It might seem surprising for a newly graduated seminary student to run for public office. But for Lincoln Barnett, that’s just thinking outside the box.

“In my journey as an evolving Christian minister, scholar, and servant I’ve always found ministry to be so much more than the four walls of the church. In fact, true Christian ministry transcends the four walls of the church.”

Lincoln Hughes


Barnett’s time at seminary challenged his own assumptions about living a life of faith. “While studying at MTS and actively serving my community as a local school board member, I really began to take notice of the need for informed Christian scholarship and practice within the context of public service,” Barnett says.


Shortly after graduating from MTS with a MDiv with a concentration in Ethics and Counseling, Barnett decided to run for mayor of his hometown of Hughes, Arkansas. He was elected on November 6th, 2018, and says his time at MTS has prepared him for this journey.


“When it comes to my roles as a scholar, person of faith, and activist, I do not compartmentalize them as separate roles or entities, but I see them intertwined as a whole,” Barnett says, “My scholarship is guided by my faith and activism, my faith is strengthened by my scholarship and activism, and my activism is a direct expression of my scholarship and faith.”

Kapriskie Mack

When Kapriskie Mack graduated with an MDiv degree in 2017, she already held a Masters of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. By February of 2018 Mack combined her gifts and experiences with the creation of a new business venture: the 901 Box.

These curated boxes of Memphis-made items can be ordered individually or as a monthly subscription, and are a perfect gift for any Memphis-lover. People living here currently can learn from each 901 Box about a new Memphis maker, artist, or small business to support, and people who’ve moved away might find, in the 901 Box, a balm for homesickness.

The 901 Box


“We are great at barbecue, basketball and blues,” Mack says, “But we are so much more. I believe it is time to unbox our city and share the gifts that have always been hidden inside. This is what the 901 box does.”


“My experience at MTS was a very unique one,” Mack says, “I learned many things. I’m grateful to God for the opportunity and invitation to enter into fellowship with so many amazing people I still share life with today.”