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TRUSTEES: SWBTS student housing, counseling program discussed

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s trustees discussed the need for new student housing and addressed a faculty committee’s progress in developing a unified counseling program during their spring meeting April 7.

President Paige Patterson, in his report to the trustees, highlighted the evangelistic atmosphere on campus, recent faculty publications and the most pressing needs of the seminary.

The seminary’s evangelistic campaign to reach every house within a one-mile radius of the campus is continuing to move forward, Patterson said. He also mentioned a weekly student prayer gathering for world missions, noting, “A deep missions consciousness is beginning to grip the whole campus.”

Patterson also addressed the top needs he will be focusing on for advancing the seminary in the coming years.

“The first and most important need that we have at this seminary touches all of you,” Patterson said. “We desperately need revival in our churches and on our campus. And let’s not forget that these things are spiritual, not physical.”

Among the remaining current needs of the seminary, Patterson mentioned the need for scholarships, final funds to renovate the Walsh Counseling Center, and money to build new student housing and to make renovations to existing housing.

Several committees voiced agreement and support with the president and administration on student housing needs. Institutional advancement committee chairman Steven James of Louisiana said his committee supports the initiative to pursue student housing.

“We’ve made that a priority,” James told trustees. “We’re taking a strong look at that and how we can help move that along.”

Student Services committee chairman Hance Dilbeck of Oklahoma agreed, saying, “We also talked about the importance of improved student housing and how that will help with student recruitment.”

Speaking on behalf of the academic administration committee, trustee Van McClain of New York gave an update of the seminary’s progress in combining its two counseling programs, saying the faculty committee evaluating the project needs more time.

“Dr. [Craig] Blaising [seminary provost] reported on the progress that is taking place with the unified Southwestern counseling program model,” McClain said. “A report or a program proposal will be brought to the meeting in October. Dr. [Bart] Barber [Texas] made the motion to receive the report and affirm the president in this process. Dr. [Bobby] Holt [Colo.] seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.”

After the committee’s report, the entire board unanimously voted to adopt the sentiments of the academic administration committee as its own.

Trustees elected Thomas Davis as professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds in the school of theology, effective Aug. 1, 2011. Davis has been director of Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute since 2003. Prior to that, he served as assistant vice president and archaeological investigator for R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates from 1991-2003. He has participated in research excavations in locations such as Cyprus, Egypt and Jordan. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

Five other new faculty members were elected, effective Aug. 1, 2010:

— Ira “Mack” Jones, associate professor of Christian education in the Havard School for Theological Studies. Jones has served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern’s Houston campus since 2004 and as pastor of Wooster Baptist Church in Baytown, Texas, since 1999. He taught at several seminaries during 16 years as an International Mission Board missionary in Brazil. He holds an M.A.R.E. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and an Ed.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

— Donald Kim, assistant professor in the College at Southwestern. Kim currently is pursuing a Ph.D. in New Testament from Southwestern, with plans for graduation in 2011. He earned an M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School and has taught adjunctively at Southwestern since 2007. He also serves as assistant editor and research librarian at the Institute for Biblical Research (IBR) Library located on Southwestern’s campus in Fort Worth.

— Matthew McKellar, associate professor of preaching in the school of theology. McKellar has been a preaching professor under presidential appointment since January. He previously was pastor of Sylvania Church in Tyler, Texas, for 22 years. He holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern and served as a Southwestern trustee from 1996-2006. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University, Criswell College and East Texas Baptist University.

— John Michael Morris, assistant professor of missions in the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. Morris has been serving as pastor and church planter of Fayette Baptist Mission in Williston, Tenn., since 2007. He served as an IMB missionary and team leader from 1995-2006. He holds an M.Div. from Southwestern and a Ph.D. in missiology from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.

— Matthew Queen, assistant professor of evangelism in the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. Queen has served as associate pastor of Friendly Avenue Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., since 2006. He served as an adjunct professor in the Southeastern College of Wake Forest and was the Bailey Smith Chair of Evangelism teaching fellow at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1999-2002. He holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In other business, trustees:

— elected Geoffrey Kolander as chairman. Kolander, a business executive from Austin, Texas, has been on the board since 2004, serving as vice chairman from 2008-10. Trustees also elected Hance Dilbeck, pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, as vice chairman while re-electing Harlan Lee, a business owner in Phoenix, as secretary.

— approved a $34 million budget the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Trustees were able to see continued progress on the construction of the seminary’s new chapel. Several lots have been cleared and old buildings torn down in preparation for the foundation to be laid.
Keith Collier is director of news and information at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews).

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