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TRUSTEES: First Korean prof at NOBTS

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees elected two new faculty members and approved a $21 million budget during their meeting April 14.

Trustees elected Deok Jae Lee, the seminary’s first Korean professor, to serve as assistant professor of Christian ministry at the North Georgia Hub. Dan Warner, an archaeologist, was elected as assistant professor of Old Testament and archaeology at the Orlando Hub.

Lee, who earned master of theology and doctor of ministry degrees at NOBTS, was instrumental in launching the Korean-language program at the seminary’s North Georgia Hub in 2006. The program offers Korean-language ministry training on both undergraduate and graduate levels. Under Lee’s direction, the program has grown from a few students to an enrollment of about 100 in four years.

Lee also serves as pastor of Southern Korean Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga.

“Deok Jae Lee has a greater passion for theological education than anyone I know,” NOBTS Provost Steve Lemke said. “He has taught for us for several years and has done a magnificent job in building up our Korean program in Atlanta. With faculty status, he can become a more integral part of the institution.”

Sin Ki Baik, president of the Council of Korean Southern Baptist Churches in America and pastor of Atlanta New Way Korean Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., also welcomed the election of Lee to the NOBTS faculty.

“Dr. Deok Jae Lee is a precious leader for the Korean Baptist communities in the United States,” Baik said. “He has contributed greatly to the growth of Korean Baptist churches in America in many ways for years.

“I know that Dr. Lee will contribute to Korean Baptist churches through training up Korean Christian leaders with right theology and ministry skills,” Baik said.

NOBTS’ Korean program recently expanded to include online coursework in the Korean language. The master’s-level classes offered online are fully accredited and count toward the M.Div. program at the North Georgia Hub or another institution. Students may earn a 16- to 18-hour Korean Biblical Language Graduate Certificate completely online. More information about the Marietta-based Korean program is available at www.nobts.edu/Extensions/NGA/Academics/Korean Program.html. Information about online courses in Korean is available at www.nobts.edu/kti/Online.html.

Last December trustees also approved a Korean-language doctor of ministry program. The new D.Min. program, still in the development stage, will be based at the North Georgia Hub.

Dan Warner, elected to serve as a ministry-based faculty member at the seminary’s Orlando Hub, has been an adjunct instructor at NOBTS since 2006. He will occupy the Don and Helen Bryant Chair of Old Testament and Archaeology. The ministry-based faculty category is designed for instructors who serve in other ministries to bring their practical experience into the classroom. These trustee-elected non-tenure track professors provide instruction for focused disciplines.

Warner has extensive field experience as an archaeologist serving on six digs in Israel. Since 2006, he has been senior field supervisor for the Tel Gezer Expedition in Israel.

“I am delighted to see Dan Warner come to our faculty as a ministry-based faculty member. He brings great experience as a teacher as well as an archaeologist,” said Jimmy Dukes, regional associate dean for Florida extension centers and director of the Orlando Hub. “More importantly, he has a tremendous interest in students, and as a result he relates to them very well. I believe his addition will be a huge plus for us in Orlando as well as the NOBTS system.”

After starting doctor of philosophy studies in archaeology and humanities at Florida State University, Warner went on to earn a Ph.D. from Trinity College at the University of Bristol in England. He earned a master of theology degree at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind., and a bachelor of arts degree in biblical studies from Spurgeon Baptist Bible College in Mulberry, Fla.

In addition to his teaching duties at NOBTS, Warner currently serves as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Orlando campus and Valencia Community College in Kissimmee, Fla.

Trustees also approved a $21 million budget for the 2010-11 school year. The new budget includes only small increases in tuition and fees. The trustees also were able to roll back some of the cuts issued under the seminary austerity budget in January 2009. Faculty and staff members who received a 5 percent pay cut during the height of the national economic crisis will have their pay returned to the pre-recession levels for the 2010-11 budget year. Trustee chairman Craig Campbell commended the leadership and fiscal responsibility of NOBTS President Chuck Kelley and Vice President of Business Clay Corvin during the national recession.

In other action, the trustees approved four new Leavell College training sites, including a prison education initiative and theological training offered in the Haitian French language.

Trustees approved the launch of the seminary’s first certificate training program in a women’s prison, at the Louisiana Correctional Institute in St. Gabriel. The program will be specially tailored for women and courses will be taught by women. Funding for the initiative was made possible through private gifts.

The Palm Lake Baptist Association in West Palm Beach, Fla., was approved to offer undergraduate courses in Haitian French. Also approved as training sites for the church leadership certificate program: the Clark Baptist Association in Grove Hill, Ala., and the Pike Baptist Association in McComb, Miss.

The board approved promotion for the following faculty members:

— Kristyn Carver and Kathy Steele, from assistant professor to associate professor of psychology and counseling.

— John Gibson, from associate professor to professor of communication in Leavell College.

Tenure was granted to the following faculty members: Carver and Steele; Preston Nix, associate professor of evangelism and evangelistic preaching; and Craig Price, associate professor of New Testament and Greek.

Kelley also announced the appointment of Jeff Riley as chairman of the seminary’s theological and historical studies division. Riley, associate professor of ethics, joined the NOBTS faculty in 2003.

Trustees re-elected businessman Craig Campbell of Russellville, Ark., to another term as board chairman. David Cranford, pastor of First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, La., was elected to a second term as vice chairman. The board’s longtime secretary/treasurer, businessman William Hanberry of Hattiesburg, Miss., was re-elected.
Gary D. Myers is director of public relations at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.