Littleton, Colo. – Denver Seminary has announced Dr. Mark Harden as the executive director of The Gospel Initiative, a program designed to help the Church engage the difficult questions of today in ways that commend the gospel with compassion and credibility.
Harden, who started with the Seminary part-time in April, joined the staff full-time in June, and relocated from Newark, NJ, to the Littleton, Colo. campus in July.
Through The Gospel Initiative, Denver Seminary will work to empower ministry and pastoral leaders, churches, and faith-based organizations to address difficult social issues; create opportunities for churches to improve capacity through education and innovation; and produce and disseminate information around promising models of mission and evangelism for church and ministry leaders.
“The Gospel Initiative provides an opportunity for us to research how we as evangelicals are engaging in society and how that affects the way people hear, understand, and respond to the gospel. We will use this information to work with ministry leaders to be a catalyst for real change for the Church,” said Harden.
Harden comes to Denver Seminary with a variety of experiences in theological education, including having served as lead faculty, program director, academic dean, and president. He is an ordained Baptist pastor and holds Masters of Arts degrees in theology and ministry studies, from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and Marygrove College, respectively, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Michigan State University.
Harden served 10 years as a police officer in the Detroit area, while organizing several outreach ministries for youth and families. His teaching and research topics include ministry in the context of race, class, and poverty, as well as intercultural and social competence, and organizational development.
“Dr. Harden’s practical application of his academic pursuits will enable him to lead this broad initiative with excellence,” said Denver Seminary President Mark Young. “Few people have Dr. Harden’s breadth and depth of both knowledge and skills to take the lead on a program with such reach and important implications.”
Among the many issues The Gospel Initiative intends to focus on are racism and reconciliation, poverty relief and economic equity, restorative justice and reform, human and civil rights, climate change and environmental justice, human sexuality and gender, and gospel-centered political engagement.
“The Gospel Initiative will provide a platform for us to focus on the behaviors we should have, how we should approach others, and how we deal with the difficult issues that we are faced with in today’s society as the Church. “We should not be on the periphery of the important issues of the day, simply looking in,” added Harden. “Our individual and collective voices in these discussions are relevant and need to be included.”
Denver Seminary is located at 6399 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, Colo. For more information, contact Andrea Weyand, senior director of communications, at 303.762.6948, or
About Denver Seminary – Denver Seminary is a non-denominational graduate school of theology located in Littleton, Colo. The Seminary's mission is to prepare men and women to engage the needs of the world with the redemptive power of the gospel and the life-changing truth of Scripture. Denver Seminary offers both residential and fully online degree programs.
The Gospel Initiative uses collaborative research and experiential peer-based learning to serve, prepare, and empower ministries to innovate ways to become more relevant, responsive, reliable, resilient and gospel-centered when engaging social issues.
Andrea Weyand, Senior Director of Communications
Date: August 6, 2020