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New VP, college name approved in Southeastern trustee meeting

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary trustees elected Waylan Owens as vice president of institutional effectiveness and assessment and a new name for the the seminary-related college during their April 10-11 meeting at Wake Forest, N.C.

Seminary officials said the creation of the new vice presidential post was necessary to meet requirements mandated by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, one of the seminary’s accrediting agencies.

Owens came to Southeastern in 1998 as special assistant to President Paige Patterson. He currently serves as assistant professor of pastoral ministry and also is responsible for directing a self-study of the seminary in preparation for the reaccreditation process required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2002.

“SACS will be looking at our own self-study and wants to know our goals for every part of the seminary and if we are meeting those goals and using the results in planning sessions for improvement,” Owens told the trustees.

Under the new administrative post, Owens will oversee the seminary’s department of institutional effectiveness and assessment, as well as its information systems and internal communications divisions, while serving as a liaison to the accrediting agencies.

In the name change, Southeastern Baptist Theological College will become Southeastern College at Wake Forest. The new name will allow the college to develop independently of the seminary, without altering the structure, governance or purpose of the college, officials said.

Trustees approved the addition of another degree program for the college — a major in secondary education specializing in English and social studies, to be added pending faculty approval. The college currently offers a bachelor of arts in biblical studies with a double major or minor in the history of ideas.

Administrators said the secondary education major is being added to help meet the growing need for teachers in private Christian schools.

Beginning in January 1995 as a two-year college with 26 students before expanding into a four-year undergraduate program, Southeastern College at Wake Forest enrolled nearly 400 students this spring.

Trustees also approved a $14.8 million budget for the 2000-2001 fiscal year, beginning Aug. 1, an increase of $1.7 million over the current $13.1 million budget.

Trustees and Southeastern’s Board of Visitors participated in a dedication service for the newly renovated Stephens-Mackie Hall, a professorial office complex which opened in the fall of 1999.

In October 1999, trustees voted to add the name of Gerald K. and Jean Stephens of Morganton, N.C., to the building, formerly named Mackie Hall. The Stephenses provided the lead gift helping to launch the restoration project.

Constructed during the seminary’s second decade of existence and originally dedicated in 1968, Mackie Hall originally was named in honor of George C. and Kathleen Mackie of Wake Forest, N.C.

The late George Mackie was a distinguished physician who devoted his life to the well-being of students at Wake Forest College and Southeastern Seminary. His wife, now Kathleen Lake, was honored as a creative leader for her participation in the beautification of the seminary campus.

Formerly housing the seminary’s student center and bookstore, the building now accommodates 25 faculty offices, four secretarial modules, two conference rooms and a commons area for the faculty.

Kathleen Mackie Lake and family, as well as Gerald and Jean Stephens and family were honored at the dedication along with several donors and project participants.

“Jean and I along with our family are so grateful to the trustees for honoring us by adding our family name to this beautiful building,” Stephens said. “We know and understand that our gift toward this building came from our heavenly Father. For some reason he’s chosen us to be his vehicle for that gift. The Lord chooses and empowers whom he will for his work. [We ask] that you place the honor where it should be placed.”

In other business, trustees amended their articles of incorporation to name the Southern Baptist Convention as the sole member of the corporation of Southeastern Seminary.

President Patterson said the amendment of the seminary’s bylaws was necessary to ensure that the school’s governing authority remains with its board of trustees while at the same time protecting the Southern Baptist Convention’s rights as owner of the seminary.

To date, five of the SBC seminaries have amended their articles of incorporation in like manner at the request of the SBC’s Executive Committee.

Patterson said the revised articles of incorporation protect the SBC from losing control over the direction of its seminaries. “Many [Baptist] universities have bolted from their state convention,” Patterson said. “The Executive Committee does not want to see that happen with the seminaries.”

Patterson said the amended articles of incorporation render future boards of trustees “unable to pirate the institution from the SBC.”

Trustees approved a new fee schedule that will increase tuition from $90 per credit hour to $105 per credit hour for seminary courses. For college students, tuition will increase from $100 per credit hour to $140 per credit hour.

Patterson said the astronomical growth of the seminary has forced the school to update its technology and student housing. Other additional operational costs cited by Patterson included funding the school’s upcoming accreditation, estimated at a cost of $250,000.

“We are currently at about 2,100 students, and I believe summer will bring us close to 2,200,” Patterson said. “There is no other alternative. We must provide for needs that are essential to ensure the education of our students. We must prepare as many students as we can to share the gospel of Christ.”

Trustees approved promotions for three faculty members and accepted the retirement of another.

William E. Brown, currently instructor of evangelism and church planting and Nehemiah Project director, was elected assistant professor of evangelism and church planting. Alvin L. Reid, associate professor of evangelism and holder of the Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism, was named professor of evangelism.

Andreas J. Kostenberger, currently associate professor of New Testament and editor of The Journal of the Evangelical Society, will hold the title professor of New Testament.

Josef L. Solc, assistant professor of theology and missions on the college faculty, has been named to the seminary faculty as associate professor of evangelism and missions.

The retirement of Ben S. Johnson, senior professor of music, was announced to trustees to be effective at the end of the semester. Trustees honored Johnson for his 40 years of service to the seminary with the title of professor emeritus. Johnson plans to continue to teach at Southeastern on an adjunctive basis.

“Ben Johnson came to Southeastern in 1959 and began teaching in 1960,” Patterson said. “He has learned to love the new crew and has served Southeastern faithfully for 40 unbelievable years.”

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  • Melissa King