Southern Seminary announces strategic endowments, major Nashville initiative and a new dean of Boyce College

Tuesday, April 19, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary announced three significant endowments at its spring meeting of the Board of Trustees. In addition to accepting the yearly budget, the trustees approved the appointment of a new dean for Boyce College and further development of the seminary's extension center in Nashville, Tenn.

The first endowment announcement was the establishment of the Duke K. McCall Chair of Christian Leadership and the McCall Leadership Lectures with funding by Dr. and Mrs. Duke McCall and the McCall Family Foundation. The inaugural lecture will take place on the 60th anniversary of McCall's election as president of Southern Seminary.

"It is historic and a matter of great satisfaction that we are able to honor Duke K. McCall as the seventh president of this institution," said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary. "We are especially pleased to have this gift that will establish an endowed chair of Christian leadership. Duke K. McCall is synonymous with Christian statesmanship and leadership. He has left a decisive mark, not only at Southern Seminary, but at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the SBC Executive Committee and throughout the Southern Baptist Convention. We look forward to hearing the leadership lectures in the fall with Dr. Robert Sloan, president of Houston Baptist University, as the first lecturer."

Second, Southern Seminary announced the establishment of a center for the Christian understanding of Islam, with funding from Bill and Connie Jenkins of New Albany, Ind. Mohler noted that in addition to researching Islam, the center will host conferences concerning the Muslim faith.

"Why would Southern Seminary establish a Christian center for the study of Islam? The answer is actually quite simple. Every Christian ministry needs to have an understanding of Islam in order to be a faithful witness to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to understand the mission field that is not only out there in the world, but here in our own neighborhoods. For the foreseeable future, Islam is going to be the major worldview competitor to Christianity. I am pleased about the establishment of this new center and I look forward to its influence on the Christian world far beyond the campus of Southern Seminary," Mohler said.

Third, the seminary will add the Center for Missions Mobilization with funding from Matthew and Glenna Bevin of Louisville, Ky. The Bevins endowed the new center in honor of their late daughter, Brittiney.

"This new center will allow us to equip the students of this seminary with a set of global skills so they can be mobilized at any point in their ministry for service anywhere in the world," Mohler said. "This is now the expectation of this business community. It is being woven into the architecture of MBA degrees and training for business professionals and executives. Given the mandate for the Great Commission, it is far more important and urgent that Christian pastors have the ability and the expectation to have a global impact and to be ready for deployment at any moment."

The trustees also approved a $34 million budget that includes a five-percent increase in master's level tuition and a two-percent increase in faculty and staff salaries.  

Additionally, the board approved plans to launch a major new initiative in the Nashville area. Two faculty members from the Louisville campus will relocate to Nashville to lead this extension campus.

"It has become clear to us that the need for theological education in Nashville and within driving distance is greater than we ever understood. In response to that need, we are moving in a big way toward the establishment of a fully operational campus in Nashville. We've strategically located this new program in Williamson County, in the direct traffic flow of the greatest economic activity in central Tennessee. The location of this new program will allow students to drive from a region that reaches down into northern Alabama, northeastern Mississippi and throughout much of Tennessee. We are particularly eager about nourishing Southern Seminary's longstanding relationship with Nashville and Southern Baptist churches there.

"I look forward to the leadership that Dr. Mark Coppenger will bring as associate dean and director of that program, and to building a student body that will be able to take advantage of all that Southern Seminary has to offer," Mohler said.

In other news, Dan DeWitt was named the new dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of Southern Seminary. DeWitt previously served as assistant dean of Boyce and prior to his new position served as the vice president for communications and as lead pastor of Campus Church, Highview Baptist Church's campus ministry at the University of Louisville. Denny Burk stepped down from his current position as dean in order to return to the classroom at Boyce and expand his research and writing.

"Dr. Dan DeWitt brings a considerable skill set, tremendous commitment and precisely the kind of background experience we need to be able to provide Boyce College with the leadership it needs in the deanship as we look to the future," Mohler said.

