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SBC DIGEST: Thornton first woman in leadership in SEBTS Ph.D. office; Newborn joins ABSC as church planting strategist

Thornton named SEBTS associate director of Ph.D. studies, director of Th.M. program
By Lauren Pratt

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) — When Christy Thornton became a Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) student in 2012, she never would have imagined that she would play an integral role in the theological academy. Through her recent promotion to associate director of Ph.D. Studies and director of the Th.M. program at SEBTS, she is the first woman to hold a leadership position in a Ph.D. Office in Southeastern’s history.

“Christy Thornton is a gifted scholar and administrator,” said SEBTS President Danny Akin. “She is the ideal person to supervise our

Th.M. Program and serve as an associate director of the Ph.D. Program. She is a wonderful gift and blessing to the Southeastern family.”

As part of her new role as associate director, Thornton is responsible for student progress, advisement and recruitment strategy. Thornton herself is in the dissertation stage of her Ph.D. at SEBTS, having entered the program in 2016. Her personal journey into the Ph.D. program makes her the perfect candidate to help students understand and process the challenges of deciding to enter into advanced degree work.

Even before Thornton helped in recruitment and development for the Ph.D. Office, she saw an opportunity to enter into a space in theological education

where not many women existed.

“One of the reasons I love Southeastern is because I feel like I can walk to the table and be all that I am,” said Thornton.

She believes that the theological academy is an avenue by which men and women can exemplify what it means to partner together in fulfilling the Great Commission. As Southern Baptists, there is room for growth when it comes to gender diversity in the academy. Thornton sees no reason why this cannot be complementarian and biblical in its approach.

“What if we could serve the church even better if we had a little more gender diversity in the theological academy?” she said. “I thought, I might be able to help with that. If these are my gifts and this is my context, I’d love to be able to serve in a way that allows theological education to serve the church even better than it already is.”

Read the full story here. — https://www.sebts.edu/news-and-events/headlines/2020/08/fa20_christy_thornton_promotion.aspx


Newborn joins ABSC as church planting strategist

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP) — New Church Planting Strategist Chanson Newborn comes to the Arkansas Baptist State Convention from Fellowship Community Church in Forrest City, Ark., the church he planted in 2013.

Church planting, Newborn says, is about reaching people with the Gospel, gathering them together for discipleship and creating a fresh expression of the body of Christ in their culture and context. This is the pattern Newborn and his team followed at Fellowship Community.

They started with monthly evangelistic outreaches, engaging the community and leading people to Jesus. Over the first few years they reported more than 50 baptisms. Their outreach did not end at the outskirts of Forrest City or even with different partnerships here in Arkansas. Newborn was one of the first to lead a team to engage with North American Mission Board SEND City missionaries in Detroit.

Read the full story here. — https://www.arkansasbaptist.org/post/chanson-newborn-joins-absc-as-church-planting-strategist

Lauren Pratt writes for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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