In October 2006, trustees elected Thomas White as vice president for Student Services and Communications after he served in that position on an interim basis for five months. White came to the office in 2006 after serving as the director of the Riley Center at Southwestern for two years. In the spring of 2009, Dr. White was also appointed to the position of Associate Professor of Systematic Theology.
White grew up as a country boy in South Carolina with a great spiritual legacy left by his father and grandfather, who both served as Southern Baptist pastors. Elected at age 33, White is one of the youngest men to serve as an executive administrator at Southwestern Seminary. A systematic theologian by training with a focus on the doctrine of the church, he can relate to seminary students on many levels. At one time or another, White has been a deacon, pastor, itinerant preacher, evangelism pastor, children’s minister, Royal Ambassador director, and even the owner and instructor of four karate schools in South Carolina. White holds a fourth degree black belt in Karate, and was the Middleweight World Amateur Sport Karate international champion in 1993 in addition to two state championships.
White earned Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Divinity degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and Bachelor of Arts and Associate of Arts degrees from Anderson (S.C.) College. He is the editor of a three-volume work titled Selected Articles of James Madison Pendleton, and a contributor and co-editor of First Freedom: The Baptist Perspective on Religious Liberty published in 2007 by Broadman & Holman Academic.
In 2007, White co-authored with President Paige Patterson a book titled Calling Out the Called. It is designed to assist those who are called to Christian service choose a place for equipping and preparation. It is also useful for pastors to give as a resource to the God-called men and women they are mentoring. This book is available for free to pastors or prospective students who contact the Admissions office.
In 2008, White served as both an editor and contributor to Restoring Integrity in Baptist Churches, which serves as a compilation of articles seeking to answer the question, "How does the local church - which is often influenced by a consumer-driven, numbers-oriented society - restore integrity and establish purpose?" The articles which White contributed to this book are the introduction, an article entitled "What Makes Baptism Valid?" and "A Baptist's Theology of the Lord's Supper."
In 2009, White and John Mark Yeats wrote Franchising McChurch: Feeding Our Obsession with Easy Christianity. Franchising McChurch takes an honest look at the rise of consumer-minded ministries and addresses suchissues as the blurry line between entertainment and evangelism, a marketingapproach to ministry, the warped yardstick for measuring church success, and feel-good messages that avoid tough truths.
White’s latest publication is Upon This Rock. He served as editor and wrote two chapters. One chapter discusses “The Universal and Local Church,” and the other discusses “The Offices and Women: Can Women Be Pastors? Or Deacons?” and was co-written with his wife Joy.
White has been married to Joy since 1999. Joy earned a Master of Divinity Degree in Women’s Studies and a Master of Theology degree in Systematic Theology. Joy enjoys being a stay at home mom and homeschool their oldest daughter Rachel. The Whites adopted Rachel in January of 2005, and had a natural born son, Samuel, in 2011. They love living on campus and building relationships with students.