Doctoral preview, faculty and student presentations, and inaugural academic awards to highlight Southwestern Seminary at ETS

Ashley Allen


During the Nov. 16-18 Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meetings in Fort Worth, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will host a doctoral preview day, will feature 27 faculty and student paper presentations, and honor three scholars for their contributions to the church and theological academia during a gathering of the seminary’s alumni and friends.

The evening of Nov. 15, prospective doctoral students are invited to the Southwestern Seminary campus for doctoral preview day. The gathering, to be held at the Riley Center on the campus, will allow individuals interested in advanced studies to learn about the research and professional doctoral programs Southwestern Seminary offers. The preview, which includes a complimentary dinner, provides attendees the opportunity to meet and ask questions of faculty regarding the various programs. 

Southwestern Seminary and Texas Baptist College (TBC) will be represented at the ETS meeting by 27 faculty members and students who will present academic research papers and participate in panel discussions. Paper topics and presenters include “James Leo Garrett Jr.: Theological Development in the Carroll-Conner-Garrett Baptist Tradition” by David S. Dockery, interim provost and distinguished professor of systematic theology; “Reforming the Christian Leader’s Identity Through Four Johannine Images” by Michael S. Wilder, dean of the Terry School of Educational Ministries; “When Inerrantists Submit Biblical Interpretation to Scientific Theory: The Galileo Proposal,” by Ted J. Cabal, professor of philosophy of religion; and “All You Need is Love: The Old Testament Background of the Greatest Commandment of the Law,” by Joshua Philpot, assistant professor of biblical studies at TBC. A complete schedule of paper presentations can be found on the ETS website.

At the Southwestern Seminary Alumni and Friends Reception, scheduled for Nov. 17 at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, the school will present three inaugural academic awards to Timothy F. George, George H. Guthrie, and Thomas S. Kidd.

The awards were created “to remind the Southwestern community and its various constituencies of the outstanding Baptist and evangelical scholarship that has characterized Southwestern Seminary through the years and to allow all of us to reflect on Southwestern’s widespread influence not only in missions and evangelism, in the preparation of pastors and church leaders, and in pioneering academic programs, but also in serious academic work and engaging scholarship by so many,” said Dockery, who led in creating the honors. 

Award honorees were nominated by the Southwestern Seminary and TBC faculties.

George is the recipient of the Southwestern Seminary Lifetime Academic Achievement Award. The founding dean of the Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, George is the author of more than 20 books, including GalatiansReading Scripture with ReformersAmazing Grace: God’s Pursuit, Our Response, and co-author of Theologians of the Baptist Tradition. Currently serving as a distinguished professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, George earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and both the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees at Harvard University. 

“For the past four decades few Baptist scholars have made the impact that Timothy George has made as a faculty member at Southern Seminary and as founding dean and distinguished professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School,” Dockery said regarding the inaugural award recipient. “Recognized primarily for his work in historical theology and church history through his publications on The Theology of the Reformers (B&H), Reading Scripture with the Reformers (IVP), and his key role as general editor of The Reformation Commentary Series (IVP), among many other works addressing Baptist and evangelical thought, Dr. George has been an exemplar of the best of what it means to be a scholar and churchman, a true ecclesial theologian.”

Guthrie will receive the W. Curtis Vaughan Award. Named in honor of the late distinguished professor of New Testament at Southwestern Seminary, the award honors the individual who has displayed excellence in research, scholarship, teaching, and service for the church in Christian Scripture. 

“Like Curtis Vaughan, who also was a graduate of Union University and a two-time graduate of Southwestern Seminary, George Guthrie has become well known for his transformational classroom teaching during his tenure at Union and in his current role at Regent college,” Dockery commented on the New Testament scholar. “He has epitomized the best of the Southwestern scholarly tradition in New Testament studies as both a Baptist evangelical and an evangelical Baptist. His works on Hebrews, Second Corinthians, James, Greek grammar, and other areas of biblical interpretation are all held in high esteem by scholars, pastors, and students across various traditions.”

Guthrie earned both the Master of Divinity (1984) and Doctor of Philosophy (1991) degrees from Southwestern Seminary. The widely-known New Testament scholar also earned a Master of Theology degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Before assuming his current teaching position at Regent College in British Columbia, Guthrie taught for 28 years at Union University, where he was the Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible and Fellow in the Ryan Center for Biblical Studies. An author of numerous books, Guthrie’s doctoral dissertation was published as The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis in the series Supplements to Novum Testamentum. Additionally, he has published commentaries on Hebrews, James, and 2 Corinthians and has been a consultant on the ESV, CSV, NLT, and HCSB translations of Scripture.

The James Leo Garrett Jr. Award honors the individual who has excelled in contributions for the church in Christian thought in the areas of research, scholarship, teaching, and service. Named in honor of the late distinguished professor of theology at Southwestern Seminary, the 2021 recipient is Kidd.

“Dr. Kidd is one of the most prolific Christian authors of our generation,” said Dockery of the James Vardaman Endowed Professor of History at Baylor University. “His many works on American history, church history, and Baptist and evangelical studies have become recognized as some of the premier resources for scholars, students, and church leaders alike. As a distinguished professor at Baylor University, there is a connection with Dr. Garrett who was a Baylor graduate as well as the J. M. Dawson professor of church and state studies for a season. Thomas Kidd represents the kind of careful, serious scholarship done for the glory of God that also characterized the life and work of James Leo Garrett Jr.”

In addition to teaching at Baylor, Kidd also teaches doctoral seminars and instructs graduate and doctoral students as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Church History at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. Kidd, who began teaching at Baylor in 2002, earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in History at the University of Notre Dame. A contributor to The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, Kidd is the author of George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding FatherGod of Liberty: A Religious History of the American RevolutionThe Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America, and co-author of Baptists in America: A History.

More information about Southwestern Seminary’s participation in ETS and auxiliary events can be found here.