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TRUSTEES: New SWBTS degrees, Duesing as VP, faculty approved

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary have approved two new degree programs, a bachelor of science in biblical studies with a concentration in Christian ministry and a master of arts in biblical counseling.

Trustees also have approved the naming of Jason Duesing to the newly created position of vice president for strategic initiatives.

The actions, in addition to the election of nine faculty members and adoption of a revised mission statement, were taken during the trustees’ Oct. 20 meeting at the seminary’s Fort Worth, Texas, campus.


The bachelor’s in biblical studies becomes the third undergraduate degree in the College at Southwestern in addition to the bachelor of arts in humanities and bachelor of arts in music. Steven Smith, dean of the college, said the new biblical studies degree complements the existing B.A. in humanities with a strong emphasis in Bible and theology.

“This historical strength of Southwestern will be offered at the undergraduate level where college students will have top-flight Bible training in an atmosphere of high academic standards, missions and evangelism,” Smith said.

“The incoming student will need to know that this is not a light degree,” he said, “but an engagement with the truth that will greatly advantage the student who is going to seminary.”

The 124-hour program will include courses in Old and New Testament studies, systematic theology, interpretive methods, apologetics, evangelism, missions and Baptist heritage. General courses in English, math, science and history also will be offered.

Under the Christian ministry concentration, students will be trained in preaching, pastoral ministry and biblical counseling in addition to earning credit for hands-on ministry experiences.

The new 66-hour master of arts in biblical counseling was designed by Southwestern counseling faculty in Southwestern’s Terry School of Church and Family Ministries.

“We are committed to preparing counselors who will apply the words of the Bible to the point of God’s work in a person’s life, seeking first of all a right relationship with Christ for every person we serve, primarily in the context of the local church,” said Waylan Owens, dean of the school.

The degree includes courses on Old and New Testament studies, systematic theology, hermeneutics and evangelism, which inform a biblical approach to counseling. Counseling courses will examine the history of counseling, psychology and psychotherapy, while providing a biblical approach to counseling in matters of sexuality, gender, marriage, family and grief. As part of the program, students will conduct counseling sessions through Southwestern’s Walsh Counseling Center while being observed and assessed by seminary faculty.


Trustees approved the creation of the new position, vice president for strategic initiatives, and named Duesing to the post.

Duesing has served as chief of staff for the seminary’s president, Paige Patterson, and will continue in that role as well as providing administration for presidential strategies and initiatives.

Duesing also will serve as a liaison for the president to Southern Baptist entities, Southwestern’s board of trustees and various civic and political entities. Duesing holds a Ph.D. from Southwestern and serves as an assistant professor of historical theology.


In the election of nine faculty members, trustee academic administration committee chairman Anthony George of Florida said, “This is a remarkable lineup of faculty candidates, and we’re thrilled about what this will mean for the seminary.”

New faculty members are:

— Patricia Ennis, distinguished professor of homemaking in the College at Southwestern. Ennis has taught home economics since 1968 and has served as professor of home economics at The Master’s College since 1987.

— David Hutchison, assistant professor of New Testament in the J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies in Houston. Hutchison has served as assistant to the associate dean for masters programs at Southwestern since 2000 and as an adjunct professor since 2008.

— Yoon-Mi Lim, associate professor of organ in the school of church music. Trustees also approved Lim to occupy the Albert L. Travis Chair of Organ.

— Miles Mullin, assistant professor of church history in the Havard School for Theological Studies. Mullin has taught church history at the Houston campus since 2005.

— Matt Sanders, assistant professor of Greek in the College at Southwestern. Sanders has served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern since 2006.

— John Simons, professor of music in the school of church music. Prior to coming to Southwestern, Simons served as a music professor at Mercer University and Oklahoma Baptist University.

— Ryan Stokes, assistant professor of Old Testament in the school of theology. A scholar from Yale in the area of Dead Sea Scrolls studies, Stokes will assist in Southwestern’s archaeology and biblical studies program.

— Paul Stutz, assistant professor of family ministry in the school of church and family ministries. Stutz has taught church administration and recreation courses at Southwestern since 1991.

— Terry Wilder, professor of New Testament in the school of theology. Wilder served as a New Testament and Greek professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1997-2010 and as academic acquisition editor for B&H Publishing group from 2007-10.

The elections of new faculty are effective Jan. 1, except for Ennis, whose election is effective Aug. 1, 2011.


Trustees approved the revision of the seminary’s mission statement to: “Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary assists the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by the biblical education of God-called men and women for their respective ministries, which fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.” Trustees also adopted the principle plans for the implementation of the 2009-13 strategic plan.
Keith Collier is director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews).

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