Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary welcomed Evan Lenow as director of the Smith Center for Leadership Development, effective immediately. Lenow replaces Thomas White, who became the seminary’s vice president for student services last October.

“I saw a unique opportunity to serve both the seminary and the local church by offering conferences and events that educated, edified and equipped believers to make a difference in our world,” Lenow, 28, said of taking on the director position.

Lenow is originally from Memphis, Tenn. He most recently served as director of financial aid and international students at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. Lenow is a PhD candidate in Christian ethics at Southeastern Seminary, focusing his dissertation on the ethics of Thomas Aquinas.

President Paige Patterson was pleased with the appointment of Lenow.

“Evan Lenow is a scholar, husband, father, preacher, ethicist, and servant: What a remarkable combination,” Patterson said. “All of that and a sense of humor, too. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is fortunate to secure such a genuinely godly and gifted young scholar.”

Lenow will report to White. White noted that Lenow brings a unique combination of skills. Lenow received a bachelor of arts degree in communication from Mississippi College, where he also focused his study on business. Lenow also received a Master of Divinity degree from Southeastern Seminary. Additionally, he has served in student leadership positions at both Mississippi College and Southeastern Seminary.

“His personal leadership abilities, theological education, and business background make Mr. Lenow a perfect fit,” White said.

Lenow said that he sees that one of his most unique challenges in the director position will be to keep events at the Smith Center fresh and exciting so that participants will continue to return year after year.

“I am looking forward to planning and hosting conferences that address the urgent needs of believers in the 21st century,” Lenow said.

The Smith Center offers 12 flexible meeting rooms providing 55,000 square feet of conference space, for seating up to 1,200 people. Each conference room features a state-of-the-art media system with wireless microphone, CD/cassette playback, data projector, VHS VCR, satellite downlink and laptop computer output. Within the Smith Center are 55 guestrooms, including six suites. Each guestroom features two telephones with data ports, voicemail, cable television, refrigerator, microwave, coffeepot, iron and ironing board and a lounge chair. Three suites feature an additional queen sleeper sofa. Guests may also use the on-site business center with fax machine, copier, computer and printer. Complimentary continental breakfast is available to all guests.

Upcoming conferences at Southwestern include the Certification in Biblical Counseling Jan. 26-27, Feb. 23-24, and April 20-21, the seminary’s Preview Conference April 26-27, the regional conference of the Evangelical Theological Society March 23-24, and the third annual Expository Preaching Workshop March 5-6. More information about these and other upcoming conferences at the Smith Center can be found online at

Lenow and his wife, Melanie, have one daughter, Molly, and are expecting a second daughter.