FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Nathan Lorick, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), presented a $250,000 gift Oct. 3 to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary interim leadership O.S. Hawkins and David S. Dockery to support the faculty and to help the school with its current financial challenges.
“It’s our honor and joy to partner with you, Southwestern, and to present to you a check for $250,000 to help with the expenses, and to come alongside your faculty during this time of transition,” Lorick said, adding: “The SBTC stands with you and we’re for you, and we love our partnership alongside you.”
Hawkins, named senior advisor and ambassador-at-large in a special-called meeting of the SWBTS board Sept. 27, said “On this day in 1910, the first classes were held here on Seminary Hill. This was made possible by the sacrificial gifts of Texas Baptist churches and members who adopted the vision of our founder, B.H. Carroll. It is fitting that on this memorable date, Dr. Nathan Lorick and our friends at the SBTC present us a $250,000 gift to say, ‘We still believe in the future of our seminary.’”
Hawkins noted the gift in support of the faculty and other needs “will free up much-needed funds as another step in reestablishing our school on sound financial footing. May this be a seed that brings forth a multitude of churches and individuals to invest in what was, is, and will continue to be the gold standard for conservative theological education with a heart for evangelism and missions.”
In comments Sept. 27 about the state of seminary, Hawkins said, “It is no secret the seminary has serious financial challenges and going forward we will be giving oversight to aggressively manage costs and implementing best business practices with the intent to move our school to a more solid financial footing.”
Dockery, named interim president of the seminary, said, “The entire Southwestern community joins me in expressing deep and heartfelt gratitude to Nathan Lorick and the Southern Baptists of Texas for their generous investment in the Southwestern faculty at this key time in the life of the seminary. We look forward to enhancing the ongoing partnership with the Southern Baptists of Texas in the days to come.”
Lorick added: “I want Southwestern to know that the SBTC has been a long-term partner, and we look forward to continuing that partnership to train the next generation of students to take the Gospel all across Texas and the world. We believe that it’s a great partnership here in Texas to train, equip, and send out those students to advance the Gospel like never before. The SBTC is excited about the future of Southwestern and grateful for the leadership of Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Dockery during this time – we’re expecting and anticipating great things.”