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Midwestern holds 50th anniv. convocation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary observed its 50th President’s Convocation Aug. 21 with a chapel message from seminary President R. Philip Roberts.

Carey Casey, chief executive officer of The National Center for Fathering, received the President’s Medallion during the convocation, followed by the dedication of the James R. Doss Family Room for the seminary’s archeology collection at the Koehn and Myers Center for World Evangelism.

Speaking from Galatians 1:1-10, Roberts noted three key certainties upon which the Apostle Paul built his correspondence to the New Testament church.

First, Roberts said, “The Apostle Paul had an unshakable trust in an unsurpassable salvation.”

Paul knew then what remains true to this day, that no other religion can and does offer salvation as a gift by grace alone, Roberts said. Along with salvation founded in grace comes peace, he said, noting that even today no other religion speaks of the peace and assurance that can be found in the Gospel of the gift of Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Roberts said, Paul had confidence in an irreplaceable revelation. His confidence was such that he extended a sincere warning against anybody -– including himself –- who might ever try to convince them of the truth of a gospel other than the one they had already accepted.

And third, Paul was so certain of the significance of the Savior, His salvation and the seriousness of the assignment He has given His followers that he voluntarily made himself a slave of Christ.

These are certainties that the seminary as a whole should stand upon as well, Roberts noted.

“We hope and pray for the future and the next steps the Lord has for Midwestern,” he said, outlining plans for ongoing campus improvements; increasing the seminary’s endowment; continuing to develop a dynamic curriculum, a research strategy and a first-rate faculty; and building a vibrant undergraduate college.

“Above all,” Roberts said, “we hope and pray that we might maintain our undying commitment to God’s trustworthy Word.”

Following his message, Roberts recognized Presidential Medallion recipient Carey Casey and his wife Melanie.

The Presidential Medallion, the highest honor awarded by Midwestern, is given to individuals who have made a significant impact on the seminary and Christian higher education.

The citation accompanying the medallion affirms Casey’s far-reaching impact for God’s Kingdom as a former pastor and president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Foundation and, now, as CEO of The National Center for Fathering and as a player development partner with the Kansas City Chiefs. As a member of Midwestern’s board of regents and past chapel speaker, Casey also has given significant support to the seminary.

Students, faculty, staff and guests reconvened at the Koehn and Myers Center for World Evangelism after the convocation for the dedication of a room in honor of James R. Doss containing the seminary’s Morton-Seats archaeological collection. Doss was a major supporter of MBTS’ archaeological program and a scholarship donor for the seminary’s Tel Gezer archeological project in Israel.

Doss’ son, Gary, spoke on behalf of his late father, and Stephen J. Andrews, MBTS professor of Old Testament, Hebrew and archaeology and director of the Morton-Seats Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, voiced a prayer of dedication before the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

With the opening of a special room to house the collection, it is hoped that it will be more accessible to the public for viewing and educational purposes.

The seminary’s new vice president for administration, Anthony Allen, and four new faculty members -– Frederick Cardoza II, Eric Foley, N. Blake Hearson and Gustavo Suarez -– were recognized in the chapel service.

Allen came to MBTS after serving 16 years at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., as vice president for institutional advancement and, earlier, as assistant to the vice president. Allen currently is finishing a doctoral degree in higher education administration through North Carolina State University. He earned both his master of theology and master of divinity (in biblical languages) degrees at SEBTS and his undergraduate degree in history and religion from Duke University.

Cardoza joins MBTS as assistant professor of Christian education, associate director for the professional doctoral program, director of distance learning and associate academic dean of Midwestern Baptist College, SBC. He obtained a doctor of education degree in leadership at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in addition to completing the coursework for a Ph.D. in Christian education there. He holds an M.A. degree in Christian education from Southeastern Seminary and a B.S. degree in youth ministries from Liberty University.

Foley joins MBTS as assistant professor of church music. He holds a D.M.A. degree in choral conducting performance from the University of Kansas and his master of music and bachelor of science degrees in vocal music education from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Hearson, appointed as assistant professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, earned his doctorate and a master of philosophy degree in Hebraic and cognate studies from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He also holds a master of divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass., and the master and bachelor of arts degrees from Wheaton College in Illinois.

Suarez, former executive director of the Northwest Baptist Convention, was appointed to serve as professor of church planting and director of the Nehemiah Center for North American Church Planting. Suarez holds a doctor of ministry degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif., a master of divinity degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn., and bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland in College Park.
Rachel Waligorski is a staff writer at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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