SPCE is an evangelical Christian academic society. We are a confessional organization committed to the historic faith once for all delivered to the saints. As it was at the founding of our organization, our abstract of principles remains consistent with the National Association of Evangelicals. The following beliefs comprise our biblical convictions and serve to provide the basis of our mutual fellowship and service:
1. We believe the Bible to be the only inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.
2. We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful humankind, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Society of Professors in Christian Education seeks to enhance the personal growth, professional networking, academic collegiality, and life work of its members, while equipping the guild for more effective service in the church and the world for the Lord Jesus Christ and His glorious Kingdom.
- SPCE is an evangelical organization with a history that can be traced back to 1929. For nearly a century, the movement has grown and developed in concert with the discipline of Christian Education and has a rich history of research, writing, collegiality, and collaboration.
- SPCE is a network of Christian Education academics and professionals. SPCE exists to enhance the international teaching mission of the church through cultivating the personal and professional growth of professors within the broad field of educational ministries.
- Throughout the decades, SPCE has been represented by persons of character and competence. Its members have served with distinction in some 200 different institutions of higher learning. Several leaders have been recognized as distinguished educators over our rich history.
- SPCE is led by a rotating and membership-elected Board of Directors representing the diverse geographical and institutional constituency of our organization. We are represented by an Executive Administrator who serves with the Board, its Vice-Presidents, and our President.
A tremendous value of SPCE is our collective commitment to integrity and competency in leadership. Over the decades, we have had many men and women of tremendous character and competence. This legacy of solid representation across the field of Christian Education led us to realize the need to acknowledge those members whose leadership was both enduring and expansive across our field. In 1991, the Board of Directors announced its first recipient of the Distinguished Educator’s Award. Since that time, a select handful of Christian Education champions have been named. Even so, this award is not awarded annually. Indeed, sometimes years pass before new honorees are named, making these occasions unique and special to our membership and to those being recognized.
Our society has always been more about “people” than about the “organization” being an end unto itself. For this reason our leadership team sought to personalize the award. A decision was made to give an honorific name to this distinction. Previously, it was simply called the “Distinguished Educator’s Award.” Though our organization had a history of leaders who each exhibited the values and characteristics representative of the award, the society ultimately placed its imprimatur on a deserving and stalwart example of servant-leadership. The legacy of Warren Benson, long-time Professor of Christian Education at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, proved so enduring that our this award was named in his honor. For this reason, it is now called the Warren S. Benson Distinguished Educator’s Award.
The Benson Award
Our organization honors the lifetime achievement of leaders in Christian education by recognizing those who have contributed to the field, discipline, and guild of Christian education. This award was renamed in honor of a past recipient of the achievement award, the late Dr. Warren Benson, a long-time professor and SPCE member.
About Warren S. Benson
Dr. Warren S. Benson (August 23, 1929-February 15, 2002) was recognized as a professor, pastor, scholar, and author. He was a devoted member of the Evangelical Free Church in America, but his influence extended far beyond the parameters of his own tradition. His greatest legacy continues not in his publications, but in the lives of his many students. His familiarity and love of books led him to serve as the book review editor for Christian Education Journal. He also served as president of both the North American Professor of Christian Education (NAPCE, now SPCE) in 1986-1988 and the National Association of Director’s of Christian Education (NADCE), of which he was a lifelong member of both.
Benson provided leadership as a trustee for his alma mater, Northwestern College, a board member of the American Tract Society, and a member of the Association of Professionals and Researchers of Religious Education (APRRE) and on the editorial board of the Religious Education Association (REA). He was also an active member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Association for Ministry Education (AME). Benson’s influence and leadership in the Christian education community was officially recognized in 1994 when he received the Distinguished Educator Award in Christian Education from the North American Professors of Christian Education (now called the Society of Professors in Christian Education). That award is now presented in his honor. Learn More
Our Warren S. Benson Award Honorees
The following individuals have been honored by receiving SPCE’s Distinguished Christian Educator’s Award, given for outstanding contribution to the field of Christian Education and the Body of Christ. This award is given at annual meetings on those years that an honoree has been selected and approved by the Board of Directors. Note: Where available, biographical information has been provided. Please feel free to forward missing biographies to our webmaster.
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