The Student Has Become the Teacher
2008 MTS Alumnus
Kelton Graham, M.Div.
By Nicole J. Johnson
When Kelton Graham began listening to Hank Hanegraaff’s popular radio program, “The Bible Answer Man,” he never imagined that he would soon be the one answering tough questions about the Bible and theology. Kelton’s wife, Anna, was the first to notice his passion for biblical and theological studies. “I used to listen to Hank Hanegraaff all the time and one day my wife said, ‘this is your passion…you should do something with it,’” he said. Kelton also received encouragement from MTS Board member, Rev. Terry Robinson, who urged him to apply to MTS. Kelton heeded their advice and began taking classes at MTS in 2001. “I always read and asked a lot of questions. I wanted to know how to prove that the Bible is real,” said Kelton.
During his studies at MTS, Kelton has learned how to prove the reliability of the Bible and much more. “MTS has given me a quality education, which makes me confident in my knowledge of the Bible…We have such great professors. You learn from their genuineness and you learn how to teach,” said Kelton. About three years ago, Kelton began to exercise his biblical and theological knowledge by teaching an adult Sunday school class at his church, Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit. Kelton discusses a myriad of topics with his students, ages 20-35. “We talk about atheism and the cults. I get into ethics here and there, but the main thing I talk about is theology,” said Kelton.
In May 2008, Kelton graduated from MTS with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, along with some distinguished honors. The faculty of MTS recognized Kelton with two special awards: the Faculty Award in Biblical Studies and the Faculty Award in Expository Communication. The first recognizes the graduating M.Div. or M.T.S. student “who has done the most outstanding work in biblical literature and language…” and the second honors the graduating M.Div. student “who has demonstrated the greatest proficiency in the art of expository communication.” The faculty and administration at MTS appreciate Kelton’s skills so much that they hired him as an adjunct professor to teach Introduction to Theology this semester.
When asked how it feels to be on the other side of the podium, Kelton said, “I still get a little nervous, but I feel prepared. I reflect back on my studies in the (biblical) languages and theology and I am able to explain the concepts to the students,” said Kelton.
“What I love about Kelton’s class is that he is so excited about teaching theology and he has a passion for it,” said Brenda Mette, an MACP student who is taking Kelton’s class this semester. Brenda also appreciates Kelton’s willingness to answer difficult theological questions, and his ability to motivate students to apply theology in their everyday lives. She particularly enjoys the small group discussions during which Kelton provides real-life scenarios where students have to use what they’ve learned in class to respond to questions related to post-modernism, biblical inerrancy and the doctrine of the Trinity. “He wants you to be able to defend your faith and to know why you believe what you believe,” said Brenda.
Kelton hopes to continue teaching theology and is in the process of becoming a licensed minister. He also plans to pursue a doctorate degree in theology or biblical languages. Theological studies aren’t the only arena where Kelton excels. He also is the head coach of the Ann Arbor Huron “River Rats” high school boys swimming team. He led the team to a Division 1 State Championship earlier this year.
When asked if there are any similarities between teaching theology and coaching swimming, Kelton said, “The whole idea is giving God the glory…I’m always trying to encourage people to become better human beings by teaching them how to live by biblical principles.”
Kelton lives in Detroit with his wife and two children.