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Bradford appointed dean of Texas Baptist College

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Carl J. Bradford, assistant professor of evangelism and occupant of the Malcolm R. and Melba L. McDow Chair of Evangelism, has been appointed dean of Texas Baptist College, the undergraduate school of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the institution’s leadership announced today.

“We are thrilled that Carl Bradford has accepted the invitation to serve as dean of Texas Baptist College,” said President David S. Dockery. “He and his wife Andrea have been deeply invested in the Southwestern community for several years.”

Dockery added that Bradford “is a gifted classroom teacher, has fine leadership gifts, a heart for the Gospel and the importance of sharing this Good News with others, a love for students, and a dedication to quality academics and to his colleagues.”

Bradford also “knows and understands the best aspects of the Carroll-Scarborough tradition at Southwestern, which will be important as he develops a hopeful vision for TBC and TBC students for the days to come,” Dockery said.

During the April 10 general plenary session of the board of trustees, Bradford led the time of devotion where he focused on the life of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. He said two lessons of encouragement can be drawn from the life of Joseph, including his faithfulness to the Lord and the “divine providence and favor of God” in his life. Bradford paralleled the life of Joseph, which included trials, to the life of Southwestern. However, he explained there are many things the Southwestern community is grateful for as it remains “faithful, thankful, and hopeful in God” as “we recognize that God is divinely at work.”

Bradford, who has served as the interim associate dean of the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions since July 2023, began teaching at Southwestern in 2018. A native of New Orleans, Bradford holds Master of Divinity (2011) and Doctor of Philosophy (2018) degrees from Southwestern in addition to a Bachelor of Science in business administration degree from Xavier University in Louisiana.

The appointment as dean of TBC is meaningful to Bradford for two reasons, he said in a one-on-one interview, noting that first he is “honored, humbled, and inspired by the administration of SWBTS and TBC’s belief in my capacity to lead TBC’s students and faculty toward a promising and God-edifying future.”

Bradford added that second, he is “grateful for the opportunity and the responsibility entrusted to me to ensure that our six core values – grace filled, Christ centered, scripturally grounded, confessionally guided, student focused, and globally engaged – continue to serve as the guiding principles shaping the community of SWBTS and TBC.”

Bradford said he is “motivated” to uphold Southwestern’s core values “and to foster an environment where students experience an enriching Christian education, godly mentorship, and develop godly friendships.”

The appointment is also a “personal milestone” to Bradford as he reflects on his first visit to the Southwestern campus in 2009 as a prospective student to tour the campus and learn about the seminary’s Master of Divinity program and now he has the “opportunity to serve as faculty.”

Madison Grace II, provost and vice president for academic administration, said “transitions can create challenges or opportunities” and “often raise questions about mission and stability.” However, he added, with the appointment of Bradford he is “confident that the mission of Texas Baptist College will continue forward.”

“Dr. Bradford is a long-time Southwesterner, and his leadership will draw from the heritage of our school as he looks to the future of TBC,” Grace said. “His evangelism focus is key to highlighting the Great Commandment mission of Southwestern, and his pastoral care will fulfill our Great Commandment imperative.”

Grace said he looks “forward to the future of TBC with Dr. Bradford leading and bringing stability, mentorship, and a heart for the Gospel.”

In addition to his classroom teaching, Bradford leads Southwestern Seminary’s Everyday Evangelism, a weekly initiative that facilitates students’ sharing the Gospel in Fort Worth-area neighborhoods, parks, shopping centers and universities. Since 2018, Bradford has also been the faculty leader for Southwestern’s participation in Crossover, an evangelism opportunity that occurs the week before the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.

Bradford said his hope and prayer for the future of TBC is simple – “every student will be not only trained and equipped but also deeply encouraged for ministry, wherever their path may lead them in industry and vocation as directed by God.”

Bradford serves as the minister of evangelism at First Baptist Church of Mansfield, Texas, and is the evangelism consultant for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC).

He is a contributor to “History of Evangelism in North America,” published by Kregel in 2021, as well as Seminary Hill Press publications “The Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture: Revised and Expanded” and “And You Shall Be My Witnesses: 31 Devotionals to Encourage a Spirit of Everyday Evangelism.” He has also contributed to the 2019 SBTC publication “Evangelism Takes Heart: A 9-Week Journey to Cultivating A Heart For Evangelism” and to the Southwestern Journal of Theology.

Bradford and his wife Andrea, a Doctor of Education student at Southwestern, are the parents of Carl Jr. and Abigail.

Bradford’s appointment is effective May 6.

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