Dr. Brian Russell is passionate about God’s mission. Period. Through preaching and teaching and writing Dr. Russell, Associate Provost and Dean of the School of Urban Ministries, strives to connect the gospel with both church and world.
“My mission is to contemplate, learn and practice the deepest truths of Scripture in order to communicate them meaningfully, lovingly and in transformative ways to others through writing, teaching and speaking,” he said.
Dr. Russell began working on the Florida Dunnam Campus 16 years ago. He grew up in a working class neighborhood in Akron, Ohio. Always academically inclined, his roots have kept him grounded and helped him to communicate the Gospel clearly and richly by translating deep truth into every day language. Brian realized that if he wasn’t careful not one person would recognize what he said. The diversity of Orlando has verified the necessity of learning to think carefully about how the Gospel is articulated. And he wasn’t talking about the accent.
“I realized that most people don’t understand anything we say about God because we communicate to a world that doesn’t exist anymore,” Dr. Russell said. “We use theological words that people don’t know and say words without meaning. I don’t advocate abandoning traditional language, but I am passionate about translating it.”
Brian seeks to address this through his work with the School of Urban Ministries on the Florida Dunnam campus. The School of Urban Ministries is located in Orlando, a gateway city. Because of the mix of cultures, languages and religions, opportunities for learning and ministry abound.
“Dr. Tennent once said that the world is in my parish,” Brian said. “That is never more true than in Orlando. You can’t live in Orlando and not be global in your perspective.”