Clark Leaving HBU to Pursue Full-Time Writing, Speaking, and Ministry Activities
HOUSTON, Texas - Dr. Lawrence J. Clark, Associate Professor in Writing, will be leaving Houston Baptist University at the end of the 2009-10 school year to pursue writing, public speaking, and ministry activities. Clark, who came to HBU in 2004 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006, currently directs the HBU Writing Major Student Internship Program, and is the creator and facilitator of both the College of Arts and Humanities “Gallery Series: Noontime Readings, Lectures and Performances” and the “CC Café Music and Lecture Series.” He also frequently speaks for the Successful Student Workshops and leads small group Bible studies for the Spiritual Life Department.
Clark has taught a variety of courses in the Writing and English programs, as well as the Master of Liberal Arts program, for which he teaches Creative Writing: Poetry, Fiction and Playwriting/Screenwriting and Utopian/Dystopian Literature. He also created or developed new curriculum for several courses in writing and English, including: Technical Writing, Creative Writing: Fiction, Film Studies: Finding God in the Movies, Religion in American Literature and Film, Utopian/Dystopian Literature, Rhetoric for Technical and Professional Writers, Grant Writing, Promotional and Persuasive Writing, Playwriting and Screenwriting, Information Design, and Writing for Multimedia and Electronic Publication.
“I will always treasure my time at HBU,” says Clark. “Among the faculty, staff, and students are some of the kindest and most loving people I have ever met. I have enjoyed creating courses and programs to help further the University’s mission, and will gladly continue to help promote HBU in any way possible. Although it has been a difficult decision to leave during this exciting time of growth, God has been opening up many new doors for me, and I am confident that the foundation I helped lay at HBU can be built on for years to come.”
In addition to being a university professor, Clark is a sought-after public speaker and performer who has worked with dozens of schools, libraries, and non-profit organizations across Texas and in several other states. He is a CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers Seminars) certified speaker and author, and helps manage two web-based ministries with his wife, Kristen: HisWitness.org, which promotes faith-based art, writing, and music, and NewBeginningsMarriage.org, which provides articles and resources to help couples live “joyfully and united as one.”
Clark will continue his work with youth in the Houston area, as well as across the country. “The current graduation and literacy rates are atrocious and completely unacceptable,” says Clark, “and although I enjoy teaching at the university level, there is much work to be done outside the classroom as well. I’m not saying I will never return to a university setting, but at this point in my life I believe I am being called to utilize my skills and talents in a wider arena.” Over the past several years, Clark has developed a series of assembly programs and writing workshops to help improve literacy among younger children and motivate at-risk teens. He is known to thousands of students as “The Singing Poet Guy,” and also speaks and performs music and poetry under his given name at festivals, churches, community centers, and other venues.
“I do not see myself merely as an educator, or merely as an entertainer,” says Clark. “There has recently been an explosion of interest in my programs, workshops, and books. Young children, teens, and even grownups are hungry for knowledge, but sometimes need a little extra motivation.”
A performing songwriter with several awards to his credit, Clark combines music with original poetry and stories to create what has been described by librarians and counselors as “edutaining” assembly programs for elementary and middle school students. “Children connect with music, especially music that tells stories. I heard from a book publisher once that songwriters are the poets and storytellers of the 21st century; I believe that if I can get students ‘hooked’ on stories through my songs, poems, and dramatic readings, they’ll hunger for more, which will hopefully lead them to books for deeper knowledge and meaning. They will then be much more prepared for college and for life in general.”
Clark has a heart not only for the younger children, but also at-risk teens, since he dropped out of high school at 16. After working several low paying jobs in restaurants and factories, and even selling vacuum cleaners, he finally decided to return to school and complete his high school diploma. He eventually went on to college and graduate school, earning both a Master’s and a Ph.D in English. “When I was a teen, there were very few programs in existence to help those of us who didn’t fit the mold or who fell through the cracks. We just struggled through life the best we could; thankfully, I am one of the fortunate few for whom education has helped change my life for the better. It is clear that now is the time for me to spend even more of my efforts in this area. I hope that my assembly programs and workshops, as well as the follow-up with teachers and counselors, can help these precious teens before they make, or help them get back on track after making, the same kind of mistakes I did.”
For more information on Clark’s assembly programs, writing workshops, and performances, please visit lawrencejclark.com.
- Contact Information
- Kristen R. Clark
- Media Relations Manager
- His Witness Ministries
- Contact via E-mail
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