Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will officially welcome faculty, staff and students at convocation on Aug. 25. Returning students and faculty will experience a host of academic and facility changes.

Robert Naylor, the fifth president of Southwestern Seminary, once stated, “The seminary is a living thing.” All living things are in a state of constant flux, adapting and growing. No less is true for Southwestern Seminary. While folks have been on vacation, mission trips and writing sabbaticals, Southwestern has been busy growing:

  • Text-driven campus. Southwestern Seminary is rooted in the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God. Churches are currently faced with monumental challenges in culture, and the challenges to religious liberty, the depth of immorality, and religious syncretism will only continue to grow. When many other schools are truncating or watering down biblical studies, Southwestern Seminary has purposefully taken a stance to be a text-driven campus, ensuring that God’s Word permeates every aspect of campus. A three-semester sequence of courses in Old Testament, New Testament and Systematic Theology have been implemented in all master’s degrees. In addition, a new text-driven Master of Divinity begins this semester, as does the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Biblical Studies, replacing the separate Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies.
  • Family and Consumer Sciences. The academic arm of Southwestern’s homemaking program is being renamed Family and Consumer Sciences as a minor and concentration in the College at Southwestern. Family and Consumer Sciences will be led by Patricia Ennis, distinguished professor of family consumer science. The Horner Homemaking House’s hospitality and program functions remain under the auspices of Women’s Programs led by Terri Stovall, dean of women’s programs. Melissa Meredith, an alumnus with an M.Div. with a concentration in women’s studies, assumes the role of director of the Horner Homemaking House.
  • The seminary’s seventh school, the School of Preaching, officially begins under the leadership of David Allen, distinguished professor of preaching. The dean’s office for the School of Preaching is located in Fleming Hall.
  • D. Jeffrey Bingham, professor of theology, begins as dean of the School of Theology.
  • The Chinese Theological Studies Program begins. Hongyi Yang, assistant professor of systematic theology in the women’s studies program, will direct the Mandarin Translation Project for the MTS component of this initiative.
  • Additional new faculty include: Justin Buchanan, assistant professor of student ministry; Tim Deahl, dean of Southwestern Center for Extension Education and professor of Old Testament; Robert Lopez, professor of humanities; and Mark Taylor, professor of conducting.
  • Robert’s Library is now home to the Seminary Hill Bookstore. Located on newly renovated space on the first floor, the bookstore facilitates students purchasing textbooks and software.
  • The former LifeWay building is being renovated to become the campus Welcome Center and home to Institutional Advancement and the Admissions component of Student Services. This, along with the Riley Center and MacGorman Chapel, will anchor the new gateway entrance for visitors, prospective students and alumni.
  • Much progress has been made to Mathena Hall this summer. The foundation has been poured and the steel is being erected for this future home of the college and the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. You can always see a live update of the construction site at swbts.edu/mathenahalllive.
  • Southwestern Seminary now possesses a full-fledged police department. Yes, this now means they can actually ticket you for zooming through campus.