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Midwestern trustees name Madsen as dean, affirm BF&M

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees voted unanimously to name Thorvald Madsen as academic dean and to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 during their Oct. 18-19 meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

Madsen has served as the seminary’s interim academic dean since August 2003. He also is an associate professor of ethics, philosophy and apologetics, serving at MBTS since April 1999.

“Dr. Madsen is an able scholar, a wonderful teacher and administrator as well as being an outstanding Christian gentleman,” MBTS President R. Philip Roberts said. “He is a team player who is putting the interests of Midwestern Seminary first. Our future looks all the brighter with Dr. Madsen as our academic dean.”

Madsen, 41, holds a doctor of philosophy degree in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, a master of divinity degree from the Chicago-area Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a master of arts degree in philosophy from Western Kentucky University, and a bachelor of arts degree from Wheaton College. In addition to his duties at Midwestern, Madsen also serves as interim pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church in Parkville, Mo.

Trustees affirmed the the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 statement of Southern Baptist beliefs in a unanimous voice vote, then signed a four-page document that included the statement of faith.

In other business, trustees approved a motion to give an ad hoc “land usage” committee, led by trustee Gene Downing from Oklahoma City, the go-ahead to pursue negotiations with a development company for the sale of approximately 30 to 40 acres of seminary land.

Downing relayed a preliminary presentation from Hunt Midwest, a Kansas City-based real estate development company, of what a potential sale could entail. The company sent three development scenarios for the property at the corner of Vivion Road and North Oak Trafficway to Downing and the trustees for their review. All three scenarios are for retail establishments.

“Our first priority is to be wise stewards of the resources God has given us,” Roberts said of the seminary’s 200-plus acres of land. “Selling this property might give us the boost we need to make critical renovations as well as to prepare for future expansion projects.”

Roberts reminded the board that the seminary’s north campus, a 24-acre retreat center formerly owned by Farmland, Inc., was bought in 2002 for a fraction of what a potential sale would yield for the frontage property.

“We bought the Farmland property for $1.4 million, adding 24 acres, and that included a 35,000-square-foot building,” Roberts said. “Our net loss of land, if you look at that addition and after a possible sale, will be around seven acres, and it would give us much needed capital to start and/or renovate facilities.”

Roberts also emphasized that he wants to pursue further negotiations before making a recommendation to sell the property. The ad hoc committee will report back at the next trustee meeting in March 2005.

During the meeting, trustees also approved:

— the undergraduate school’s proposed bachelor of art degree’s biblical studies major. The college already has begun the process of petitioning for accreditation with the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

— the annual audit by Keller & Owens, LLC, of Overland Park, Kan.

— a tuition decrease for non-Southern Baptist students from other Baptist denominations from $220 to $160.

— the name change of the Midwestern Advancement Council to Midwestern Board of Regents.

— naming Jim Anderson, associate professor of biblical studies, for Midwestern Baptist College, SBC.

— sabbatical leave for faculty members Lee Hinson and Tony Preston.

— the use of up to $50,000 dollars from reserves for dormitory remodeling.

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  • Cory Miller