DR. HENRY CLARY, BC’S NEW CAMPUS PASTOR AND DIRECTOR OF CAMPUS MINISTRIES.
Dr. Clary comes to BC after serving the International Mission Board for nine years as a missionary in Uruguay. While in Uruguay, Dr. Clary served as a church planter, developing a network of house churches and a variety of community outreach programs. He also organized theological education outreach programs and mentored students in the area of missions.
His most recent service in Uruguay included a two-year stint as interim director and academic dean at the Uruguayan Baptist Theological Seminary, where he oversaw the institution’s academic, financial, administrative and student services. He also created four extension centers, improved the school’s facilities, formed partnerships with other educational institutions, and taught missions courses.
For the past year, however, Dr. Clary and his wife, Tasha, have been on sabbatical from their missions work, finding respite at Bluefield College through the school’s Missionary in Residence (MIR) program, which offers missionaries a place to rest and study during a much-needed break from their duties. While serving as a missionary in residence at BC, Dr. Clary increased student awareness and appreciation for international missions by leading discussions and teaching courses in Christian studies. He also led the campus missions club and spoke regularly at local churches.
“I just, in general, like the college environment,” said Dr. Clary. “I like being at school and around students. We bring our experience and awareness of cross-cultural living and international missions to the college campus.”
Besides sharing with students the work and the value of missionaries, Dr. Clary taught Spanish classes at the college, developed a Spanish Club, and served as an active participant of Highlands Fellowship, a new church that meets on the BC campus.
“The Lord has given me a great love and passion for Christian higher education, and in the last two years He has been guiding my steps back to the U.S. to develop a ministry focusing on young adult students,” said Dr. Clary. “I look forward to the opportunity to help Bluefield College continue to reach and train tomorrow’s leaders.”
In his new role as campus pastor, Dr. Clary will be the creative force behind the spiritual formation of the campus community. He will also lead students in conversations related to vocation and calling.
“He will engage students in reflection and challenge their preconceived notions of truth,” said President David Olive, “thereby encouraging them to approach the world with a larger dimension of self, neighbor and God. I am looking forward to the great ways in which Henry will shepherd our faith formation and to assist our students in better understanding God’s life calling upon their lives.”
With a doctorate and a master of divinity degree in Biblical studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Clary will also teach courses in “Invitation to Inquiry,” “Character Formation,” and “Global and Civic Engagement.” In addition, he will oversee the school’s Vocatio program and shepherd a campus culture that values faith and a life of discipleship and service as expressed through worship and ministry experiences, as well as curricular and co-curricular activities.
“I am excited about this opportunity,” said Dr. Clary, “to help encourage students to better integrate their education, career goals and life’s calling, and to see their whole life as a calling from God to bring Him glory.”
Dr. Clary began his duties July 1.