Dr. Steve Martyn brought his new bride to Asbury Seminary on their honeymoon in 1973. Although he wouldn’t recommend it as a newlywed destination, he appreciates his time here as challenging and transformational. Today, he serves as the Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation, teaching his students to integrate both head and heart in their ministry.
“If you think of the two basic sides of our mission statement, on the one side, you see that we are a ‘community called to prepare theologically educated’ students, but on the other side of the mission statement, you see the word sanctified,” Dr. Martyn said. “What we’re trying to do is integrate the theological side of it, or the sound learning side of it, with the sanctified, or vital piety, side of it.”
After graduating from Asbury Seminary, Dr. Martyn pastored from 1976-2004. Prior to joining the Seminary faculty in 2004, he pastored St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington, Ky. He believes the Lord brought him to the Seminary so he could play a more active role in recovering the treasure of the Wesleyan tradition by discipling others in Christ.
“Wesley knew how to make disciples, and we have lost that art and that discipline today,” he said. “I believe the invitation of the Holy Spirit to the church is to recover our Wesleyan discipleship and missional DNA.”
His time as a pastor allowed him to experience the actual issues of insulation and isolation that those he teaches and trains will face. He has found that pastors commonly don’t have a supportive community surrounding them, and that they can isolate themselves from the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the means of grace.
“When you cut yourself off from close fellowship with others and then build walls that keep the Lord from being able to speak into your life, then you’re going to end up in a crisis,” he said.
He encourages his students to form community, even as they serve.