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My Primary Ministry Focus

My name is Dr. Joel Slayton and I am originally from Gurdon, Arkansas. I came to Central Baptist College in January 1976 from a pastorate in Alabama. My call in ministry is to equip students to make disciples. The means to accomplish that task is instruction. I believe that my primary ministry focus is imparting truth so that others may take that truth and impart it to others (2 Timothy 2:1).

People of a Book

My passion since I was a new Christian has been the Bible. I believe that Christians are a “people of a Book.” It is the backbone of our creed. Therefore, my goal as an instructor is to inform, instruct, and educate creating within my students a passion for the Bible and a love for the Savior that the Bible presents.

My Training

Training for this ministry, I graduated from Ouachita Baptist University (B.A.), Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (Th.D.) with a major in Old Testament and minors in Archaeology and Church Growth. I have done post doctorate work at Fuller Theological Seminary and Jerusalem University College. Currently, I am Chair of the Bible Department and primarily teach Old Testament Studies and Biblical languages.


I have authored “The Significance of the Papyrus Discoveries to the Old Testament Text (University Press, 1983). In addition, I have written over thirty articles, including Codex Alexandrinus, Manna, Bashan, Sihon, etc., for the Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1991). Baptist Publishing House published over twenty Adult Sunday School Quarterlies that I wrote.

Sharing Travel Experiences with Students

I have visited twenty-six countries, including mission trips to Brazil, Nepal, Ghana, Tanzania, and the Philippines. But since my interest has been in Bible lands and archaeology, I have traveled extensively in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey (Paul’s missionary journeys), Greece, and Italy. In addition, I have visited museums throughout Europe and the United States. These museums contain Biblical manuscripts and artifacts that enhance the learning experience. Through my travels, I am able to share with students in my archaeology class a perspective that they would not otherwise receive. Students have traveled with me on two occasions to Israel and Jordan.

Bringing the Bible to Life

In my archaeology class and other Bible classes, I can bring the Bible to life in their eyes through slides and media applications. Students are able to visualize the places, events, and times of the Bible. They are able to explore the ancient and modern contexts of the world of the Bible so that they can get to know the word of God—the Bible—and the Word of God—Jesus—better. In doing so, they become better equipped to enter arenas of academia, ministry, and service throughout the world.

Faith Increased, Lives Transformed

When students have traveled with me to the Holy Land, they discover that the Bible comes to life. Their faith is increased, and their lives are transformed. They establish relationships that last, but most of all, their commitment to ministry is energized.

Goal for Students

My classroom goal is to provide learning contexts in which students gain an advanced understanding of biblical studies, especially regarding the world of the Bible and the contexts in which the Bible was produced. It is my desire that my students gain proficiency in the texts, contexts, and languages of the scriptures, in the roots of the New Testament in its context, and in the Greco-Roman Judean world of the time of the New Testament.

Written by Dr. Joel Slayton

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