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Southwestern names Keith Kline leadership development director

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–A longtime staff member of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn., has been named the first-ever director of leadership development at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Keith A. Kline will join the Fort Worth, Texas, seminary’s staff Feb. 1. Kline is currently manager of the adult Sunday School services section in LifeWay’s Sunday school division. He joined the staff of the then-Baptist Sunday School Board in 1978.
Kline will design and direct Southwestern’s leadership development strategy and will direct the seminary’s new Ralph M. Smith Leadership Development Complex. The first phase of the $21-million facility is scheduled for completion this summer.
Southwestern President Kenneth S. Hemphill said Kline’s hiring demonstrates the seminary’s commitment to elevating continuing education to a greater level of significance in Southern Baptist life. Hemphill said Kline will help implement Southwestern’s vision to provide Southern Baptists a state-of-the-art facility and a continuing education program on the cutting edge of church growth and leadership issues.
“Keith brings years of experience from LifeWay Christian Resources to our leadership development center,” Hemphill said. “He has coordinated the national Sunday School leadership training events at Ridgecrest [N.C.] and [Glorieta] conference centers. He is a man of integrity and vision and will help establish Southwestern as a pacesetter in the field of ongoing leadership development.”
Kline said he and his wife are leaving the home they have loved for 20 years because “there is nothing in Southern Baptist life like we [Southwestern Seminary] have here. This is the best place to impact leaders,” he said.
“We need to help people understand there is a leadership development crisis in Southern Baptist life. I really want to be involved in helping people see they need to be involved in lifelong learning,” Kline added.
Kline earned a master of divinity from Southwestern and a bachelor of arts in history education from Louisiana College in Pineville. The Alabama native is married to Pattie Adams who is a freelance writer and conference leader. One of their daughters is a first-year student in Southwestern’s early childhood education degree program. Their younger daughter is a senior at Mississippi State University.
Kline has served as minister of education at Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, Tenn., and minister of youth at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and First Baptist Church in Garland, Texas. He has written and produced numerous publications and videos and led conferences on leadership and other topics.

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