Visiting Scholar Richard Clark

Winfield, Kansas, May 7, 2024 – Richard E. Clark has joined the Southwestern College faculty as a Visiting Scholar of the Institute for Discipleship (IFD). 

Each academic year the Institute for Discipleship provides a $20,000 fellowship and housing to a new or near-completion Ph.D. candidate in religion. Clark will spend the next two years at the Winfield, Kansas, college as he completes his doctorate in theology at the University of Manchester. His on-campus duties will include teaching undergraduate courses, participating with the faculty in the Division of Social Sciences, and engaging in an aspect of on-campus ministry. 

“We are looking forward to welcoming Richard Clark and his family to the Institute for Discipleship, Southwestern College, and Winfield communities. He will be a great addition to our religion and philosophy curriculum and the co-curricular campus ministry experiences,” says Dr. Cheryl Rude, IFD director of campus programing. 

In addition to his studies at the University of Manchester, Clark earned a Master of Arts in theology (with honors) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. With specialization in analytic historical theology, philosophy of religion, and Arminian studies, he currently is adjunct faculty at Friends University, Welch College, and Volunteer State Community College. 

“Southwestern will provide more than just an occasion to grow as a teacher and a scholar,” Clark says. “It offers an opening to develop myself as a pastoral figure through campus ministries to students in a church-affiliated school that is devoted to strengthening ministries.” 

 Clark points to Bishop Richard and Julia Wilke, who founded the Institute for Discipleship, as role models for his professional development.  

“Just as the Wilkes exemplified, my calling as a theologian is to serve as a Christian resource that fosters disciples of Jesus by providing them with a profound understanding of God, his relationship to them, and their calling to love others,” he says 

Clark will move to Winfield with his wife, Lydia Clark, whom he met at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied organ performance and he studied vocal performance. They have a 2½ -year-old son, Gabriel. 

The Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship is based at Southwestern College, a United Methodist-affiliated college in Winfield, Kan.  It manages and supports a variety of educational programs — both online and in person — that increase discipleship and Christian leadership skills.