From the Seminaries: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary adds music faculty, assigns new evangelism/missions roles; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary adds veteran missionary Keith McKinley to faculty.

SWBTS adds music faculty, assigns new evangelism/missions roles

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Two new faculty members have joined Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Church Music and Worship while two faculty members in the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions have assumed new roles.

Joseph R. Crider and Chuck T. Lewis have been named as professors of church music and worship, with Crider also serving as interim dean following Leo Day’s transition to lead the new Southwestern Center for the Arts.

John D. Massey, meanwhile, has been named interim dean of the Fish School and Brent Ray has been named as director of its World Mission Center, both succeeding Keith Eitel, who assumed both positions in 2005 and has now retired.

Music & worship

Adam W. Greenway stated in a news release, “As president of the Southern Baptist seminary with the oldest and last freestanding school dedicated to church music and worship, I am personally committed to seeing our seminary once again be the leading place where God-called men and women are equipped for music and worship ministry leadership roles in Southern Baptist churches.

“Having personally worked with both Drs. Crider and Lewis before, I have every confidence they will continue the rich tradition of Gospel-driven musical excellence that has characterized our seminary since I.E. Reynolds and B.B. McKinney.” Both Crider and Lewis are former Southern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty members, as is Greenway.

At Southern Seminary, Crider was the Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of Church Music and Worship and executive director of the Institute for Biblical Worship; Lewis was associate professor of church music and worship and director of the Doxology vocal ensemble.

Crider, with nearly 30 years of vocational ministry experience and 20 years of teaching experience, earlier served at Liberty University as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of music and humanities. In church ministry, he has served as minister of music and worship at First Baptist Church in Roanoke, Va., worship pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., and worship pastor at LaGrange Baptist Church in Louisville.

Crider holds a doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado and master’s and undergraduate degrees from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

“Joe Crider brings the perfect combination of musical excellence and pastoral competence,” said Randy L. Stinson, Southwestern’s provost and vice president for academic administration, also a former Southern Seminary faculty member. “He brings years of academic and local church experience. As we expand our music and worship programs, I am excited to continue to work with him.”

Crider stated, “To continue and recapture the initial vision birthed by pioneers such as I.E. Reynolds and B.B. McKinney of training biblically sound world-class musicians is an inspiring and essential task for all of us called to serve at Southwestern Seminary on behalf of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Lewis previously has served as worship pastor at Hurstbourne Baptist Church in Louisville and First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Chuck Lewis brings decades of experience in the local church and is very musically and administratively gifted,” Stinson said. “As we continue to grow various programs, his leadership will be indispensable.”

Lewis holds a Ph.D. from Southern Seminary; master’s degrees from Florida State University and Southwestern Seminary; and an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina.

As a Southwestern alumnus, Lewis said he is excited to stand on the shoulders of men like B.B. McKinney and I.E. Reynolds and professors who trained him like Bruce Leafblad, James B. McKinney and Bill Reynolds.

“I believe that worship is spiritually formational and, therefore, critically important to the life and health of the church,” Lewis said. “We will continually challenge our students to craft services of worship that are biblically grounded, Christ-centered and Gospel-saturated. We will honor the great hymns of the past while celebrating and cultivating the new songs that the Lord gives to each new generation of Christ-followers. And we will encourage our students to love Christ and His church well while being fully committed to our Great Commandment and Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Evangelism & missions

Greenway described Southwestern as “the original ‘Great Commission Seminary’ of the Southern Baptist Convention” that historically has been a key partner in Southern Baptist missions. He said he looks forward to Massey and Ray strengthening the Fish School’s academic programming “as well as mobilizing our students for deployment to the nations through the World Missions Center. My prayer is that one day every Southwestern Seminary and Scarborough College student will leave Seminary Hill with not only a diploma, but with a stamped passport in hand.”

Massey was a missionary with the International Mission Board from 2001-2011, having taught at Singapore Baptist Theological Seminary, the International Chinese Theological Seminary in Singapore and the Malaysia Baptist Theology Seminary in Penang. He joined Southwestern’s faculty in 2012 as associate professor of missions.

He holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Southwestern; an M.Div. from from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn.; and an undergraduate degree in political science from Mississippi State University.

“The sun never sets on Southwestern alumni,” Massey said. “Through intentional cooperation with the IMB and NAMB [North American Mission Board], a faculty rich in field experience and academic training, and newly updated and expanded academic programs, I hope to reinvigorate the rich Southwestern legacy as being the original ‘Great Commission Seminary.'”

Ray came to Southwestern in 2012 as director of Global Theological Innovation (GTI) and associate director of the World Missions Center, a role that saw him foster relationships with overseas seminaries. As GTI is absorbed by the World Missions Center, Ray will now oversee all missions mobilization efforts of Southwestern Seminary.

Ray served as an IMB missionary in South America from 1998-2003, having engaged in church planting, theological education and strategic initiatives. He subsequently was president of Hope for the Heart and Hope Center Foundation in Dallas and has served in four pastoral ministry roles in north and central Texas.

He holds doctor of ministry and M.Div. degrees from Southwestern and an undergraduate degree from Dallas Baptist University.

Ray said Greenway “has clearly expressed his desire to see Southwestern expand its role as the greatest missionary-sending seminary in SBC history, and the World Missions Center will contribute to this vision by actively engaging every Southwesterner in global evangelism and discipleship, passionately seeking to fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.”

Ray noted “three operating presuppositions will undergird the operations of Southwestern’s World Missions Center: every Christian is a soul-winning disciple-maker; every disciple is a missionary; and every local church is a sending body into God’s global harvest.”


Veteran IMB missionary Keith McKinley to join SBTS faculty

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — J. Keith McKinley, a missionary with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board for 20 years, has been named to the faculty of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

McKinley will join the seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry as associate professor of Christian missions.

McKinley comes from a rich missions heritage. His father, Jim McKinley, was an IMB missionary in Bangladesh for 34 years.

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., describing Keith McKinley as “a scholarly missiologist,” said his service on the mission field will be “invaluable as he teaches a new generation of students and both prepares and inspires them for courageous Great Commission service around the world.”

The addition of McKinley reflects “Southern Seminary’s long tradition and historic role in the worldwide missionary effort,” Mohler said, describing him as “truly a son of the mission field. I had the honor of knowing his father, the late Jim McKinley, who was one of the iconic missionaries among Southern Baptists in the 20th century.”

McKinley holds Ph.D. and M.Div. degrees from Southern Seminary and an undergraduate degree from the University of Louisville.

McKinley said the seminary “has always held a special place in our hearts. My father was a Southern graduate and our good friends, Dr. John Polhill, Dr. Phillip Landgrave and Dr. Bryant Hicks, all taught here for many years. Joining Southern feels like coming home to us. Our desire is to kindle and nurture an abiding passion for missions among all members of the Southern Seminary community and beyond.”

With the IMB, McKinley was a church planter before transitioning to missions strategy, most recently as an innovation specialist unique to Southeast Asia advising team leaders on the field. Before joining the IMB in 1998, McKinley was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Eastwood, Ky.

Paul Akin, the new dean of the Billy Graham School, highlighted McKinley’s experience working to plant churches and train leaders in predominantly Muslim contexts. “The fact that he is coming directly from the mission field will be a tremendous asset in helping train the next generation of Southern Baptists missionaries,” Akin said.

Provost Matthew J. Hall said McKinley’s appointment to the faculty “underscores the high stewardship of … our ambition of leveraging all we can so that the nations would hear and be glad. Dr. McKinley has spent most of his life on the mission field and one has only to spend a short time with him to tell that he is passionate about the missiological task and its urgency.”

McKinley and his wife Gail have four children.

    About the Author

  • SBC Seminary & BP Staff

    Cassity Potter writes for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press, the SBC’s news service; Alex Sibley writes for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and S. Craig Sanders writes for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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