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New Orleans trustees add Jim Cogdill, archaeologist, church historian to faculty

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s trustee executive committee elected a new director of the Landrum P. Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Growth and received specialists in archaeology and church history as presidentially appointed assistant professors during their regular summer session on June 6. Additionally, two faculty promotions were approved.

Jim Cogdill, former vice president for academic affairs, dean of the faculty and professor of evangelism at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., will be the new director of the Leavell Center and professor of evangelism, effective July 1.

Cogdill of Marion, Ill., has been involved in pastoral ministry for nearly 25 years, including pastorates in Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. His last pastorate was Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., where he served seven years, 1990-97.

Before serving at MBTS, he served as adjunctive professor of evangelism and church growth, professor of church growth and evangelism and professor of church ministries and pastoral leadership at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

NOBTS President Chuck Kelley said of Cogdill’s election, “We are excited to have such a passionate soul-winner come to teach the next generation of Southern Baptist ministers how to lead people to Christ and grow great churches.”

Cogdill completed both his bachelor of arts degree, summa cum laude, and a bachelor of science degree in education, summa cum laude, at Southeast Missouri State University in 1982 and both his master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1986 and 1990, respectively. He is married to the former Debra Annette Collie.

“I am also excited about the addition of Dr. Cogdill to our faculty and leading our Leavell Center because of his heart for personal evangelism and soul-winning,” Michael Claunch, chairman of the NOBTS board of trustees.

Steve Ortiz of Tuscon, Ariz., who was appointed as assistant professor of archaeology, has been active in the discipline of field archaeology for 17 years (13 years in a supervisory or staff position) at Tel Zeitah, Tel Migne-Ekron, Gezer, Ketef Hinnom, Tell el-Hamma, Lachish, and Tell Dor. He currently serves as field archaeologist for the Tel Zeitah Excavation Project and has served as a senior staff member of the Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavation and Publication Project since 1988. He also served as researcher for the Arizona State Museum, 1996-98. Ortiz’s main research focus is the Iron Age in southern Levant. He specializes in the use of archaeological method and theory in the interpretation of the past; and specifically, how this enterprise can illuminate and reconstruct history, particularly in reference to ancient Israel and the Bible.

Ortiz completed his bachelor of arts degree in both anthropology and sociology from California State University in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1985. He received his master of arts degree in Bible history from Jerusalem University College (formerly called the Institute of Holy Land Studies) in 1989, and both his master of arts degree in near eastern archaeology and biblical studies and doctor of philosophy degree in near eastern archaeology from the University of Arizona in 1994 and 2000.

In addition to his archaeological work, Ortiz has served as a supply teacher at Casas Adobes Baptist Church in Tuscon, in addition to music ministry positions at Narkis Street Baptist Church in Jerusalem and Church on Brady in East Los Angeles, Calif. He and his wife, Beth, have a 2-year-old daughter and a second child due in July.

“We believe Steve Ortiz could be the next great evangelical archeologist,” said Steve Lemke, seminary provost. “His passion is to demonstrate the archeological evidence for the truthfulness of Scripture. We are delighted to have him join our team of faculty members from various disciplines with expertise in Christian apologetics.”

“We have the prospects of continuing the development of one of the finest biblical archaeological departments in the world,” Claunch added.

Lloyd A. Harsch, originally from Grand Forks, N.D., appointed as assistant professor of church history, completed both the bachelor of arts degree in languages (French and German) and the bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in 1983. He also completed both his master of divinity degree in biblical languages and doctor of philosophy degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas in 1986 and 1999, respectively. As a teaching fellow at SWBTS, he taught Baptist history, beginning and intermediate theological French and beginning and intermediate theological German. He also served as adjunct professor at Butler County Community College in Marion, Kan., and Dallas Baptist University. In addition, he served as production manager for Fides et Historia, the Journal of the Conference on Faith and History.

Harsch has served a variety of ministry positions, including drama team/Sunday school teacher and AWANA director at Hope Community Church in Fort Worth, 1994-2000, and pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, Kan., 1987-1993. Previously he served as young adult director, music director and music/Bible study leader in Texas and North Dakota churches. He and his wife, Jill, have one son, Chris.

“Lloyd Harsch brings to our faculty a unique blend of expertise in American and Baptist church history, languages, and computer-assisted instruction,” said Lemke. “We believe he will make a contribution in several areas of seminary life.”

Two NOBTS instructors, upon completing their doctorates at SWBTS this past
May, were promoted to assistant professors.

Robert Stewart, originally elected in June 1998, was promoted to assistant professor of philosophy and theology. He completed his dissertation on “The Impact of Contemporary Hermeneutics on Historical Jesus Research: An Analysis of John Dominic Crossan and Nicholas Thomas Wright.” He and his wife, Marilyn, have three children, Raymond, Bethany and Rebekah.

“Bob Stewart is an outstanding Christian philosopher and theologian, and is already one of the top evangelical apologists with expertise in the theology of the cults,” said Lemke. “We are excited about the contribution he will make at NOBTS for years to come.”

Endel Lee, originally elected in March 1998, was promoted to assistant professor of preaching and pastoral work in the College of Undergraduate Studies. He completed his dissertation on “A Critical Evaluation of Jesse James Northcutt’s Homiletical Design in Comparison to Augustine’s Instruction as Exemplified in De Doctrina Christiana.” He and his wife, Kathy, have two sons, Hunter and Cody.

“Endel Lee has already made a great contribution in our faculty the past two years, and has been well-received by our students in the College of Undergraduate Studies,” said Lemke. “We are pleased that he has completed his doctoral research, and can afford him the time to make an even greater contribution in the classroom and in the pulpit.”

In other business, trustees approved minor adjustments in nomenclature in the master of arts in Christian education (MACE) and bachelor of arts in church music degrees. Also, minor course changes in the MACE degree increased the hourly degree requirement from 66 to 69 hours.

Trustees also went on a walking tour of the Bunyan Building, the major classroom building for the graduate program, which is undergoing a wall-to-wall renovation this summer. The renovation is being completed under budget and on schedule for completion this summer.

    About the Author

  • Shannon Baker

    Shannon Baker is director of communications for the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey and editor of the Network’s weekly newsletter, BRN United.

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