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TRUSTEES: SWBTS budget, Christian school coursework approved, trustee honored

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s trustees approved the 2009-10 budget and a Christian school education concentration for the master of arts in Christian education degree during their April 8 meeting at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus.

The zero-deficit, $33.8 million budget is an 8.5 percent reduction from the 2008-09 budget, but it includes no tuition increases for the upcoming academic year, reflecting the administration and trustees’ commitment to protect students from the burden of increased tuition in a financially uncertain time.

Tuition for Southern Baptist students in the master’s programs will remain at $173 per semester hour. Doctoral programs also will remain at the current tuition rates. Tuition for Southern Baptist students in the College at Southwestern will remain at $208 per semester hour.

Trustees approved a 15-hour Christian school education concentration within the master of arts in Christian education (MACE) program, focusing on skills and knowledge related to creating and managing Christian school education.

Courses for the concentration include Philosophy of Christian School Education, Christian School Curriculum, Methods and Instructional Strategies, Christian School Administration and Christian School Legal Issues and Finance.

Trustees elected Karen Kennemur as assistant professor of children’s ministry in the school of educational ministries, effective August 1. Kennemur earned both her Ph.D. in childhood education (2008) and MACE (2003) from Southwestern and a bachelor of business administration from Baylor University in 1983.

Kennemur served as director of the curriculum center for Southwestern’s school of educational ministries from 2003-06 and as a graduate assistant and instructor of children’s ministry from 2002-06. She previously was a children’s minister at two north Texas churches and director of the pre-kindergarten program at Spring Baptist Church in Spring, Texas.

Trustees promoted William Colson to distinguished professor of music theory and composition in the school of church music, effective immediately. Colson, who has served at Southwestern since 1971, holds doctor of musical arts and master of music in composition degrees from the University of Illinois. He also earned a music degree in composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He is a member of the Commission on Academic Activities and Standards of the Texas Association of Music Schools and the editorial board of the Journal of Schenkerian Studies, a peer-reviewed journal about the legacy of music theorist Heinrich Schenker, published by the Institute for Schenkerian Studies of the University of North Texas.

President Paige Patterson, in his report to the trustees, included recognition of Southwestern’s school of educational ministries and its Youth Ministry Lab, which boasted a registration of 1,344 this year, the highest in its 41-year history. Patterson also noted students’ efforts in evangelism, including the spring evangelism practicum during spring break. A professor at Southwestern’s Havard School in Houston reported, for example, that 14 of his students have recounted personal evangelism efforts resulting in 10 professions of faith.

In other business:

— Gary Ledbetter was named as the recipient of the seminary’s 2009 distinguished alumnus award to be presented at the SBC annual meeting in June. Ledbetter is editor of the Southern Baptist TEXAN, the state paper of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. During the meeting, trustees received a copy of Ledbetter’s book documenting the history of the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention, titled “The Day of Small Things 1998-2008.”

— The trustees’ student services committee announced that the Riley Center, the seminary’s conference and guest housing center, reported that conference revenue is up nearly 9 percent, guest room revenue is up 10 percent and the center continues to serve as a profitable asset for the seminary.
Keith Collier is director of news and information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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