Southern Seminary adds diverse group of new faculty members
Southern Seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. today announced “the most diverse group of faculty ever to come to Southern Seminary at one time.” He introduced the five new faculty members for the 2018-2019 academic year as part of the opening convocation service for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College. New faculty members include Curtis Woods, Lilly Park, Dominick Hernandez, Shane Parker and Amy Crider. Three of the new faculty members are minorities; two of the new hires, including Park, are women.
“I’m glad Southern Seminary is a healthy, growing institution that needs to add faculty, and that both Southern Seminary and Boyce College are the kinds of schools drawing this quality of faculty,” said Mohler immediately following the convocation service. “This is a historic day for us, one that we celebrate Christ.
“Specifically, when you look at these new scholars and new teachers joining Southern Seminary, this is an indication of the quality of those who represent this faculty. It’s a sign of our investment in the future and it’s a sign of God’s blessing on his church of the conviction of these teachers. The most diverse group of faculty ever to come to Southern Seminary at one time — that is a sign of the kingdom for which we are very grateful,” he said.
The new faculty members teach in various disciplines across the seminary and Boyce College.
Curtis Woods, assistant professor of applied theology
Woods is joining Southern Seminary as assistant professor of applied theology. He is also the associate executive director for convention relations for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, a position he has held since 2012. Before that, he was the Baptist campus minister at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, and had a variety of responsibilities during five years at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, from 2001-2006. Woods is the co-author of the recently released book Gospel in Color.
He earned both his Th.M. and Ph.D. from Southern Seminary in May, 2018, after earning his bachelor of social work (BSW) degree from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1998.
“Curtis Woods brings a great combination of intellectual strength and pastoral giftedness that I’m eager for our students to experience in the classroom,” said Randy L. Stinson, who is provost of Southern Seminary. “He has been serving the churches of the Kentucky Baptist Convention for several years and now I’m thankful he’ll be able to serve the students of Southern Seminary.”
Woods said he looks forward to learning alongside fellow faculty members and his students.
“I am delighted to serve alongside men and women who love the gospel and the Lord’s church,” he said. “I can hardly wait to learn more about the triune God’s love and work within human history. I am certain my interactions with staff, students, and faculty will provide opportunities to lean on the gospel and the community of faith. I pray my interactions with others will be marked by kindness and joy.”
Lilly Park, assistant professor of biblical counseling
Park, a master of divinity (2008) and doctor of philosophy (2015) graduate of Southern Seminary, was named assistant professor of biblical counseling. She has served previously as assistant professor of biblical counseling at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 2011. Since 2013, she has been an adjunct instructor Boyce College, and since 2016, served as an online instructor at Cedarville University and Southern Seminary. In 2017, she also worked as a project consultant for Joni & Friends, and has been extensively published on issues of race and family ministry. Park is a council board member with the Biblical Counseling Coalition and a certified member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).
Park also earned a master of arts in biblical counseling from The Master’s College (now University) in 2005.
Stinson said of Park, "Lilly Park is one of our graduates and also has already been serving in the classroom in various capacities — both here and at other institutions. I’m thankful that she is going to be able to make a significant contribution for our female students in the area of biblical counseling.”
Park noted that becoming part of Southern Seminary’s faculty is particularly meaningful to her as a woman.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of Southern’s faculty,” she said. “As a female faculty member, this moment is particularly meaningful to me and I’m honored to be a part of this historical institution in training men and women for ministry. I look forward to equipping students for ministry challenges by approaching life problems with biblical wisdom. Life is complex, but Christians know true hope found in Christ and true change made possible by his Spirit and Word. It is exciting to discuss the practicalities of these truths for life and ministry, with thoughtfulness and grace.”
Dominick Hernandez, assistant professor of Old Testament interpretation and director of the Hispanic Online Program
Hernandez joins Southern Seminary as assistant professor of Old Testament interpretation and director of the Hispanic Online Program. This comes after serving as assistant professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute’s campus in Spokane, Washington, since 2016. He previously served as an adjunct professor at the Israel College of the Bible in Israel from 2014 until 2016. He earned an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, in 2011, and a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University in Israel in 2016.
Hernandez is also the new director of the Online Hispanic Program, which is part of Hispanic Initiatives. The program offers two degrees — an M.A. and an M.Div. — online and entirely in Spanish.
Stinson said Hernandez’s versatility as an academic teacher and administrator is what uniquely qualifies him for a role like this one.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Hernandez is going to help us in two key areas: first, as he helps to lead the online programming for our Hispanic Initiatives, and second, as he brings his intellectual gifting and leadership gifting to the faculty and the classroom,” he said.
Hernandez said he is excited to join the global work of Southern Seminary.
“My family is elated to be here in Louisville, Kentucky, and we are so blessed with the opportunity to be part of what The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is doing here in Kentucky and, through the Global Campus, around the world,” Hernandez said. “We believe that Southern Seminary is not only a place where I can flourish professionally, but where we can flourish as a family.”
Shane Parker, associate professor of leadership and missions
Parker becomes associate professor of leadership and missions. He has already been working on the seminary’s campus since 2016 as director of professional doctoral studies. Previously, he was lead pastor at Midlands Church in Columbia, South Carolina, from 2014 to 2016, and pastor at Crossroads Church in Columbia South Carolina, from 2011 to 2014.
Parker also earned an M.A. from Columbia Biblical Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and an M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and a Ph.D. from Southern Seminary in 2007.
“Shane Parker is a very gifted leader and has already over the years made many meaningful contributions to this campus,” Stinson said. “He is currently leading the professional doctoral program, and I am thankful he will also now bring his leadership gifts to the faculty.”
Parker, like Woods, pointed to his excitement about joining the seminary’s historic faculty.
“Both the current, global reach of Southern Seminary and the storied tradition of faculty scholarship and teaching for the sake of the church make the opportunity to serve on this faculty a uniquely humbling honor,” Parker said. “It is particularly meaningful to teach alongside faculty who have shaped my own vocational life and, by extension, the lives of the churches and academic institutions that I have been privileged to serve. I teach to strengthen the churches represented by our students, and in so doing champion the fulfillment of the Great Commission. It is profoundly rewarding to dedicate energies toward research and instruction that I pray the Lord would use to beautify the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention and beyond.”
Amy Crider, assistant professor of English at Boyce College
Crider is assistant professor of English at Boyce College. She previously served as the Writing Center coordinator in the Office of Student Success at Boyce College and Southern Seminary, starting in 2011. She began teaching English courses adjunctly at Boyce College in 2012.
“I am absolutely delighted by Amy Crider’s appointment to the Boyce College faculty,” said Matthew J. Hall, dean of Boyce College. “Dr. Crider’s passion for teaching, her skill as an administrator, and her joyful and tireless energy as a colleague have already established her as a beloved professor and leader on this campus. I am confident her impact on a generation of students will continue to deepen with each passing year.”
Crider earned a Doctor of Education degree from Southern Seminary in 2017. Previously, she earned her B.A. in English in 1984, then her M.A. in the same field in 1987 — both at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is married to Joseph Crider, Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of Church Music and Worship at Southern Seminary.
Crider said: “As the Writing Center coordinator in the Office of Student Success, I have enjoyed the opportunity of working with many of our faculty members at both Boyce College and Southern Seminary. Never have I been on a campus with such esteemed and respected professors. To be asked to join this faculty is an honor, a privilege, and a stewardship.”
Each of these new faculty members begins teaching this semester.