Acting dean named for School of Educational Ministries
Wes Black was selected as acting dean of Southwestern Seminary’s School of Educational Ministries after the retirement of previous dean Robert Welch. Black has served at Southwestern Seminary as a professor of student ministry since 1983 and as the associate dean for the research doctoral program since 2004.
“God has a way of putting together past experiences to help you face the tasks and challenges of today and the future. While I look back and realize that I never planned to be in this position, I can see how God has placed some experiences in my life that help me deal with the day-to-day requirements of the job,” Black says.
In addition to 25 years experience as a professor on this campus, Black was also a student at Southwestern, earning both a Master of Arts in Religious Education and a Ph.D. in Education. In addition to learning from the example of the deans he worked for, his role as associate dean has helped him develop the skills needed to fill this role. He also feels his experience in interim positions in churches will help him continue “a work that someone else started, while moving forward with new tasks and changes that lie ahead.”
Black feels privileged to be a part of the diverse faculty in the School of Educational Ministries. “They are highly skilled scholars, with knowledge and expertise in both academic and practical experiences in all facets of educational ministries,” he says. “Our school has a valued reputation in the field of Christian Education. We are the oldest school still in service in the world.”
Ephesians 4:12 captures Black’s vision for the School of Educational Ministries “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.” Without seminary training, ministers are in danger of learning how to accomplish programs, rather than considering what is best theologically.
Black aims for students to realize the importance of planning discipleship ministries in the local church with the family in mind. Since Scripture teaches that “parents are the primary religious educators of their children, churches should be doing more to facilitate this process.”
He also recognizes the value of relationships in ministry. Black loves hearing from graduates who are serving in broad spectrums of educational ministries around the world. In the classroom, he also prefers to create interaction to encourage students to build friendships among classmates as they think aloud and discuss topics together.
Before coming to Southwestern, Black served in the U.S. Army for two years and on several church staffs as youth pastor. He is married to Sandi, and they have two grown children, Clay and Melissa, and one granddaughter, Taylor.