abstracts or full papers,” Chute said. “It is a peer-reviewed journal, so articles that are published must meet the criteria that we have set forth. And we do turn down articles.”
When editing the articles, the team makes sure the argument is compact, formatted and styled properly.
“We make sure that the point of the article is to edify, not agitate,” Chute said.
While the journal is primarily designed for professors, pastors and scholars interested in Baptist thought, Emerson said he hopes students can benefit, as well.
“We have a broader evangelical base for our students and we have non-Christians here, but we are a Baptist institution historically, so I think students should be interested in who we are as a Baptist university and part of that includes our history, theology and how we read the Bible,” he said.
Despite the reasons for the transition, some have viewed it in a positive light.
“I think it’s good for CBU and for Baptists to have the journal here,” Stamps said.
The journal can be found at baptiststudiesonline.com/the-journal.