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6 new profs, 2 new degree programs broaden NOBTS educational options

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Six new professors and two new degree programs topped the list of recommendations approved by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees during their Oct. 12-14 annual fall session on the seminary campus.
“This is an exciting time to be a part of this ‘School of Providence and Prayer,’ as we have been known for the past 81 years,” said Chuck Kelley, seminary president.
“For the first time in four years nearly every full-time faculty position is filled. Enrollment is continues to be up. We know with confidence that God wants us to stay in our present location, and by March of 1999 we will have a new master plan for our future and a curriculum thoroughly revised and updated for equipping leaders for ministry in the 21st century,” Kelley said.
New professors for the seminary’s graduate studies programs are Patricia Collier of Salinas, Calif., instructor in voice; R. Stanton Norman of Durant, Okla., assistant professor of theology, also elected to the McFarland Chair of Theology; and Timothy Searcy of Winchester, Ky., associate professor of Christian education.
New professors for the seminary’s College of Undergraduate Studies are Eddie Campbell of Clarksdale, Miss., instructor in English; Tina Murdock of Pine Bluff, Ark., instructor in English and music; and John F. Gibson Jr. of Macon, Ga., assistant professor of communication.
Seminary administrators also informed trustees of the appointment of Philip Pinckard of Chattanooga, Tenn., as visiting associate professor of ethics, serving a one-year appointment during the sabbatical of Joe Trull, professor of ethics.
All have been serving by presidential appointment since Aug. 1. These seven faculty members bring to 11 the number of professors elected during this calendar year, filling vacancies created both by retirements of several long-term faculty members and growth in the student body due to six new programs of instruction, including a master of arts in marriage and family counseling, a master of divinity in church music and a doctor of philosophy in Christian education.
Also joining the faculty Aug. 1 were veteran education minister Charles Harvey Jr. of Shreveport, La., assistant professor of Christian education and associate director of the seminary’s new professional doctoral degree programs; U.S. Naval Reserve chaplain Endel Lee of Mobile, Ala., instructor in preaching and pastoral work; medical and gerontological social work specialist Loretta Rivers of Union, Miss., instructor in social work; and theology of American cults specialist Robert Stewart of Williamsburg, Ky., instructor in philosophy and systematic theology.
“We feel privileged that a number of our new faculty members come to us with significant teaching experience in several Baptist colleges and seminaries,” said Steve Lemke, NOBTS provost. “Their academic preparation, teaching experience and scholarly research strengthens our emphasis on academic excellence.”
The new professors also “bring a wonderful diversity of ministerial experience to our faculty,” Lemke said. “They have served in positions such as pastor, missionary, campus minister, education minister, music minister, Baptist college and seminary teacher, Christian social worker, military chaplain and hospital chaplain.”
Campbell has been on the adjunct faculty of New Orleans Seminary’s College of Undergraduate Studies since 1992 teaching English. He has served in several Louisiana and Mississippi churches as a supply preacher and as minister of youth and music since 1987. Campbell completed both the bachelor and master of education degrees in English at Delta State University, Cleveland, Miss., in 1975 and 1976; and the master of divinity degree at New Orleans Seminary in 1994. He is a current student in the doctor of philosophy degree program at NOBTS. He and his wife, the former Betty Lynn Doss, have five sons: Brad, Cory, Kevin, Jonathan and Stephen.
Collier has been on the adjunct music faculty at NOBTS since 1996 and has been music director for Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church, Bogalusa, La., since 1997. She has been the seminary’s assistant music librarian since 1994. She completed the bachelor of arts degree in music at California Baptist College, Riverside, Calif., in 1982; the master of church music degree at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, Calif., in 1986; and the doctor of musical arts degree at New Orleans Seminary in 1997. She is the daughter of Edwin Collier, director of missions for California’s Central Coast Southern Baptist Association, and the late Margaret Collier.
Gibson has been director of alumni affairs and church-minister relations at New Orleans Seminary since 1996. He previously was pastor of First Baptist Church, Greenwood, Miss., 1992-95; director of college relations at New Orleans Seminary, 1983-91; pastor of White Sand Baptist Church, White Sand, La., 1988-91; youth director at Southside Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, La., 1982-83; and youth director, First Baptist Church, Greenwood, Miss., 1979-82. Gibson is from a family of preachers, including his father and grandfathers, both of whom were chaplains in World War II. Gibson completed the bachelor of arts degree in history at Mississippi College, Clinton, Miss., in 1982; and both master of divinity and doctor of theology degrees at New Orleans Seminary in 1985 and 1993. He and his wife, the former Christi Rogers of Wichita Falls, Texas, have two school-aged children, Callie and Trey.
Murdock has been assistant professor of music and English at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, Pineville, Ky., since 1992. A member of the National Music Teachers Association, she has been a church musician more than 20 years, serving at Baptist churches and teaching private piano lessons. She was a missionary journeyman in Singapore, 1981-83, through the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board. Murdock completed the bachelor of science education degree in music and English at Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, Ark., in 1980; the master of music in piano pedagogy degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1992; and the master of arts in English degree at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, in 1996.
