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Faith Notes: New faces, new places Monday, April 13, 2015

Look for updates and information on new hires, position changes and other transitions within the faith community-at-large here on the Religion & Values blog. #NewFacesNewPlaces

Phillips Theological Seminary recently hired journalist Kurt Gwartney to coordinate the Tulsa seminary's communications with students, alums, trustees and the public.

Phillips is Gwartney's alma mater.

In a news release, the seminary said Gwartney has been interested in media and communications from a young age, spending half his weekly childhood allowance on 45 rpm records so he could play disc jockey. His professional broadcasting career started at the age of 16 as weekend disc jockey at KOLS-AM/KKMA-FM (now KMYZ) in his hometown of Pryor, Oklahoma. He gradually began doing news work at the radio station, discovering his love for journalism and writing.

Gwartney studied journalism and political science at Oklahoma State University, serving two terms as managing editor of The Daily O’Collegian. He returned to his radio roots while at Oklahoma State, working first as a part-time news producer, then as Morning Edition host at KOSU.

After helping start a business in Pryor that produced computer training videos, Gwartney decided to follow his call by attending seminary. He first attended The Iliff School of Theology in Denver, before transferring to Phillips Theological Seminary (PTS) in Tulsa where he graduated with honors in 1999 with a Master of Divinity degree. He served as minister of communications at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City for five years before starting his own media business, Discuss Communications LLC. He also taught worship media classes as adjunct faculty at PTS during that time.

In 2005, Gwartney once again returned to radio as the operations manager and Morning Edition host at KGOU. In 2008, he was named news director at KGOU. Gwartney is the recipient of numerous awards for his reporting work and the editorial director for StateImpact Oklahoma, a collaborative reporting project with NPR. He also served on the board of the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters and the national board for Public Radio News Directors, Inc.

Gwartney is past president of the Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and still serves on its board of directors. In 2014, he was part of a team of three Oklahoma Public Media Exchange reporters honored to win the national Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi large market/network radio spot news award for coverage of the 2013 Moore tornado.

Most recently, Gwartney served with the American Red Cross as regional senior director of communications and as grants specialist. He is one of 20 certified United Methodist Communicators in the nation and a clergy spouse. His spouse, the Rev. Charla Gwartney, serves as senior pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in Tulsa.

 

Carla Hinton

Religion Editor

Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

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