News Articles

Southwestern trustees press on with undergrad college

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary continued formulating plans to move forward on an undergraduate college during their semiannual meeting Oct. 19.

The school, tentatively named The College at Southwestern, will offer a baccalaureate degree in biblical studies and other programs in the history of Western ideas at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus. Seminary President Paige Patterson said that the college would do what secular universities often are failing to do.

“Many of our students are coming here from the great secular universities and they have never read Plato, Thucydides or even Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick.’ You are not prepared, you are not educated if you have failed to accomplish these things in your undergraduate education,” Patterson said.

Trustees approved a recommendation to become involved in recruiting efforts for the school, pledging to recruit 50 students for the initial class. Vice President of Student Services Rudy Gonzalez said trustees also would assist the new school by providing names and contact information for homeschool associations and Christian academies in their respective areas across the United States.

A task force at the seminary has begun formulating the school’s curriculum and has designed application materials, Gonzalez said.

Classes at The College at Southwestern are slated to begin in the fall 2005 semester. Greg Tomlin, spokesman for the seminary, said The College at Southwestern would provide “unique preparation for students who wish to engage culture and advance the Gospel.” Tomlin also indicated that the cost of attending the college would be much less than the average university or private Christian school.

Trustees also elected a new vice president, a new faculty member and approved the inauguration of two new academic chairs.

C. Gregory Kingry Sr. was named vice president of business affairs. A career missionary with the International Mission Board since 1997, Kingry oversaw business services in Israel, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Jordan. Most recently, Kingry was based in England where he served as the IMB’s regional business services manager for the Northern Africa-Middle East region.

Kingry holds a Master of Divinity with biblical languages degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He is also a graduate of North Georgia College in Dahlonega, Ga.

Chris Thompson, a Ph.D. candidate who has been serving as interim vice president of business affairs, now assumes the newly created role of seminary chief of staff.

Trustees elected Johnny Derouen as associate professor of student ministries. Derouen has served as minister to youth at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, the past nine years. Since 1971, he has served as youth minister to churches in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, including First Baptist Church in Houston and First Baptist Church in Muskogee, Okla.

Derouen wrote and taught “The Leading Edge,” a nationally distributed video series for youth workers. He is a frequent contributor to Youth Leadership magazine and LifeWay Christian Resources’ Sunday School publications for youth.

Derouen holds a Master of Arts in religious education degree from Southwestern and will receive a Ph.D. from Southwestern’s school of educational ministries in December. Derouen’s election is effective Jan. 1.

Trustees approved the establishment of the James T. Draper Chair of Pastoral Ministry and chose Larry Ashlock to occupy the chair. Ashlock is associate professor of preaching and pastoral studies and associate dean for the doctor of ministry program.

The James T. Draper Chair of Pastoral Ministry honors the former Southern Baptist Convention president and current president of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tenn.

Trustees named Gerald Aultman to occupy the newly established Richard D. Baker Chair of Music Missions and Evangelism. Aultman is professor of church music. He previously taught church music at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the organist at the First Baptist Church in Dallas.

The Richard D. Baker Chair of Music Missions was established in honor of the respected music evangelist and composer of hymns such as “All to Thee.” Baker also was minister of music at the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.

Seminary officials will inaugurate both chairs Nov. 10.

In other business, trustees:

— authorized the presentation of the seminary’s B.H. Carroll Award to John and Pat Carlson and to George and Nancy Mixon.

John Carlson is the founder and president of Carlson Engineering in Fort Worth. Pat is in her third term as the chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party. Their commitment to world evangelism and soul-winning is manifest in gifts and pledges to the seminary’s department of evangelism and more recently to a new school of evangelism and missions.

George and Nancy Mixon began their support of Southwestern by setting up a scholarship fund for international students. Since then, the Mixons have continued supporting the funding of the seminary’s Leadership Development Complex and the Eklund Chair of Stewardship. Together with their son, Jeff, the Mixons are partners in Mixon Investments, a real estate and shopping center management firm in Dallas.

— approved $40,000 from current year revenues for the creation of a master plan for future seminary development. The funds would enable the seminary administration to conduct a study to evaluate the seminary’s needs as it grows and expands its ministries.

— authorized the administration to continue health insurance coverage for employees and retirees that does not exceed current costs plus the consumer price index, and if necessary provide employees and retirees the option of purchasing enhanced coverage.

— revised the Master of Theology degree program from 25 hours, inclusive of a thesis, to two options: 24 hours inclusive of a thesis, or 26 hours without a thesis.

— received a report from Jack Terry, vice president for institutional advancement, regarding possibilities for funding a new chapel which also would house the seminary’s new school of evangelism and missions. In addition to donations and gifts, Terry informed the trustees that once a footprint, floor plan and elevation had been laid out, the seminary could set about securing challenge grants from charitable trusts.

“We have needed a chapel on this campus for quite some time,” Patterson remarked.

    About the Author

  • Brent Thompson