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SBC DIGEST: New SBTS dean, SEBTS ethnic relations; Rainer podcast

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — Evangelism professor Adam Greenway has been named dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, effective June 1.

Greenway becomes the fourth dean of the Graham School, replacing Zane Pratt, who will continue teaching on faculty at the seminary even as he returns to overseas service.

“Adam Greenway brings a wealth of experience and a compelling vision to this newly-expanded school and its mission,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., the seminary’s president. “He has served well as senior associate dean of the school and he has the eager confidence of his faculty colleagues. He is a proven leader, having served as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and in a host of similar roles.

“He is a passionate evangelist who deeply loves the local church. He is a recognized leader within the Southern Baptist Convention and he brings a solid track record of denominational cooperation to this strategic new role.”

Greenway, 35, is associate professor of evangelism and applied apologetics at the seminary, a role he began in 2007 and plans to continue. Greenway also served, beginning in 2010, as senior associate dean under the leadership of the two previous deans of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism.

Greenway was president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention from 2011-12. As president, he was the youngest in KBC history, assuming the role as a 33-year-old. Previously, Greenway served as the KBC’s first vice president from 2009-10, as a member of its Mission Board, as the chair of the Mission Board Size Study Committee in 2009 and as the convention’s parliamentarian.

On the national level, Greenway is president of the Southern Baptist Professors of Evangelism Fellowship and has served as a trustee for LifeWay Christian Resources since 2005.

Thom Rainer, LifeWay’s president and a former dean at the Billy Graham School, said, “Adam Greenway is one of the most gifted persons in our denomination. I marveled at his strategic mind years ago when he was my doctoral student. And I continue to do so today as he leads LifeWay’s board of trustees as our chairman. I congratulate Southern Seminary and Dr. Mohler for making such an incredible choice.”

Greenway will be the first dean of the school since it expanded as the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry, combining the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism, established in 1994, and the School of Church Ministries, 2009.

A native Floridian, Greenway arrived in Kentucky in 2002 as pastor of The Baptist Church at Andover in Lexington. After joining the faculty of Southern Seminary, Greenway continued his pastoral ministry through interim roles in five churches across Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Prior to that, he served as a pastoral assistant in Alabama and in interim positions in Florida and Texas.

Greenway is co-editor of two books, “Evangelicals Engaging Emergent” and “The Great Commission Resurgence,” and holds an undergraduate degree from Samford University, a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of philosophy degree from Southern Seminary.

SOUTHEASTERN MOVES TOWARD IMPROVING ETHNIC RELATIONS — Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has hired a special adviser to the president for diversity and a director of Hispanic leadership development in order to make strides toward ethnic diversity.

Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary, said ethnic diversity is hardwired into the Great Commission.

“If we are to truly be a Great Commission seminary, moving in this direction is really an easy decision and one I wish we had made many years before now,” Akin said.

Walter Strickland, an African American, will serve as special adviser to the president for diversity. As a two-time graduate of Southeastern, Strickland hopes to show that ethnic diversity is rooted in Scripture.

“This will lead to a school that is more populated with different ethnicities, but that is not the ultimate goal. It is a byproduct,” Strickland said. “The ultimate goal is to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission by equipping students to take the Gospel to all nations.”

As special adviser to the president for diversity, Strickland will counsel the president and his cabinet on matters related to ethnic relations and institutional diversity. He also will help provide curriculum and course level strategies at Southeastern.

Edgar Aponte, named director of Hispanic leadership development at Southeastern, said, “My prayer is that we will bring glory to Christ by training and equipping current and future Christian leaders among the Hispanic community in the United States and throughout Latin America.”

Serving under John Ewart, associate vice president for global theological initiatives, Aponte, who is Hispanic, will provide direction and administration for Hispanic leadership development initiatives, and he will build relationships with local and national Hispanic ministries for the expansion of a Hispanic student population at Southeastern.

“Southeastern is here to serve the Spanish-speaking church,” Aponte said, “and we want pastors to see us as their ally in serving them as they work to fulfill the Great Commission.”

Bruce Ashford, Southeastern’s provost, said diversity is important because Scripture affirms it. God’s purposes in history “culminate in Him winning for Himself worshippers from every tribe, tongue, people and nation, and we want our school to be a preview of that day,” Ashford said.

Akin said Southern Baptists still have a long way to go in achieving greater ethnic diversity, but the new positions at Southeastern “are strategic in assisting us in better understanding and serving ethnic communities and the students sent our way.”

“These newly appointed positions at Southeastern are only a first step, but ones I believe are in the right direction,” Akin said. “It is never too late to start doing the right thing, and this is clearly the right thing to do.”

RAINER LAUNCHES LEADERSHIP PODCAST — Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, has added a new dimension to his online presence with a weekly podcast.

Each week, “Rainer on Leadership” will provide advice for leaders in ministry and the marketplace through 25- to 30-minute podcasts.

“This podcast is something I’ve wanted to see happen for some time now,” Rainer said.

Rainer, whose blog has more than 100,000 followers, said, “I’m limited in the detail I can include in a single blog post. So the podcast allows me to share more details and back stories about different subjects and events of value to leaders.”

Initial episodes of the podcast have carried the titles Autopsy of a Deceased Church; Raising Godly Children; Why People Leave Church; and 10 Ways Ordinary People Became Good Leaders.

Listeners can send feedback, questions and suggestions to Rainer through a form available at ThomRainer.com/podcast.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what subjects we will cover and what the readers of ThomRainer.com want to hear,” Rainer said.

To listen to Rainer on Leadership, visit ThomRainer.com/podcast or subscribe through iTunes. New episodes of the podcast will be posted on Fridays.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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