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NOBTS adds faculty member, approves curriculum changes

NEW ORLEANS (BP) — The addition of a new faculty member and several curriculum changes were approved by the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary board of trustees’ executive committee June 6.

Jeff Audirsch, elected as associate professor of biblical studies in the seminary’s Leavell College, comes to NOBTS from his position as associate professor of Christian studies at Shorter University in Rome, Ga., and from prior service on the faculty of Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga., where he was named the 2010-2011 Outstanding Teacher.

Author of “The Legislative Themes of Centralization: From Mandate to Demise,” Audirsch holds master of divinity in biblical languages and doctor of philosophy degrees from NOBTS.

In action related to curriculum, the board approved course content filling out the requirements for the Christian leadership major in the doctor of philosophy program. Approved in the October 2016 board of trustees meeting, the new major is designed to prepare students to lead in local congregations, teach at colleges, universities and seminaries or serve in administrative or leadership roles within the various boards, entities and commissions of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“Christian leadership is one of the areas about which students express the greatest interest,” NOBTS Steve Lemke said. “This new Ph.D. major, available either in person or online, offers training in the best practices of pastoral leadership, church administration and volunteer leadership. We are confident that it will soon become one of our more popular Ph.D. majors.”

Also approved was the move toward user-driven concentrations in the doctor of education degree rather than prescribed majors. The change allows for student choice and management of course enrollment and opens opportunities for advanced coursework in student-selected fields.

Board-approved changes to the master of arts (theology) and master of arts (apologetics) marked refinement of program components to better provide students suitable preparation for entry into the Ph.D. program.

Also during the meeting, NOBTS President Chuck Kelley announced a Vietnamese program will soon resume at the seminary’s North Georgia Center in Marietta, Ga., after years of dormancy.

Jonathan Key, vice president for institutional advancement, noted to the trustee executive committee key aspects of The Second Century Initiative marking the seminary’s centennial celebration beginning with events on Oct. 3. Included in the celebration are a focus on missions and evangelism and a capital initiative “to take the seminary into the next century.”

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  • Marilyn Stewart