- Baptist Press - https://www.baptistpress.com -

LifeWay & SBC seminaries build win-win relationship


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Seminary students aren’t just preparing for ministry. They are living it.

And the seminaries aren’t just equipping students to do ministry after they graduate but are guiding the students as they minister right now. Through challenging curriculum requirements, the students gain both knowledge and practical skills to share the Gospel.

With all this going on, it would make sense for LifeWay Christian Resources to be involved.

That’s why LifeWay supports all six of Southern Baptist Convention-related seminaries and two other seminaries by partially funding the salary of a liaison professor at each school. Additionally, LifeWay also sponsors a seminary event at each school where LifeWay resources, products and personnel are introduced to the students.

The liaison professors, most of whom teach in the Christian education area, provide an invaluable service to both institutions.

The professors and their seminaries are Leroy Gainey, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, Calif.; Allen Jackson, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; Hal Pettegrew, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; Bill Falkner, Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, Cochrane, Alberta; Walter Norvell, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo.; Edward Buchanan, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; Gary Waller, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas; and Brad Thompson, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tenn.


Each man holds an earned doctorate and is considered a top educator in his field.

“These professors are among the best at our seminaries,” said Marshall Walker, special events coordinator for LifeWay, who has coordinated LifeWay’s seminary-related emphases since they began in 1982. “They help LifeWay understand the issues and needs of the schools and the students.”

The profs also look for ways LifeWay can address concerns at the seminaries, such as helping other professors with needs that can be met by LifeWay products and resources, Walker added.

Grady Cothen, president of LifeWay from 1975-84 who was president of New Orleans Seminary before coming to LifeWay, had the vision for a relationship with each of the seminaries. In 1982, the first seminary liaison professors were chosen and the emphasis events began.

At the seminary emphasis events, LifeWay sends a team of employees led by Walker to acquaint the seminary students with what LifeWay has to offer that can assist them in their varied ministries.

“We have booths set up that highlight our church resources, Broadman & Holman products, technology offerings, as well as giving human resources and corporate information,” Walker said.

In addition, many of the LifeWay employees who go to these events and man these booths also go into the classrooms and teach a wide variety of classes in their areas of expertise.

At a recent seminary visit to Golden Gate Seminary, for example, Art Groomes, pastoral ministries specialist, spoke to an Introduction to Pastoral Ministries class on “Kingdom-Focused Ministry for the 21st Century”; Trent Butler, translation editor with Broadman & Holman, spoke to a hermeneutics class on “Biblical Exegesis as Methodical Art”; and Craig Kendall, Web development manager, spoke to a Web class on “Using LifeWay’s Website in Your Ministry.”

“Allowing our people to go into the classroom and furnishing space for us to set up display areas give us a wonderful opportunity to let the students know the variety of offerings LifeWay has,” Walker said. “We want them to know that LifeWay has resources and services available that will help them as they minister now and in the future.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: INTRO TO LIFEWAY RESOURCES.