COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BP)–Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary President Richard Blackaby announced his resignation from the seminary presidency in early June to pursue God’s call as president of Blackaby Ministries International.
In a somber meeting with his staff and faculty, Blackaby said though he always felt that he would retire before leaving the seminary, God had been directing him more towards the international ministry begun by his father, Henry Blackaby.
“This has been a very heart-wrenching decision for me because I love the seminary and it has been my incredible privilege to invest my life in its students,” he said. “Although I will not be the seminary president, I intend to remain in Cochrane and to continue to be involved in the seminary. I will continue to teach classes and to speak at events like chapel…. I also intend to use my opportunities to speak before various audiences to wholeheartedly promote the seminary. I intend to be one of its most dedicated ambassadors.
“God has given me the incredible privilege to work alongside my father. I will cherish these days as I work with the greatest man of God I know.”
In response to Blackaby’s 13 years of dedication and continuing support of the seminary, the trustees and leaders at the seminary have named Blackaby its chancellor, recognizing him in promoting the Canadian school.
Lou Leventhal, vice-president for institutional advancement, said Blackaby is leaving behind an indelible legacy on the seminary.
“God has accomplished much at our seminary through the ministry of Dr. Blackaby,” Leventhal said. “Since he has been here, there has been a dramatic increase in students, full and part-time faculty and staff. We have built our academic building with the help of wonderful volunteers from the States; renovated our guest house; built a maintenance building, storage building, woodshop, and 40 new apartment units; renovated the administrative building and library; acquired two condos, and more.
“Our master of divinity program has been accredited by the Association of Theological Schools; a master of religious education degree was formed, also accredited by ATS, as well as a bachelor’s program, Samuel program for high school graduates and accredited, online masters’ programs” he continued. “We have also entered into a partnership with Golden Gate Seminary in San Francisco to offer a Canadian doctor of ministry track…. This represents just some of the impact and contributions Dr. Blackaby has made.”
The presidential search committee has named Bob Tucker as the interim president. He is no stranger to the seminary. Along with serving as a professor at CSBS, Tucker previously has served as interim president before Blackaby’s arrival. Tucker has also served as pastor at various churches as well as done pastoral interim work.
Mike McElroy, chairman of the presidential search committee, said he is excited to have Tucker come on board to serve during the transition.
“Dr. Tucker is very strong in building relationships. He relates well to students, and will be a good bridge as we take the time to find a new president,” he said.
Blackaby said his time at the seminary has been rewarding, and that he will continue to pray for the seminary while looking to the new opportunities that God has placed before him.
“I would appreciate your prayers,” he said. “God is leading me out of my comfort zone. I have a keen sense I have one life to live and I must invest it with all my heart where the Lord leads me. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving you as your seminary president.”
Doy Cave is the director of public relations at the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, and Maryn Edwards is the public relations intern.