FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is looking to “recalibrate and to reposition” itself in “every way to strengthen the core of what we do,” SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway told trustees during their spring meeting, April 8-10.
Business included approving the budget for the 2019-2020 academic year, approving a change to Scarborough College’s degree offerings, electing a new vice president, and approving a change in the administration of the seminary’s endowment.
Addressing Southwestern Seminary’s full board for his first-ever president’s report, Greenway stressed the importance of recalibrating the seminary in order to return the institution to its core priorities — chief among them residential theological education.
“At the end of the day,” Greenway said, “our core of strength is what we do right here on Seminary Hill. It is the experience that happens here in the classroom and on this campus. Theological education in the context of a vibrant, worshiping, learning, living together community — that is of first importance.”
Greenway personally committed “to do everything I can to make sure that we have the resources and are making the investments to strengthen our residential theological education and to reprioritize our core degree programs of strength,” which he identified as the master of divinity, the master of arts in Christian education and master of music.
Though affirming the seminary’s other degree programs — including doctoral degrees, other master’s programs and other specialized training — Greenway said all of these things must be done “out of a clear core of strength.”
In light of this priority, Greenway characterized the budget for the upcoming fiscal year as a reset to get back to the institution’s core strengths.
“In a time where we must be extraordinarily judicious in conserving the resources entrusted to us by our Southern Baptist Convention of churches, by the donors and friends who believe in our work and are willing to invest in us, [and] by the tuition dollars we receive from our students, we must make sure that we steward and shepherd every dime in a way that is going to enable our seminary to flourish and thrive in an increasingly challenging environment and world,” he said.
The budget “does involve some tough choices,” Greenway continued, and “it does involve some transitions. But I believe it will transition us to move forward to do what we must do to ensure that the work of Southwestern Seminary can continue in strength.”
The budget of $32.6 million was later presented by the Business Administration Committee and approved without objection by the full board.
Trustees also approved the recommendation of the Academic Administration Committee to eliminate the bachelor of arts in humanities and biblical studies in Scarborough College and replace it with two degrees: the bachelor of arts in Christian studies and the bachelor of arts in humanities.
In addition, trustees elected Colby T. Adams vice president for strategic initiatives. This position oversees the Office of Communications, Campus Technology, and other administrative priorities. Adams has held this position in an interim capacity since February. Adams also serves as chief of staff.
The board approved the recommendation that funds managed by the Southwestern Seminary Foundation be moved to GuideStone Financial Resources for management as soon as feasible, and that once said action is completed, the Southwestern Seminary Foundation be dissolved.
New board officers were also elected: Philip Levant, pastor of Iglesia Bautista La Vid in Hurst, Texas, as chairman; Danny Roberts, executive pastor of North Richland Hills Baptist Church in North Richland Hills, Texas, as vice chairman; and Jamie Green, retired speech-language pathologist in Katy, Texas, as secretary.
— Randy Stinson, provost and vice president for academic administration, was elected professor of theology and ministry in the School of Theology, effective immediately.
— Patricia Ennis was given the title distinguished professor emeritus of family and consumer sciences, effective immediately.
— The board approved the recommendation of the Communications, Policies, and Strategic Initiatives Committee to amend the seminary’s bylaws, including updated nomenclature and administrative titles and job descriptions.
— The Jack D. Terry Jr. School of Church and Family Ministries was renamed The Jack D. Terry Jr. School of Educational Ministries; and The School of Church Music was renamed The School of Church Music and Worship.