Pentecostal Studies

The Society for Pentecostal Studies Honors Peterson, Klaus and Dempster with 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards

We are so proud that Professor of World Mission and Intercultural Studies, Dr. Doug Peterson with the Religion Department, Board of Trustees Member, Dr. Byron Klaus and former President Dr. Murray Dempster, will be recognized by the Society for Pentecostal Studies on Saturday,  March 12, 2016 at the Sheraton Fairplex. These three awardees are long-time friends and colleagues. SPS is grateful for the remarkable contributions they have made not only to SPS for many years but also to Pentecostal scholarship and praxis in general through their two co-edited works: Called and Empowered: Global Mission in Pentecostal Perspective (1991) and Globalization of Pentecostalism: A Religion Made to Travel (1999).

Dr. Doug Petersen is the Margaret S. Smith Distinguished Professor of Intercultural Studies at Vanguard University. He holds a M.A. in New Testament from Pepperdine University and a Ph.D. in Social Theology from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford, England.With more than thirty-five years of leadership responsibilities in non-profit and higher education organizations in Latin America and the United States, Professor Petersen is an experienced practitioner and research scholar in the development and operation of faith-based community programs, especially those focusing on children at-risk. In 1977 Petersen co-founded Latin America ChildCare (LACC), a faith-based network of elementary and secondary schools, and served as its International Coordinator and President for twenty-three years. During his tenure, LACC expanded to twenty-two countries in Latin American and the Caribbean providing education, food, and medical assistance for 100,000 impoverished children in 300 schools.

Petersen has published extensively on the social practices of grassroots religious groups in Central America. His book, Not by Might, Nor by Power: A Pentecostal Theology of Social Concern in Latin America, was selected among the Outstanding Books of the Decade 1990-2000 by the International Bulletin of Mission Research. In addition to his books, Petersen has published numerous scholarly journal articles and authored book chapters and popular pieces on ethics, politics, and Pentecostalism. Professor Petersen is a member of the editorial boards of two journals: Pneuma and the Evangelical Review of Society and Politics.

Dr. Byron D. Klaus recently retired from his role as president of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, where he had served since July 1999. Dr. Klaus’ previous ministry includes twenty years on the faculty and administration of Vanguard University of Southern California. He also has served in pastoral leadership with congregations in California, Texas, and Illinois.
Dr. Klaus received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. His scholarly work includes publications in numerous journals and denominational magazines. His articles and books have been published by Moody Press, Logion Press, Regal Books, Hendrickson Publishers, Regnum Books International, Routledge Publishers, and Crossway Books. His regular commentary on faith and culture distributed as the Prez Release and his radio spots and op-ed articles have been released in a two-volume series called That’s The Way I See It (available on Amazon).

Dr. Klaus’ next season of ministry includes a return to a role he had held previous to his service as president of AGTS, as Vice President of Latin America ChildCare, a child development ministry serving over 100,000 children in the most desperate regions of twenty-one nations in Latin America and the Caribbean (see In addition, he will be giving considerable time to serving as an advisor to university and seminary presidents and in leadership development globally. He will expand his ministry for the development of the critical leadership necessary for growing churches in the majority world where Christianity is flourishing despite vigorous resistance to the gospel.
Dr. Klaus and his wife, Lois, live near Table Rock Lake in beautiful southwest Missouri. They have two grown daughters, Mrs. Victoria Klaus Goodwin and Mrs. Olivia Klaus Moro and two teenage grandchildren, Dara and Nolan Goodwin.

Dr. Murray Dempster is the Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics and Co-director of the Center for the Study of Global Pentecostalism at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. He graduated with a Ministerial Diploma from Canadian Northwest Bible Institute in Edmonton, Canada, and a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Southern California College in Costa Mesa, California. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion-Social Ethics from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Before joining the Southeastern Faculty in the Spring of 2010, Dempster served for forty years at Southern California College/Vanguard University as Professor of Social Ethics, as well as in a variety of administrative roles including Provost and Chief Academic Officer for five years, President for eight years, and Chancellor for one year. He also served as an Adjunct and Visiting Professor in Christian Social Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA from 1980 through 1994 on the main campus and on five extension centers.
Dempster is co-author with Dr. Augustus Cerillo, Jr., of Salt and Light: Evangelical Political Thought in Modern America, and is co-editor with Dr. Byron D. Klaus and Dr. Douglas Petersen, of two books, Called and Empowered: Global Mission in Pentecostal Perspective; and, The Globalization of Pentecostalism: A Religion Made to Travel. The latter volume was selected by the editors of the International Bulletin of Mission Research (IBMR) as one of the most significant books in the field of mission studies in 1999. Dempster has also published a significant number of scholarly journal articles and book chapters, especially focused on Pentecostal pacifism, social concern, and theology & ethics.

He has presented lectures at various colleges in the United States and Canada and numerous papers at conferences and workshops in the U.S., Europe, and Central America. He has served as the North American editor of Transformation: An International Evangelical Dialogue on Mission and Ethics, and edited two full issues that focused on Pentecostal social concern in a global context. Dempster served as the President of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in 1991 and as the editor of PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies from 1993-2000.

Well done! We are so proud of you all!

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