"Denny Burk has served faithfully and well as dean of Boyce College. It has been a great delight to get to know him during the years he has served here, and I am especially eager to see what the Lord will do through him in this new phase of his ministry of research, writing and teaching. Denny was born to be a teacher, and he has a courageous commitment to engaging the issues of the day in a way that serves not only his students but also the church of the Lord Jesus Christ."


April 11 Towers: Biblical theology, systematic theology & stabbing a fat man; Moore on his new book; the urgency of biblical manhood; and Three Questions with C.J. Mahaney

The April 11 "Towers" is now available online. In this issue, we stab the fat man - well, at least Ehud does in our feature article instructing readers about how to preach the Gospel from the Book of Judges. In our feature article, Greg Gilbert, a Southern Seminary alumnus, discusses the usefulness of both biblical theology and systematic theology in preaching Jesus from Old Testament texts (page 3). Gilbert is senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.

The PDF for the April 11 issue is available at the SBTS Resources page.

Also in "Towers":

  • Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology and professor of Christian theology and ethics at SBTS, talks with me (Josh) about his new book, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, along with other relevant matters, such as the nature of temptation, love for neighbor, the art of writing, Johnny Cash and the 1980s Christian rock group Petra (pages 8-9). I also offer a brief review of Tempted and Tried on page 10;
  • Randy Stinson, dean of the School of Church Ministries at Southern Seminary, and Dan Dumas, senior vice president for institutional administration at Southern Seminary, lay out the importance of biblical manhood, providing an excerpt from the new book, A Guide to Biblical Manhood (page 4);
  • R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, along with J.D. Greear and Moore tell high school students what's important (page 7). Greear is pastor of the Summit Church in Durham, N.C.;
  • Kenneth Magnuson, professor of Christian ethics at Southern Seminary, discusses reproductive technologies in his faculty address (page 6);
  • SBTS alum and employ Scott Lamb publishes a biography of Major League Baseball player Albert Pujols (page 11). Lamb is director of research for the SBTS President's Office;
  • "Towers" contributor Courtney Reissig provides a Southern Story about Jaye Martin, director of women's leadership at SBTS (page 14); and
  • "Three Questions" with C.J. Mahaney, president of Sovereign Grace Ministries (page 16), book reviews, news around campus and more.

March 21 Towers: D.A. Carson and peculiar providence; Wellum talks church and seminary; and Haykin helps readers rediscover the Church Fathers

The March 21 "Towers" is now available. As the cover suggests, this issue wrestles with the relationship between the church and the seminary. Voices from Southern Seminary and beyond weigh in about questions about the necessity, effectiveness, and appropriate role of the institution. The PDF for the issue, "Of Pulpits and Lecterns," is available at the SBTS Resources page.

This issue includes:

  • D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, speaks about God's peculiar providence and the church-seminary dynamic in Aaron's article reflecting upon his recent encounter with the world-renowned scholar (pages 3 and 6);
  • Stephen J. Wellum, professor of Christian theology at Southern Seminary and editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, talks with me (Josh) about the role of the seminary with respect to the local church and the training of ministers (pages 4-5);
  • Michael A.G. Haykin, professor of church history and biblical spirituality at Southern Seminary, discusses his new book, Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (pages 8-9). Aaron offers a brief review on page 10;
  • SBTS faculty and students will present at regional Evangelical Missiological Society meeting (page 13);
  • "Towers" contributor Robert E. Sagers says orthodox evangelicals should not concede "love wins" language to Rob Bell (page 6);
  • Regular contributors Jason Fowler and Steve Jones examine a Basil Manly Sr. sermon from 1857 about dueling in this issue's History Highlight, "A sermon at 10 paces" (page 12);
  • "Three Questions" with Richard Bauckham (page 16), book reviews, news around campus and more.

Baptist media note SBTS “Love Wins” panel discussion

Baptist Press (BP) and Associated Baptist Press (ABP) published recent articles concerning Southern Seminary's March 17 panel discussion, "Love Wins: A Conversation on Rob Bell's New Book." The panel featured SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr., Dean of the School of Theology Russell D. Moore, Dean of Boyce College Denny Burk and popular blogger and Crossway publishing executive Justin Taylor.

