Waxahachie, TexasJanuary 26, 2012Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus James Austin serves as a chaplain resident for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

Austin says, "Chaplaincy is a challenging and fulfilling ministry. I try to be Jesus in skin to everyone I meet and in the process witness spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. I have seen people come to Christ and people who are comatose open their eyes and begin talking. Every day when I clock out, I feel that I have served God well.”

With a medical staff of 1,800 members, Barnes-Jewish is the largest hospital in Missouri and the largest private employer in the St. Louis region. Barnes-Jewish is an affiliated teaching hospital of the Washington University School of Medicine and has been recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals for more than 18 consecutive years. Barnes-Jewish Spiritual Care Services are available twenty-four hours a day. As a hospital chaplain, Austin provides spiritual care to patients, family, and staff.

Austin is enrolled in the Clinical Pastor Education (CPE) program through the Assemblies of God Chaplaincy Department. The CPE program is designed around a learning method of action and reflection. Through hands-on experience, students practice what they learn and discuss with peers their experiences and how to improve.

Austin grew up in Logansport, Indiana. In 1992, Austin graduated with bachelor’s degrees in missions and bible from Central Bible College (CBC).

While at CBC, Austin met and married his wife, Karma. After graduation, the couple served a two-year missionary assignment in Guam and neighboring Rota Island, where they worked with Yigo Assembly of God and its accompanying bible school.

At the conclusion of their assignment, the Austins returned to the United States. They settled in the Kansas City, Missouri area, where they served as the children’s pastors at Karma’s home church, Raytown First Assembly of God, for nine years. In 2004, Austin became the senior pastor at Bourbon First Assembly of God in Bourbon, Missouri.

After four years of pastoring, Austin sensed that God wanted him to further his education in preparation of a particular ministry. He enrolled in the SAGU Graduate Program and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 2011.

Austin was greatly influenced by SAGU professors Robert Harden and John Wyckoff. Austin says, “Professor Wyckoff taught me how to communicate what I believe and why to those who don’t share the same belief systems or understandings. He emphasized being able to communicate deep-felt beliefs with a reasonable response. Professor Harden emphasized being able to communicate cross-culturally within a pluralistic environment.”

Austin deals with the challenges of diversity on a daily basis as he encounters a wide variety of cultures and belief systems. He encounters folk religions, superstitions, animistic influences, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Wicca, atheism and the various denominations within Christianity. Among approximately 20 chaplains, chaplains residents and contract chaplains at Barnes-Jewish, a variety of these belief systems are represented. Austin says, “Professor Hardin’s teachings were preparing me to serve in such a diverse environment. I have learned it helps to capitalize on similarities.”

Austin relies on the Holy Spirit to give him wisdom and insight. Austin says, "I have no idea of a patient's spiritual background when I walk into a room. In only 30-40 seconds, I must ascertain the person's beliefs from their responses. Often God reveals to me knowledge about a person that I could not know, or He directs me what to say and do or not say and do."

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

Bible and Theology News

SAGU alumnus and staff member featured in Dallas Theological Seminary's Bibliotecha Sacra

SAGU alumnus and staff member featured in Dallas Theological Seminary's Bibliotecha Sacra

Sep 30, 2014 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas - September 23, 2014 - Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus and staff member John Manguno will have an academic article published in the Dallas Theological S...

Read more
Experience Israel and Jordan with SAGU

Experience Israel and Jordan with SAGU

Aug 12, 2014 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas – July 22, 2014 – Join Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in conjunction with the Assemblies of God Holy Land Tours for a biblical, hist...

Read more
Bible scholar speaks at SAGU's "Miracles" seminar

Bible scholar speaks at SAGU's "Miracles" seminar

Mar 19, 2014 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas — March 19, 2014 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University's (SAGU) Department of Bible and Theology will sponsor its first three-day seminar "Miracles: The...

Read more
SAGU offers a Doctor of Ministry in leadership and creative communication

SAGU offers a Doctor of Ministry in leadership and creative communication

Jan 16, 2014 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas — January 16, 2014 — In December, Southwestern Assemblies of God University's (SAGU) accrediting agency (Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Coll...

Read more
SAGU professor trains chaplains at USARPAC Homiletics Conference

SAGU professor trains chaplains at USARPAC Homiletics Conference

Jul 11, 2013 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas — July 11, 2013 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) College of Bible and Church Ministries associate professor Dr. Jeff Magruder was the keynote trainer...

Read more
SAGU hosts 'The Italy Experience'

SAGU hosts 'The Italy Experience'

May 21, 2013 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas — May 21, 2013 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) will host "The Italy Experience" on March 7-16, 2014. Participants will visit Rome, Pompeii...

Read more
Bible and theology department announce award recipients

Bible and theology department announce award recipients

Apr 26, 2013 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas — April 26, 2013 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University's (SAGU) Department of Bible and Theology held its annual banquet on Thursday, April 25, 2013, and announced the aw...

Read more
Alumnus James Austin releases first book

Alumnus James Austin releases first book

Feb 15, 2013 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas — February 15, 2013 — Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus James Austin released his first book titled "The Tower of Babel in Genesis" on Nov. 11, 2012. ...

Read more
SAGU ranked as a national leader preparing hispanic students for ministry

SAGU ranked as a national leader preparing hispanic students for ministry

Aug 16, 2012 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas – August 15, 2012 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) was recognized in June as a national leader preparing Hispanic students for vocational ministry by "Diverse...

Read more
Students receive 2012 Bible and Theology awards

Students receive 2012 Bible and Theology awards

Apr 17, 2012 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas - April 17, 2012 - Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) Department of Bible and Theology announced its 2012 award recipients. SAGU Bible and Theology faculty se...

Read more
SAGU alumnus holds book signing on campus

SAGU alumnus holds book signing on campus

Mar 05, 2012 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, TX – March 5, 2012 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Bart Cannon held a book signing SAGU’s Nelson Memorial Library for his new book titled “From Janitor to ...

Read more
Alumnus serves as hospital chaplain

Alumnus serves as hospital chaplain

Jan 26, 2012 - Bible and Theology News

Waxahachie, Texas – January 26, 2012 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus James Austin serves as a chaplain resident for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. ...

Read more