News Articles

Midwestern trustees elect 4 new profs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees learned of an increase in full-time equivalent enrollment, passed a $6.3 million budget and elected four new professors during their March 19-20 spring meeting.

The seminary’s full-time equivalent enrollment (FTEs) was up to 395 in the 2005-2006 academic year from around 250 in 2000-2001, Midwestern Seminary President R. Philip Roberts told trustees. Roberts also told trustees about the regular outreach involvement of students through the Midwestern evangelistic teams and the FUSION program and the standing room only attendance at the February Dead Sea Scrolls workshop with more than 380 registered. The follow-up workshop, “Jesus, Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” featuring Scroll scholar Craig A. Evans, will be held April 27-28.

David D. Hodge, former president of Central Bank and Trust in Wichita, Kan., was introduced as the new vice president of business services. After a 26-year career in secular banking, Hodge will take on a new role as chief financial officer and chief of operations at Midwestern. Hodge has experience in commercial real estate financing, retail banking and credit policy and loan administration. He also has been involved in problem asset division management, marketing and strategic planning and corporate budgeting and performance management.

Roberts also reported that Anthony Allen will join Midwestern’s cabinet as vice president of administration in June. Allen joins the administrative staff at a critical point in the seminary’s life — just as it is embarking on an $8.7 million capital campaign. Allen previously worked 16 years at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary as assistant to the vice president for institutional advancement, and then vice president for financial development. Allen is finishing his doctorate in higher education administration and expects to graduate from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., in August 2007.

The board approved a 2007-2008 budget of $6,325,282 and also elected four new professors, each to a five-year-contract: Professor of Christian Education Freddy Cardoza; Assistant Professor of Christian Music Eric Foley; Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew N. Blake Hearson; and Professor of Church Planting Gus Suarez.

“We certainly rejoice in the Lord’s blessing,” Roberts said. “The addition of new faculty and staff is very much at the heart of what God is doing here. We are genuinely enthused about the future of Midwestern. Hodge, Allen, Cardoza, Suarez, Foley, and Hearson are first-rate people and greatly gifted by the Lord. We are delighted to have them on board.”

Cardoza joins Midwestern as associate director of the professional doctoral program, director of distance learning, and the associate dean of Midwestern Baptist College. He obtained a doctor of education degree in leadership at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in addition to completing the coursework for a Ph.D. degree in Christian education at Southern, and has earned master of arts degree in Christian education from Southeastern Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in youth ministries from Liberty University.

Foley received his doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting performance from the University of Kansas, and his master of music and bachelor of science degrees in vocal music education major from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Hearson earned his doctorate and master of philosophy degrees in Hebraic and cognate studies from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. 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 Wheaton, Ill.

A native of Cuba, Suarez comes to Midwestern from Vancouver, Wash., where he served as executive director-treasurer of the Northwest Baptist Convention. Prior to that, he was division of missions/ministries director and state director of missions for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. In addition to being a church planter and pastor in several states in the United States, Suarez was also a language missions director for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

Professor of Biblical Studies Jim Anderson, Associate Professor of Evangelism Thomas P. Johnston and Associate Professor of New Testament Alan Tomlinson were re-elected. Charles Warren was presented for appointment to the faculty of Midwestern Baptist College as associate professor of theology. Scott Brawner was presented for re-appointment to teach in the field of Christian education, serve as dean of students for the college and work with Midwestern’s FUSION and IMPACT programs, both of which are gaining steadily in popularity among recent high school graduates.

“I feel especially blessed to have men of this caliber on campus,” board of trustees Chairman Gene Downing said. “I believe God has just blessed us immensely and student surveys substantiate that. Students feel really blessed to have the faculty and professors that we have. The best-kept secret in the whole world is right here.”

Midwestern Vice President of Institutional Advancement Marty R. Harkey reported that the 47-member Board of Regents elected Leo Eisert as its new chairman. The Board of Regents is an advisory group to the trustees and the seminary and is largely comprised of laypersons. Regents help in fundraising for Midwestern.

Harkey also reported that the SBC Executive Committee in February approved Midwestern’s capital campaign of $8.7 million. The first phase of the $8.7 million dollar campaign calls for removal of outdated single-story apartment units. The second phase of construction involves the building of 18 new apartments in place of the single-story units while utilizing the existing roads, electrical and water services. The third phase will consist of construction of a new chapel, new classrooms and new office suites in a new structure to adjoin the existing classroom building. When the new chapel is completed the fourth phase of construction will include renovating the existing chapel into an expanded library facility, which will prominently house the complete Charles Haddon Spurgeon Library. The timeframe for these projects are the 2007 through 2010 school years.

Downing informed the board that the sale of 30 acres of land in the southwest corner of the seminary’s property is going well and will close in May. The money from the land sale will be used to build new housing. Four new apartment buildings will be constructed on a portion of the land previously occupied by the duplex buildings.

In addition, the board also approved 5 percent merit salary increase and the hiring of a professional to do a three-month research and analysis. The person will look at faculty and staff’s benefit packages and job descriptions, reporting any deficiencies the seminary may have. This will generate a record of appropriate employee compensation that could be made available to the Southern Baptist Convention.

“Our desire is to do the very best we can to serve and support our faculty and staff,” Roberts said. “We are glad to have made real progress in recent years and look to make more soon.”

Downing, of Oklahoma, was re-elected as trustee chairman. Also re-elected as trustee officers were Michael Landry of Florida, first vice chairman; James Freeman of Missouri, second vice chairman; and Judy Crain of Maryland, secretary. Richard C. Mathis of South Carolina was elected member-at-large.

After serving 10 years as trustee and participating on the presidential search committee, Bringer, outgoing chairperson of the committee on business services, was awarded the presidential medallion during a seminary chapel service.

The next trustee meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15-16.

    About the Author

  • Staff