Norman has been assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University, Charleston, S.C., since 1997. He previously was assistant professor of theology and church history at Criswell College, Dallas, 1996-97; adjunct professor of theology at Criswell, 1994-96; and adjunct professor of religion at Dallas Baptist University, 1994. He also has been a pastor, serving at Altoga Baptist Church, McKinney, Texas, 1985-90; First Baptist Church, Haslet, Texas, 1990-93; and Arlington Park Baptist Church, Arlington,Texas, 1993-96. A member of the Evangelical Theological Society, he will present a paper on Baptist theological distinctives during the fall meeting in Orlando, Fla. Norman completed the bachelor of arts degree at Criswell College in 1987 and both the master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees at Southwestern Seminary in 1990 and 1997. He and his wife, the former Joy Akin, have three school-aged sons: Robert, Daniel and Stephen.
Pinckard has been a missionary with the SBC’s International Mission Board since 1993, serving in Macau. He previously was pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Metairie, La., 1986-93, and pastor of Red Oak Baptist Church, Kaufman, Texas, 1982-86. A specialist in Christian ethics, Pinckard completed the bachelor of arts degree at Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tenn., in 1974; and the master of divinity, the master of arts in religious education and the doctor of philosophy degrees at Southwestern Seminary, in 1977, 1978 and 1983. His dissertation was on the role of servanthood applied to husband-wife relations. He and his wife, the former Sandy Reynolds of Beaumont, Texas, have two school-aged children, Matthew and Megan.
Searcy previously was dean of the post-graduate school and professor of Christian education at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Cali, Colombia, serving as a missionary with the SBC’s International Mission Board, 1989-92. He was associate professor of Christian education at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, 1993-98. Searcy completed the bachelor of theology degree at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in 1980; the bachelor of arts degree at Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tenn., in 1981; and both master of religious education and doctor of education degrees at New Orleans Seminary in 1986 and 1989. He and his wife, the former Brenda Barrett, have two school-aged sons, Philip and Nathan.
“The new professors bring decades of ministerial experience, adding to a faculty already rich with hundreds of years of experience in ministry,” Lemke said. “For our faculty, teaching about ministry is not merely a theoretical exercise. Ministry is something they have done, are doing and will be doing. They can teach others how to minister because they’ve done it successfully themselves.
“Our new faculty members also add to our strong emphasis on church planting,” Lemke said. “Three of our new faculty members come to us with experience with the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board [in Macau, Singapore and Colombia] and two others have been involved in church planting in Texas.”
In other business, trustees
— approved a new doctor of educational ministry degree program, to be offered in August 1999, pending final approval from the Association of Theological Schools, which recently created the degree program. New Orleans Seminary will be one of the first ATS-accredited institutions to offer this degree, which has never been available at any of the SBC seminaries. The D.E.M. is for graduates of master of religious education or master of arts in Christian education degree programs who previously had to complete master of divinity equivalency to enter the D.Min. program. As with the D.Min. program, applicants must have at least three years of substantial post-graduate ministry experience.
This will be the second doctoral degree to be offered through New Orleans Seminary’s new professional doctoral degree programs department, including the newly revised doctor of ministry degree. As with New Orleans Seminary’s new D.Min. program, the D.E.M. program will offer students a variety of specializations to choose from, including creating their own specialization to enhance their current ministry situation.
— approved a new bachelor of arts in church music degree program, effective immediately, in the seminary’s College of Undergraduate Studies. The college previously offered a bachelor of arts degree with a major in music. The 126-hour degree program already has received approval from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
“New Orleans Seminary, as a primary educational institution for the Southern Baptist Convention, is situated in the strategic and enviable position of being on the frontlines of addressing the changing needs of churches in music for worship and education,” said Ken Gabrielse, chairman of New Orleans Seminary’s division of church music ministries. “With our seminary’s singular target of healthy churches, our new degree program is ideally suited to train the next generation of church musicians. We will answer to the church.”
— heard a report from Kelley thanking Southern Baptists for their generous support of the Cooperative Program, resulting in continued growth over the past several years. “New Orleans Seminary continues to have more than 50 percent of its operating budget coming from the Cooperative Program,” Kelley said, with the remainder coming from friends of the seminary who provide assistance through wills, estates and trusts.
— heard a report from Charles Register, a seminary administrator who serves as director of the Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Growth, on last year’s evangelistic efforts, in which NOBTS students and faculty were involved in nearly a dozen evangelistic mission trips around the world through which 987 found faith in Christ.
Register also announced that the Congress of Southern Baptist Evangelists will be held at New Orleans Seminary, Feb. 1-3, 1999, featuring Stephen Olford and H. B. London as keynote speakers, while the first of a new model of FAITH evangelistic strategy training conferences will be held at New Orleans Seminary, March 8-11, 1999, led by Bobby Welch, creator of the program, along with his entire church staff of First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Fla. On the final day of the conference, 300 teams will go out to the greater New Orleans area and surrounding communities, hoping to lead at least 300 people to Christ and connect them with local Southern Baptist churches.
— heard a report from Charles Gaines, dean of students, on last year’s enrollment. NOBTS reached another all-time high in enrollment by the end of the 1997-98 academic year, he said, with 2,551 students for the total non-duplicating headcount. New Orleans Seminary’s fall enrollment figures will be released at the end of December, when the six SBC seminaries customarily announce their first-semester enrollment figures together.
— named two recently retired professors to professor emeritus titles: J. Terry Young in theology and C. Ferris Jordan in adult education.
— approved the seminary administrators’ choice of Page Southerland Page architectural firm of Texas to design a new campus master plan, to be presented to trustees at their annual spring meeting in March 1999.

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  • Debbie Moore