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Seminary’s history viewed from writings of 25 profs

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–When Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was founded 94 years ago, B.H. Carroll realized his dream of establishing a seminary for the western states and territories. The faculty of the new institution, chosen by Carroll, excelled in teaching and poured their thoughts into the pages of numerous publications.

A new book — soon to be released from Smithfield Press — offers alumni and current students alike an inside look at 25 Southwestern faculty who not only sought to contribute to the spiritual formation of ministers, but also to the field of Christian literature.

James Leo Garrett Jr., distinguished professor emeritus of theology at Southwestern, edited the book.

“The Legacy of Southwestern: Writings That Shaped a Tradition” is divided into 25 chapters, each focusing on a professor. Among the chapters’ authors, all but two have taught at Southwestern for 20 or more years. Twenty-two of the authors personally were acquainted with the professor described in their chapter.

Contributing authors were given a fivefold format for the development of each chapter, but each was “permitted to craft his chapter to fit the personality and work of the professor-subject,” Garrett said.

Subjects in the book include B.H. Carroll, W.T. Conner, J.M. Price, L.R. Scarborough, Robert A. Baker, W.R. Estep, Curtis Vaughn, Jack MacGorman and T.B. Maston. The book will be available through LifeWay Christian Stores.

Garrett explained that although institutional histories naturally tend to focus on the institutions themselves, this book focuses on the writings and thoughts of Southwestern professors “and their effects on the seminary and a wider realm.”

A committee was appointed to develop the book for the seminary in May 2001.

“The committee soon recognized the need for a basis for selecting those authors to be treated and then determined that a corpus of published writings, especially books, and some impact on Southwestern would constitute basic criteria,” Garrett said.

Further research revealed that Southwestern faculty in the theology, educational ministries and church music schools have authored, coauthored, edited, or co-edited a minimum of 700 books, Garrett said.

Other members of the editorial board that worked on the book were C.W. Brister, R. Bruce Corley, Al Fasol and H. Leon McBeth.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: THE LEGACY OF SOUTHWESTERN.

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  • Lauri Arnold