By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – July 27, 2015) — Who said that New Mexico was normal? From the original gang of warriors, led by Apache Chief, Geronimo, to Billy the Kid and the Regulators, to the exploits of Poncho Villa and his riders, New Mexico has had its fair share of interesting gangs throughout its long and storied past.
Now you can add the professors at Trinity Southwest University to its halls of history.
The newest fun-loving “gang” in New Mexico recently met at Calvary Albuquerque and the Biblical Archeology Museum for it’s first staff meeting of the 2015 school year. The five professors come from varied backgrounds and fields of expertise. Together, they saddle up for sole purpose of equipping Christians for the work of ministry, leadership, and scholarship.
Under the guidance of Executive Dean, Dr. Steven Collins, lead archeologist for the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project in southern Jordan, the professors represent a swath of interests, professions, and ministry backgrounds.
The picture of the Gang is worth a thousand words.
Dr. Steven “Indiana Jones” Collins is an author, archaeologist, and leader of the Trinity Gang. With degrees from the University of New Mexico, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Luther Rice Seminary, and Trinity Seminary, Dr. Collins has many years of ministry and scientific research under his belt—including articles in Biblical Archeology Review and the Biblical Research Society. Along with apologetics and Biblical Archaeology, Dr. Collins will teach sections of the Od Testament.
Dr. John “the Doc” Leslie is a practicing medical doctor who first worked in research studying blood vessel formation in experimental pathology. As an author and teacher, his fields of interests lay in apologetics and the interfacing of religion, philosophy, and science in developing a worldview. His recently completed Ph.D. dissertation was on the evaluation of Noah’s Flood Account as a true narrative. The Doc will assist with Old Testament and Apologetics courses.
Dr. Ray “the Jock” Mondragon is head of “For His Glory” ministries. As a native New Mexican, Dr. Mondragon has degrees in both civil engineering and Old Testament Literature and Exegesis. As an all around athlete, Dr. Mondragon is the fittest of the gang, riding his bike around town. Dr. Mondragon will teach hermeneutics, theology, and Biblical Foundations.
Ben “Bolo-tie” Yazzie, Ph.D. (candidate) hails from the Navajo reservation. With degrees from Southwestern College, Western Seminary, and TSU, Yazzie’s area of emphasis is on anthropology and cultural evangelism. His ministry work involves leadership training, working with the Missions Door ministry team on the Navajo reservation. Yazzie is the cultural analyst of the gang. Ben Yazzie will assist in Old Testament, evangelism, and Apologetics.
Dr. Phil “the Biker” Silvia is the New Englander of the gang. After graduating from Northeastern University and Gordon-Conwell, Dr. Silvia entered the bi-vocational ministry in both engineering and church planting. The emphasis of his dissertation work was on the Middle Bronze Age civilization of Sodom and Gomorrah. His trusted steed—a motorcycle—is legendary in these parts. Dr. Silvia will teach Theology and assist with other courses.
Then there’s me—the secretary of the group, also called “the Kid.” I’ll be teaching Church History, acting as the liaison for Calvary Albuquerque’s School of Ministry. Though I don’t shoot a gun often (as the picture depicts), I can shoot off about art, music, and history with the best of them.
Along with our important assistants, Glenda Austin and Katherine Gardner, our aim is to bring grace and peace to the land of New Mexico, proclaiming that which is true, beautiful, and good…the music can begin now.
The Fall semester begins on Monday, August, 24th. Important dates are as follows: July 24th (application deadline) and August 17th (student orientation).
For more on the Jordan dig at the Tall, click here: http://www.tallelhammam.com/
Photo captions: 1. Dr. Steven Collins, Trinity Southwest University. 2) Trinity Southwest University logo. 3) Calvary Albuquerque School of Ministry. 4) Brian Nixon
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). As a published author, editor, radio host, recording artist, and visual artist, Brian spends his free time with his three children and wife, painting, writing music, reading, and visiting art museums. To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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