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Theological journal, capital campaign receive Midwestern trustees’ approval

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary plans to launch a Midwestern Journal of Theology in spring 2003, with trustees approving the undertaking during their Oct. 21-22 meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

Terry Wilder is the journal’s managing editor. He is Midwestern’s associate professor of New Testament and Greek and assistant director of the doctoral studies program.

“We wanted to start a journal as the first step in possibly beginning some doctoral research programs at Midwestern,” Wilder said. “The journal will showcase the written scholarship of our faculty and others.”

Stephen Andrews, professor of Old Testament, Hebrew and archaeology and the director of the Morton-Seats Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, is the book review editor.

Subscriptions will be available and a preview of each edition’s articles will be posted at the seminary’s website, www.mbts.edu.

Trustees also approved the launch of a five-year $2 million capital campaign to pay for a 34,000-square-foot building and 24 acres of property the seminary purchased last spring. Trustees also agreed to personally sponsor one room for $20,000.

The building, which is a former retreat and conference center, already is housing a library annex and will be renovated to provide space for the music department, an archaeological exhibit, classrooms, a student welcome center and offices.

In other business, trustees:

— approved the acceptance of a gift of property in downtown Kansas City of Covenant Baptist Church, entailing a 25,000-square-foot building on five acres of land, which will continue to house ministries such as a food pantry. Plans are to form partnerships with other Baptist entities to expand urban ministry. The seminary’s long-term goal is to use the church as part of an urban ministry degree program.

“This is the single most valuable donation to Midwestern in our history,” said Phil Roberts, president of Midwestern, noting it is valued at more than $2 million. “The church’s pastor, Bob Ganote, led the congregation to contribute the property to the seminary for educational and ministry purposes.”

— unanimously approved the removal of more than $877,000 in seminary funds from the Missouri Baptist Foundation. Trustee David Tolliver, pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs, Mo., explained the controversy in Missouri that led up to this recommendation, noting that the MBF is one of five Missouri Baptist Convention entities whose boards voted to become self-perpetuating. The MBC has filed a civil suit against the boards.

“Midwestern’s bylaws require us to invest in a Southern Baptist institution,” Tolliver said. “Now, the Missouri Baptist Foundation is not connected to the Southern Baptist Convention, and in my opinion, we have no business doing business with the Missouri Baptist Foundation.”

Trustees directed Roberts and chairman Dan Eddington of Carson City, Nev., to explore other investment options. No deadline to remove the funds was mandated. Other investment options include neighboring state foundations or the Southern Baptist Foundation.

— approved the recommendation from the president and academic dean Malcolm Yarnell that John Howell be named as academic dean emeritus. Howell was a senior professor of ethics at Midwestern for more than 35 years.

“He has been here almost from the foundation of the seminary,” Yarnell said, noting that Howell also has been an interim dean. “He still has an office on campus and has helped with our self-study process and been supportive of the seminary.”

— approved the election or re-election of the following three faculty: Michael Wilson, assistant professor of educational leadership and practical theology; Tony Preston, renewed contract as assistant professor of pastoral leadership; and Paul Carlisle, renewed contract as professor of pastoral care.

Wilson also is Midwestern’s vice president for institutional advancement. Preston is the assistant academic dean and director of the doctoral studies, collegiate ministries and extension programs.

Trustees also heard reports that last year’s fulltime student enrollment was up 7 percent, and student housing is more than 90 percent occupied.

The next regular trustee meeting will be March 10-11.

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  • Stacey Hamby