Four scholars appointed to Southwestern Seminary, TBC faculty

Ashley Allen

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Four new faculty appointments for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Texas Baptist College were announced today by President Adam W. Greenway.

“God’s favor upon Seminary Hill is once again evident in the addition of these new scholars to the faculty of Southwestern Seminary and Texas Baptist College,” said Greenway. “Our faculty are our curriculum, and these four new professors undergird the already prodigious scholarship that characterizes our world-class faculty. Our current and future students will be blessed to learn from these scholars, each of whom is also a committed minister of the Gospel of Christ.”

Jonathan Atkinson has been appointed assistant professor of biblical studies at Texas Baptist College. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Old Testament (2022), Master of Theology in biblical theology (2017), and Master of Divinity (2014) degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Atkinson has previously served as an adjunct lecturer in Old Testament at Union School of Theology in Bridgend, Wales. Since 2016, he has served as the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he co-led the second year of a three-year pastoral apprenticeship, oversaw adult Sunday School schedules and content, and taught discipleship classes. He has published book reviews in academic journals including the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament, and the Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies.

Marc W. Brown has been appointed assistant professor of church music and worship in the School of Church Music and Worship. Brown most recently served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Biblical Worship and as director of the Doxology vocal ensemble at Southern Seminary, where since 2015 he has taught courses in conducting, vocal health, vocal skills, and worship band techniques. He also served as minister of worship and arts at First Baptist Church of Mount Washington, Kentucky, and has additional ministry experience at churches in Virginia and Indiana.

Brown is a Doctor of Philosophy candidate at Southern Seminary, where he also earned his Master of Church Music and Master of Theology degrees. He earned a Doctor of Worship Studies degree from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in 2014 and received his Bachelor of Arts in music degree from Western Kentucky University in 1993.

Michael L. Copeland, who has served a cumulative 12 years with the International Mission Board in Central and East Asian contexts, has been appointed assistant professor of missions in the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions and associate director of the World Missions Center. Since 2019, Copeland has served as an independent researcher and has assisted theological institutions by supervising doctoral students and teaching courses in church planting, church growth, church history, missions, and evangelism.

Copeland earned a Doctor of Philosophy in World Christian Studies from Southwestern Seminary in 2018. He also holds the Master of Arts in missiology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in cross-cultural ministry from Oklahoma Baptist University. Additionally, he is a member of the Evangelical Missionary Society and the International Association of Mission Studies.

P. Chase Sears has been appointed assistant professor of biblical studies at Texas Baptist College. Sears, who earned a Doctor of Philosophy in New Testament (2019) and Master of Theology in biblical theology (2019) and New Testament (2013) from Southern Seminary, has been a Doctor of Ministry supervisor at Southern Seminary since 2019. He also holds a Master of Divinity from The Master’s Seminary and a Bachelor of Science in corporate communication from the University of Kentucky.

Since 2015, Sears has served as the lead pastor of Oak Park Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana. He has also previously served on church staffs in Kentucky and California. Sears is the author of Heirs of Promise: The Church as the New Israel in Romans and contributed “New Testament Theology” in the Lexham Bible Dictionary.

“I welcome each one of these individuals to the faculty of Southwestern Seminary and Texas Baptist College,” said Benjamin M. Skaug, provost and vice president for academic administration. “Lord willing, each of these professors will be teaching faithfully at SWBTS and TBC for the next twenty to thirty years, and I look forward to seeing their unique and faithful contributions multiplied as they lead, disciple, and influence our students.”

All appointments are effective August 1.