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Southern Seminary fills deanships in music, Christian education schools

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has filled two vacant deanships, elevating Thomas Bolton to dean of the school of church music and worship and Brad Waggoner to dean of the school of Christian education and leadership.

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. made the announcements at a chapel service Jan. 30. Bolton had been serving as acting dean and will continue to serve as a professor of church music. Waggoner will continue to serve as associate professor of Christian education and leadership.

“I am thrilled to announce these two new deans and I look forward with great expectancy to how their schools will be led in the future,” Mohler said. “Each of these schools is already well-known for programs of excellence focused on the local church. These two new deans will bring new energy, solid conviction and passion as these schools focus on the task of serving our churches and training a new generation.”

Bolton replaces Lloyd Mims, who resigned to become dean of the school of music and fine arts at Palm Beach Atlantic College in Florida. Waggoner replaces Dennis Williams, who became dean of institutional assessment to oversee the seminary’s accreditation review process.

Bolton arrived at Southern Seminary in 1996. From 1989-96, he was minister of music at First Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., and from 1973-89 he was professor of music at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. Bolton received his doctor of philosophy from the University of North Texas in 1980 and his master of music in musicology from the same school in 1973. He received his bachelor’s degree from Ouachita in 1968.

“Dr. Tom Bolton has served wonderfully and faithfully as interim dean for the past several months,” Mohler said. “He is tremendously concerned that our churches honor God through authentic worship and that music be employed to glorify God in the context of worship. He is a skilled musician with vital experience in our churches, and he is already building a great team on the school of church music and worship faculty.”

Waggoner joined the Southern Seminary faculty in 1999. From 1998-99 he served as executive pastor of Far Hills Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio, and from 1991-98 as associate pastor of evangelism and discipleship at the same church. He has also served at churches in Texas and Illinois. He received a doctor of philosophy in 1991 and a master of religious education degree in 1981 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. He earned a master of arts degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois in 1987 and a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1979.

“Dr. Brad Waggoner will bring outstanding leadership to the school of Christian education and leadership,” Mohler said. “With experience in one of our denomination’s leading churches, Dr. Waggoner brings a combination of leadership vision, practical experience and outstanding academic preparation to this new responsibility. His vision for developing future leaders for our churches is dramatic, bold and innovative. He will build upon the great tradition represented by this school even as he focuses on the future.”

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  • Michael Foust