Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-08-29

Samford University music professor Dr. Paul A. Richardson was named winner of this year's John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching at the school.

Richardson, who teaches voice and church music in the Samford School of Performing Arts, received a silver tray and $1,000 check from Samford Provost Dr. Brad Creed during the opening convocation of the fall semester Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Richardson joined the Samford faculty in 1995 after serving as professor and chair of doctoral studies in the School of Church Music at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.

Finalists for the Buchanan award, given annually to recognize outstanding teaching, were nominated by members of the Class of 2007.

Students who nominated Richardson for the award, said Creed, described him as a good model of someone who lives to teach and who truly cares about his students.

"He consistently and systematically challenges students to raise the bar in every aspect of their learning," said Creed.

"To use the words of one student, ´He does not compare students. Rather than trying to make everyone fit the mold of the same perfect student, he recognizes and encourages individual differences.'"

A recognized scholar in the fields of hymnology, church music and worship, Richardson is past president of The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada. He has contributed to handbooks and companions to hymnals, and is co-author of Singing Baptists: Studies in Baptist Hymnody in America. His revised and expanded edition of Erik Routley's A Panorama of Christian Hymnody was released in 2005. His most recent projects include Will You Come and Follow Me, a worship and devotional resource on faith, vocation and learning (Samford University Press 2007).

Richardson holds a bachelor's degree form Mars Hill College, master of church music and doctor of musical arts degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has done post-doctoral study at Eastman School of Music and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.

The Virginia native is a member of Birmingham's Baptist Church of the Covenant and serves on the board of directors of the Alliance of Baptists. He and his wife, Susan, have two children, Robert and Rachel.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.