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Ray Clendenen named director of B&H Academic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Ray Clendenen, a 15-year LifeWay Christian Resources employee, has been named director of academic publishing for B&H Publishing Group.

Clendenen is general editor of the New American Commentary series and author of the Malachi volume of the same series. He currently serves as editorial director for Bible reference, commentary and academic books and as associate general editor of the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation project.

In his new role, Clendenen will be responsible for the acquisition and development of academic books and electronic products for B&H Academic, an initiative launched in February 2006. B&H Academic provides resources for undergraduate and graduate theological education.

“Ray is well known and respected in the conservative, evangelical academic community as a scholar and a thinker,” said Ken Stephens, president of B&H Publishing Group. “His appointment to this position will fuel positive momentum as B&H Academic continues to publish solid, biblically sound titles for use in evangelical seminaries and colleges.”

Clendenen said his first priority is to visit colleges and seminaries to research academic needs and investigate potential authors.

“I want to hear from the faculty, administration and students so we can determine how best to serve their Christian education needs,” he said.

His vision for B&H Academic, he said, is to provide a voice of truth for students of God’s Word.

“There is Internet chaos right now where facts, half truths, and partial truths exist,” he said. “It’s extremely important for the church to provide truth. Since the educational institutions are responsible for training the leaders of the church, it’s important for the places of higher learning to know and propagate that truth.”

In academia, ideas have the potential to transform people and societies, Clendenen said.

“At B&H Academic, we want to find those ideas based on truth -– the Word of God -– and publish those ideas both through printed and electronic media so professors and students can put those truths into the hands and minds of individuals who need God’s truth,” he said.

David Nelson, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s senior vice president for academic administration, applauded Clendenen’s hire to lead the new book line.

“I am grateful for the direction of B&H Academic and I could not be more pleased with the selection of Ray Clendenen as director of academic publishing,” Nelson said. “Dr. Clendenen is a fine scholar who understands both the academy and the church. I look forward to the future contribution of B&H Academic under Ray’s leadership.”

Steve W. Lemke, provost at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, agreed.

“There is no one who personifies B&H more than Ray,” Lemke said. “He has produced excellent work, especially in the NAC commentary series. We also are pleased with LifeWay President Thom Rainer’s leadership, and with his renewed focus on B&H academic publishing. We look forward to a new day of enhanced quality at B&H.”

Beyond theological education in general, Clendenen cited three focus areas for B&H Academic: apologetics, ethics and theology.

“I am eager to continue relationships with key apologists and ethicists to produce resources that tackle the issues of the day,” he said. “Our theological approach will impact a broader culture without compromising God’s Word.”

The evangelical community should expect resources grounded in conservative theology, he added.

“B&H Publishing Group is a publisher that displays courage and conviction,” Clendenen said. “We have an anchor in the fundamentals of the Christian faith. We want to publish those books and authors who are conservative evangelicals who stand for truth without apology.”

Rainer claimed B&H Academic as one of his five priorities when he was installed as president nearly a year ago. Rainer stressed that the initiative will maintain “a priority to fidelity.”

“Through B&H Academic, we are going to communicate that we are serious about serious matters,” Rainer said during his inaugural trustee meeting in 2006. “We are going to have the best of academic resources. B&H will be at the forefront of maintaining doctrinal truths. We are going to take an aggressive leadership role so when the world sees what fidelity to the inerrant Word of God looks like, they will see what LifeWay stands for.”

Clendenen earned a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology from Rice University, Houston; a master of theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary; and a master of arts degree from Dropsie University, Philadelphia. He earned a Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Texas in Arlington.

In addition to directing B&H Academic, Clendenen will maintain his responsibilities as general editor of the New American Commentary.

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  • Kelly Davis Shrout