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Midwestern Seminary seeks president nominee with ‘heart for the Midwest’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–The presidential search committee of the board of trustees for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is seeking a nominee with “a heart for the Midwest” and a desire to build bridges throughout that region, according to Carl Weiser, pastor of Hyland Heights Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., and chairman of the board.

Following their election in mid-October, committee members began work on a presidential profile to clarify the type of individual they hope to find to fill the vacancy. “We want someone who can continue the vision that’s been cast for Midwestern,” Weiser said, as well as bringing “a new vision” in that role.

Other qualities specified by the committee include an individual who is “warm-hearted with strong pastoral leanings.” While candidates without pastoral experiences would still be considered, Weiser clarified the committee is looking for a person who can demonstrate “a heart for people.”

The committee also expects a nominee to reflect the conservative direction of the Southern Baptist Convention as espoused by leadership in recent decades. While the nominee must uphold a conservative theology and be qualified academically, Weiser said the committee has not specified the type of degrees required at this time. “He needs to have leadership ability and be self-motivated,” he explained.

The current faculty of Midwestern has been asked to respond to a profile description survey distributed Dec. 11. “We believe in the faculty that is in place,” Weiser said on behalf of the committee, “and want to have input from them.” Students are also being asked for their input, he said.

“As I have talked to the leadership in the SBC, everybody has had a real commitment to the seminary moving forward,” Weiser said of the transition since the termination of Mark Coppenger on Sept. 14. “We hope to have a candidate by the April board meeting.”

The committee has received and considered resumes submitted thus far and will continue to accept them through Jan. 15. Recommendations may be sent to Weiser by mail to 347 Crestview Dr., Rustburg, VA., 24588.

In addition to Weiser, other members of the committee are Reagan Bradford, a physician from Edmond, Okla.; Loretta Bringer, finance company manager from Maywood, Mo.; Conrad “Buster” Brown, pastor of East Cooper Baptist Church in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; William C. Hatfield, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dierks, Ark.; Gwen Newman, a homemaker from Winder, Ga., and Dennis Wood, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church on Mill, Tempe, Ariz.

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  • Tammi Reed Ledbetter