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Pace named new SEBTS provost; Whitfield to return to full-time teaching

Scott Pace

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Keith Whitfield, who has served as provost at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2020, is transitioning from his administrative roles as provost and dean of graduate studies to serve full time as associate professor of theology, effective June 1. Scott Pace, dean of The College at Southeastern, has been elected as new provost by the board of trustees, and Seth Bible, director of SEBTS prison programs, will serve as acting dean of The College.

“Words are inadequate to express my love and appreciation for Keith and the job he has done as provost,” said SEBTS President Danny Akin. “He has led by example, and I know he will continue to do so as a full-time faculty member. Over the last 11 years, Keith has distinguished himself not only as a theologian and scholar but also as a beloved professor and mentor to our students. I am grateful for his love for our students and his desire to devote more time to their training in the classroom and in the local church.”

Committed to Southeastern’s mission of equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission, Whitfield oversaw Southeastern’s academic division and helped lead the institution through the challenges of providing global theological education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keith Whitfield

In his role as provost, Whitfield coordinated several faculty hires, provided strategic support and oversight for Southeastern’s faculty, and led the institution through its accreditation reaffirmation last year. As dean of graduate studies, Whitfield supervised Southeastern’s largest degree programs, promoting the continued growth of the Master of Arts and Master of Divinity programs at Southeastern.

After 10 years of serving in various administrative roles, Whitfield informed Akin in January about his desire to transition to the classroom full time.

Whitfield will also be joining the staff of The Summit Church in a part-time role as pastor of theological development. He will consult on ministry initiatives and new ministry ventures, coach in Summit’s various leadership pipelines and support the church’s theological development of ministry strategies and resources.

Pace was unanimously elected on Tuesday (April 28) by the board of trustees as Southeastern’s next provost. Pace, who began teaching at Southeastern in 2018, has served as dean of The College since 2019.

“I am delighted to announce that Scott Pace will be serving our faculty and our institution as provost,” Akin said. “He is a remarkable preacher and teacher, a beloved colleague, and a skilled administrator. His faithful leadership of The College at Southeastern, his commitment to our faculty, and his passion for our mission make Scott ideal for the role. I am confident that he will lead our academic division with excellence and continue to be a tremendous blessing to our institution as provost.”

Pace, a two-time Southeastern graduate, received his M.Div. in 2002 and his Ph.D. in applied theology in 2007. Having taught at Oklahoma Baptist University for several years before joining the faculty at Southeastern, Pace brings extensive academic teaching and administration experience to the role. Having also pastored churches in Oklahoma, Florida and North Carolina, Pace is committed to scholarship and academic administration in service of the Church. He is the author of several books related to ministry calling as well as to preaching and pastoral ministry.

Bible, who has taught at The College since 2007 and has led the institution’s prison programs since 2016, will serve as acting dean of The College following Pace’s promotion.

“Seth Bible has demonstrated outstanding leadership as director of our prison programs, and I know firsthand his deep love and support for our college,” Akin said. “He is the perfect choice to assume the role of acting dean of our undergraduate school.”

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