BP provides the article, "Rob Bell's popularity makes clear biblical response critical, evangelical panel says"; and ABP offers "Mohler critiques Rob Bell's new book as 'Velvet Hell'" for their coverage.

The SBTS Resources page provides video and audio for the discussion in its entirety.


Billy Graham School plans Great Commission Week events

Monday, March 15, starts Great Commission Week at Southern Seminary. Throughout the week faculty, staff and students are encouraged to visit with the missionaries and missionary groups that will have booths throughout the Honeycutt Student Center main hallway and pray for the nations in Dillard Chapel (located across from the Health and Recreation Center).

The Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism has also coordinated several special events relating to Great Commission week, see below:

Monday, March 15
City Reaching Round Table sponsored by the Dehoney Center for Urban Church Planting
Dessert Fellowship and Prayer, Legacy 303 from 8-9 p.m.

Tuesday, March 16
Chili dinner with missionaries
Samuel Apartments (on campus) at 6 p.m.

Thursday, March 17
"Pastoring a Great Commission Church" lecture by J.D. Greear
Norton 195 at 5 p.m.

Friday, March 18
"Acts 1:8 and the Muslim" lecture by Kevin, SBTS missionary-in-residence from Central Asia
Norton 195 at 10 a.m.
Bagels and coffee provided


SBTS will hold “Love Wins: A Conversation on Rob Bell’s New Book” Thursday, March 17

Thursday, March 17, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will welcome blogger and Crossway publishing executive Justin Taylor to a public conversation about Rob Bell's forthcoming and already highly controversial book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, set to release Tuesday, March 15. Joining Taylor in the conversation will be Southern Seminary's R. Albert Mohler Jr., Russell D. Moore and Denny Burk.

The event will take place from 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. in Heritage Hall on the seminary's campus. Tickets are not required and seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Live streaming of the event will be available at

Taylor was among the first noted figures to comment publicly about the forthcoming release at his "Between Two Worlds" blog with the post "Rob Bell: Universalist?" Along with other resources and materials related to Bell's book, Taylor's post is located at his blog at The Gospel Coalition.

Mohler, president of Southern Seminary, has offered public comment and resources as well at, such as "Universalism as a Lure? The Emerging Case of Rob Bell" and his series "Doing Away with Hell?"

Burk, dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of Southern Seminary, has also shared thoughts about the Bell controversy at his blog,, which includes posts such as "Rob Bell Outs Himself" and "Zondervan's Break with Rob Bell."


Tempted to Tweet: Post your favorite Moore-isms to win

Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Seminary, is one of Southern's most quotable personalities. To recognize the release of Dr. Moore's newest book, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, the Office of Communications is launching a Twitter contest to celebrate "Moore-isms" - the best quotes (both serious and humorous) from Dr. Moore.

Friday, March 11, at 1:00 p.m. will begin the one-week Twitter contest looking for the best Dr. Moore quotes. All you need to participate is a (free) Twitter account.

Throughout the week, Communications will be looking for tweets that include a quote by Dr. Moore (be sure to include his Twitter handle, @DrMoore) and the hash-tag "#TandT." The @SBTS Twitter account will retweet some of the best Moore-isms.

At the close of the contest a representative from the School of Theology will select the best three overall tweets. If selected as one of the three winners, you will receive a prize bundle including signed copies of three books from Dr. Moore - his newest release, Tempted and Tried, as well as his previous books, Adopted for Life and The Kingdom of Christ.

The Breakdown:

Sign up. Register for a free Twitter account ( Be sure to follow both @SBTS and @DrMoore.

Tweet. Eligible tweets must include a (real) quote by Dr. Moore. The "Moore-isms" can come from the classroom, a chapel sermon, a book, a blog post, anywhere. Quotes can be recent or from years ago. You must include "@DrMoore" and "#TandT" in your tweet to be eligible for the contest.

