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SBC DIGEST: Akin moves to Carson-Newman; Schroeder heads to SWBTS

Carson-Newman announces Akin for new position of vice president for church relations and campus ministries

Jonathan Akin

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (BP) — Carson-Newman University President Charles A. Fowler announced the hiring of Jonathan Akin as the institution’s new Vice President for Church Relations and Campus Ministries.

Akin currently serves as the Director of Leadership Development for the North American Mission Board. He also leads NAMB’s Timothy+Barnabas Institute, which has become one of the most effective equipping and mentoring ministries for young pastors.

In addition, Akin serves as the interim pastor at First Baptist Church, Naples, Florida. He will continue in this role until the church secures a pastor.

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“Since I arrived in Jefferson City, I have been searching for a vice president for Church Relations and Campus Ministries,” said Fowler. “This position is such a critical role at Carson-Newman.”

Fowler explained that he had taken his time in filling the role to ensure the right person was found for the created position. “My desire for the person filling this role was for them to have a PhD and have enough scholarly work to be viewed as a colleague among our faculty,” said Fowler. “I wanted them to have served as a senior pastor so that area pastors would view them as a pastor and friend. I also wanted someone nationally recognized so their association would open doors with churches and attract students.”

The university president admitted finding someone to check all of the desired boxes was a tall order, but that the end result was well worth the wait. “I am thrilled that the Lord has shown His favor upon Carson-Newman again by bringing us someone who meets all of these expectations,” said Fowler. “Dr. Akin is an important addition to our executive leadership and our Carson-Newman community.”

Akin earned his undergraduate degree in biblical studies from Boyce College before earning an advanced master of divinity degree and PhD in Old Testament Literature from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

A published author, Akin has also served as adjunct professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Union University and Boyce College.

“I have spent my ministry equipping young people to be leaders in our churches and missionaries in our world,” said Akin. “Now I get the chance to shape thousands of university students in a Christ-centered worldview who will be unleashed into the workforces of our nation and all nations as ambassadors for Christ. I am so thankful for the leadership and vision that President Fowler is providing to Carson-Newman, and I cannot wait to serve with him and the rest of the Carson-Newman family.”

Jonathan and his wife Ashley have three children Maddy, Emma Grace and Judson. Akin will assume his new role on August 1.

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George Schroeder to lead Southwestern Seminary institutional relations

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Veteran journalist George Schroeder has been named associate Vice President for Institutional Relations at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, President Adam W. Greenway announced today (July 15).

“The addition of George Schroeder to our administrative staff will greatly enhance our ability to more effectively connect with important constituencies of Southwestern Seminary,” said Greenway. “George brings a unique skillset, strong ministry calling, and deep denominational commitment to this strategic role that will help Southwestern Seminary in many ways. I am delighted to welcome George, Shannon, and their children to Seminary Hill.”

George Schroeder

Working within the Institutional Advancement division of the institution, Schroeder will be responsible for building relationships with alumni, pastors, churches, denominational entities, local businesses and communities, and other constituencies of the seminary. He will coordinate work with seminary alumni chapters, the Southwestern Advisory Council, and President’s Club, and will provide management and oversight of daily operations of the institutional advancement and relations staff. He will begin his duties July 19.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to begin serving at Southwestern Seminary,” said Schroeder. “My desire and purpose is to proclaim the Gospel, see people come to Christ, and thus glorify God with my life.”

Schroeder said that his “growing call toward ministry” and his recognition to be “better equipped for whatever God might have in store” led him several years ago to begin the Master of Theological Studies with a concentration in cross-culture missions at Southwestern Seminary.

In recent months as he and his wife have prayed about future ministry opportunities “it has become clear that God has continued to shape my heart toward the ministry of the local church – and that He has turned what I thought was a fleeting idea into reality,” he said. “It has been an incredible honor to serve the SBC Executive Committee and with Baptist Press, working alongside brothers and sisters I greatly respect and love. Leaving Nashville is difficult, but it is simply a shift in ministry. While my role changes, my purpose remains the same.”

Schroeder added, “Dr. Greenway is providing incredible leadership and building a tremendous culture at Southwestern. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve with him and others who share the same ultimate goal of bringing glory to God. Even as I continue to pursue God’s call on my own life, I’m excited to help in Southwestern’s mission of training men and women to fulfill their calling.”

A lifelong journalist, Schroeder most recently served as associate vice president for convention news with the SBC Executive Committee in which capacity he led Baptist Press, the daily news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. Previously, he has held roles with USA Today, SiriusXM, The Register-GuardSports IllustratedThe Oklahoman, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He has won nine Associated Press Sports Editors awards, and he has been president and served on the board of the Football Writers Association of America and on the board of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Schroeder comes from a family with significant denominational service in the Southern Baptist Convention. His grandfather, George W. Schroeder, was executive secretary of the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1952-1971, and his father, George T. Schroeder, served on the SBC Resolutions Committee in 1984 and as a trustee at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has served as a missions team leader for Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, as well as a member of the board of directors of Neverthirst in Birmingham, Alabama, and board of advocates for Children’s Hospital Foundation in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Schroeder earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He has been married to Shannon since 1997, and they have three children, Elizabeth, 21, George, 20, and Christopher, 11.