Body and Soul
Bernard Hardy was not your average M.Div. student. By the time he arrived at Claremont School of Theology, Hardy had an established career caring for communities in need as a physician. His medical practice began in Alabama, where he primarily served a low-income community with little access to quality healthcare.
“I always knew I was called by God to serve others,” Hardy recalls. He explored that call to service in ministry while a student at CST. During that time, he served as a part-time minister for the First Christian Church in Pomona, a Disciples of Christ Congregation, an assignment that allowed him to live into this second call to caring ministry. In 2008, he graduated from Claremont School of Theology with his Master of Divinity degree and was ordained by the Disciples of Christ in 2013.
Today, Hardy serves as both a practicing physician and a supply minister for churches in the Pacific Southwest Region of the Disciples of Christ. On average, he spends sixty-percent of his time providing free medical services to the poor and undocumented in Inglewood, California. On the weekends, he often teaches seminars in area churches on the intersection of religion and health.
Hardy believes that his education as both physician and pastor enables him to treat his patients holistically. “My medical and theological training allows me to help people both spiritually and physically,” he says. “People who are suffering physically also often face spiritual issues…issues that [often] have to do with forgiveness, guilt, and shame.”
When asked about his experience at CST, Hardy expresses gratitude for the ways that the School prepared him to effectively integrate healthcare with pastoral ministry. Perhaps more importantly, his theological training validated his sense of spiritual calling: “My experience at Claremont helped me confirm that I was being called by God to preach the gospel.”
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