Here's an example tweet, from a sermon: @JohnSBTS: "We rage against the reptile, not against his prey."-@DrMoore #TandT

Here's another, from a book chapter: @JackSBTS: "The kingdom of God dawns in a peasant Jewish virgin's uterus."-@DrMoore #TandT

And here's one more, from a class lecture: @JillSBTS: "If u send me something on Facebook abt Farmville, I'll defriend u,& if you're @ Highview I'll straight up excommunicate u."-@DrMoore #TandT

Win! If you're one of the three winners, @SBTS will notify you via Twitter direct message. All prizes may be picked up in Communications, Honeycutt 205, during times that will be specified. Should you win and not reside in Louisville, the books will be mailed to you. Should you win and already own the titles included in the prize bundle-then share them with a friend.

Good luck. It's time to start tweeting your favorite "Moore-isms."

Contest Rules and Restrictions:

In addition to following the rules outlined above, you must be at least 18 years of age and currently reside in one of the continental United States to win any type of prize. Winners will be selected by the School of Theology; prizes will be awarded by the Office of Communications. Southern Seminary and Boyce College students, faculty, staff, administrators and supporters are welcome to tweet at will and are eligible to win prizes. By submitting, you are agreeing to the full rules and restrictions. Final weekly entries are due Friday, March 18, 2011, by 1 p.m. EST.


SBTS to welcome Phil Wickham as part of Heaven and Earth tour

April 28, 2011, Southern Seminary will welcome Christian singer/songwriter Phil Wickham to Alumni Memorial Chapel. Wickham will be performing hits from his three albums, including his recent Heaven & Earth album.  

Event tickets are already on sale and can be purchased online at and in-person at the Southern Seminary Office of Event Productions in the Duke K. McCall Sesquicentennial Pavilion. Tickets for those holding a Southern Seminary Shield Card are $8; general admission is $10.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and seating will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Preview songs from Wickam's Heaven & Earth album here.


SBTS doctoral student writes about church unity for Gospel Coalition

The Gospel Coalition recently featured a blog post by Southern Seminary doctoral student David Schrock. In the post, "Beware in Your Search for Perfect Peace," Schrock considers several qualifications for church unity. He writes:

While Christ prayed for unity, he also prayed for the sanctification of his church (John 17:17). The need for sanctification assumes the presence of sin, and sin's presence promises disunity. Jesus knew this and did not pray naively. He prayed knowingly for immature churches, persecuted churches, proud churches, churches filled with sinful people-churches like the ones Paul addressed and Jesus rebuked in Revelation 1-3. His prayer is what glues sinners together, and it is by design that conflicting sinners would dwell together.

The Gospel Coalition provides the entire post.


Feb. 21 Towers: fire-fading marriages; confessing the sins of a seminarian; and Getty answers “Three Questions”

The Feb. 21 "Towers" is now available around campus and online. As the cover's pink candy heart, ironically etched with the words "not enuf," suggests, this issue's feature content attempts to expound on the only solid grounding of relationships: Christ. Here is the PDF from the SBTS Resources page.

This issue includes:

  • Steve Watters, Southern Seminary's new director of publications and strategic initiatives, writes an insightful article about true growth in a marriage in "Don't focus on re-igniting marriage when the fire fades" (pages 3 and 5);
  • A former SBTS student pleads with the seminary husbands to put their wives before their studies in a piercing, anonymously written article, "Husbands, love your wives more than seminary: confessing the sins of a seminarian" (page 4);
  • President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and School of Theology Dean Russell D. Moore contribute to FamilyLifes's newly released DVD seminar, "The Art of Marriage" (page 7);
  • Chuck Lawless, dean of the Billy Graham School and vice president for academic programming, offers a brief testimony about SBC's Cooperative Program in "Partnering for the Gospel: Why I'm thankful for the Cooperative Program" (page 8);
  • Regular contributor Steve Jones highlights to the affectionate correspondence between Charlotte and John Broadus in this issue's History Highlight, "Love letters of Charlotte and John Broadus" (page 12); and
  • "Three Questions" with Keith Getty, book reviews, news around campus and more.