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Johnson inauguration set for Sept 14 at Criswell College

DALLAS (BP)–Jerry A. Johnson will be installed as the sixth president of Criswell College in Dallas on Sept. 14. The 40-year-old Texas native was the unanimous choice of trustees last December and began serving in February.

Johnson, a native of Malakoff, Texas, and a 1986 Criswell graduate, came to Criswell College from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Ph.D. in Christian ethics and most recently was dean of the seminary’s Boyce College and a member of the seminary’s executive cabinet. Johnson also has served as pastor of churches in Texas and Colorado. He earned a Master of Arts degree from Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary.

“He [Johnson] has taught in academic settings, and he has administrative experience as a dean, and he has served extensively as a pastor,” Criswell trustee chairman Royce Laycock said. “He brings a pastor’s heart to this position in addition to all the other strengths we need.”

The late W.A. Criswell envisioned a school where Bible teachers and preachers would receive training and launched an evening institute in 1971. A Bachelor of Arts degree program was introduced in 1975 during the tenure of Paige Patterson, who served as president for 17 years. Now the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Patterson will offer the charge to the president at the 10 a.m. inauguration service at the college.

The Criswell College continues its tie to First Baptist Church of Dallas with pastor D. McCall Brunson serving as chancellor. The church also will commission Johnson at a 6 p.m. worship service on Sept. 12.

Johnson has emphasized the school’s foundational principles developed by Criswell himself, which included a commitment to the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, the centrality of expositional preaching and the priority of evangelism.

Criswell College is an affiliate institution of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. It has 17 fulltime faculty and numerous part-time and adjunct professors at its campus east of downtown Dallas, which until 1989 was the campus of Gaston Avenue Baptist Church. The student body includes more than 450 students from 29 states and numerous countries. The college grants undergraduate through master’s-level degrees in biblical studies, humanities and counseling.

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