Steven Tomlinson

The 2014 Durstan R McDonald Teaching Award
Steven Tomlinson

Master teacher, careful listener, monologist, writer, thoughtful preacher, award winning economics lecturer. Whether you are teaching the “Life of Meaning” course at the Acton School of Business or leading a class on stewardship at St. James Episcopal Church, you combine authenticity with genuine concern for your students.

You teach with passion, imagination, depth, and relevance. Your faculty colleagues at the Acton School of Business describe your pedagogy as one that provides “strong, compassionate, wise guidance” inside and outside the classroom.

Your commitment is evident in your collegial support of other teachers. One of your associates describes you as a “teachers’ teacher”. You require of yourself a high standard of integrity and attention to the details of your vocation and call those with whom you serve to the same standard. Yet, you do this with such positive regard for others that your mentorship is appreciated and effects change. As you offered critique and guidance to a fellow teacher, he not only became a better teacher but said, “In the process, I also learned how to be a better man and through his role modeling, a better Christian.”

Friend and former colleague, the Rev. Seth Adams, describes your teaching style as one that promotes ‘curiosity.’ Your openness to dialogue, questioning, creativity, and your respect for your students invites others to a deeper life of faith. You are able to maintain academic rigor while encouraging those who are novices.

It has been observed that you know the power of silence as an avenue to greater understanding. While many think that teaching is about talking, you incorporate reflection and contemplation into your pedagogy.

It is impossible to calculate the number of lives you have influenced through TEDx events and through your teaching at Seminary of the Southwest, the Acton School of Business, the McCombs School of Business, and St. James Episcopal Church. Your impact has been great. The University of Texas’s Ex-Students’ Association honored your teaching as did your former University of Texas MBA students.

In recognition of your commitment to your students and to the art of respectful and engaging teaching, Seminary of the Southwest is proud to present you with the 2014 Durstan R McDonald Teaching Award.


Cynthia Briggs Kittredge                                                                                    Nathan Jennings
Dean and President                                                                                             Faculty Secretary