by Paul Devine
Manna U’s site director at the Our Savior’s Church site, Dr. Scott Adams, is a relatively rare breed. He is a follower of Jesus that had a solid idea of his Kingdom role very soon after his salvation,
. He is a doubly rare breed because that role was to take on the dual responsibilities of pastor and professor. “I did not have a crystal-clear picture and I did not have words for all of it back then, but it was in my head. I am going to be writing and I also want to pastor people,” Adams recalls.
After 17 years in ministry and earning five university degrees, Adams clearly articulated what he is called to do. “My approach to Christian education is to provide a Biblical worldview, by the power of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of edifying the saints and the advancement of the mission of God,” Adams explains.
Adams, who teaches both undergraduate and doctoral courses at Manna U, says he loves that Manna U does well in balancing competing forces. “Think of a fireplace as sound doctrine and the fire as the power of the Holy Spirit and passion and zeal for God,” Adams explains. “If you just have doctrine but do not have fire, you have a nice fireplace and it has a lot of potential, but there is nothing there. But, if you have fire without a fireplace, if the fire is not contained and fueled by sound doctrine then that can get messy as well.” Adam says it is important to remember why we are called to study. “All our training and all of our study is in the presence of God, before the face of God for the mission of God.”
Adams was raised in a Christian home, but like many needed to form a relationship with God in his own way. “I wanted to find the truth claims of Christianity on my own, apart from my upbringing,” Adams remembers. Some of his big questions were answered as he began reading the significant historical and theological works of Christianity. The more he learned, the more Adams developed an appreciation for rigorous academics. The process also had a second effect on Adams. “As I was working through that and certainly on the other side, I had a burden for other people who would be struggling with the same things: wrestling with the deeper questions of the faith, the nature of Scripture, the nature of God, things like that,” Adams says.
Naturally, the burden to help others led to Adams’ desire for ministry. Adams has served as a pastor since 2006, first in Arizona and since 2013 at Our Savior’s Church in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he is currently lead pastor at the Midtown location.
Serving as the lead pastor of a sizable church is a challengefor most. But for Adams, that is only half of what God has called him to do. “Starting in 2005, I was in school every semester for 13 years,” Adams chuckles. In that time, he has earned his bachelor’s, two masters and two doctorates a DMin in 2013 and eventually a PhD in 2018.
The PhD took a bit longer, but Adams knew he was on mission. “I knew I was supposed to get a PhD not to just get another degree but to contribute beyond the local church. I never want to move completely beyond the local church but I knew I needed the PhD to write and research to contribute to the academic discussion,
.” Adams says.
Manna U and his congregation both benefit from Adams’ calling. “Being a professor makes me a better a pastor and being a pastor has made me a better professor,
.” Adams contends. “Having a pastoral heart has made me more sympathetic with my students.”
Adams says the academic side has made him more disciplined in the way he studies Scripture and prepares sermons. “For me the demands of being a professor and the deeper discussions that I am always into, that way of thinking helps, me be more precise and more thorough in my teaching and in my day-to-day pastoring,” Adams says.
Adams and his wife Kelly have four children Aniston, Preslie, Hudson, and Carsten.