Rick has had a life-long passion for teaching – adult Sunday School, deaf college students and married adults, local church teacher training, and seminary education at home and abroad. Over the last forty years, this passion has anchored itself in studies of Bible, theology, philosophy, psychology, the scientific method and statistical analysis. It has expressed itself in local church education ministry, textbooks, courses, conferences, and seminary education.
Rick was born in Clinton, Indiana and grew up near Rockville, and then El Paso, Texas, and finally Great Neck, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Psychology and Counseling) from the University of Maryland (1973), Master of Religious Education (1975) and Doctor of Education (1978) degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. After joining the faculty at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he completed the Doctor of Philosophy degree (1985) in Educational Research from the University of North Texas.
He was ordained to the Gospel ministry at Columbia Baptist Church, Falls Church, VA (1977), and served five churches as minister of education, four of them as interim staff while on faculty at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was called to SWBTS, Foundations of Education division, in 1981 and served for 32 years, retiring July 31, 2012.
Since the fall of 2012, he has served as Visiting Professor of Christian Education, under presidential appointment, at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has also taught Masters’ and doctoral seminars at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kansas City) and B. H. Carroll Theological Institute (Arlington, TX). He says, “I am so thankful — first to the Lord and then to the administrators of NOBTS, MBTS, and BHCTI — for continuing opportunities to share with future pastors and staff ministers the discoveries I’ve made in educational psychology, neuroscience, principles of teaching, and research & statistics.”
He served two churches as minister with the deaf (Columbia Baptist, 1970-1973; FBC, Irving, TX, 1973-1976). Since 1996, he has traveled nearly every year to various republics of the former Soviet Union — Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan — to share his passion for “teaching so that learners grow in the Lord” with Baptist pastors, educators, and missionaries there.
His wife of 46 years (2015), Barb, and grown (married) children Bonnie (Robert) and Chris (Meredith) live in Fort Worth, Texas. We are all active in our churches there, and all but the two youngest grandsons have made professions of faith.
He was a long-time member of the North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE) association — now Society of Professors of Christian Education (SPCE) — and was awarded the 2009 Warren G. Benson Distinguished Christian Educator award at their annual October meeting. He has also been honored by the (Southern) Baptist Association of Christian Education (BACE) as Christian Educator of the Year (2012). Broadman & Holman Publishers honored him with their Distinguished Service Award (October, 2007) for his contributions in writing to the field of Christian Education.