FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary approved the president’s recommendation to adopt a new name for the seminary’s education school during their fall 2009 trustee meeting, Oct. 21. The School of Educational Ministries, one of Southwestern’s six schools, was renamed the Jack D. Terry, Jr., School of Church and Family Ministries, effective immediately.
“The changing face of church life in America and in the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention has revealed an alarming loss of emphasis on the preparation of families in the local church to accomplish tasks assigned by our Lord,” President Paige Patterson said in his recommendation to the board of trustees. “To reverse this trend will require innovative and aggressive strategies. Already, Dr. Waylan Owens has been elected as the new dean of the School of Educational Ministries. Major efforts are underway to determine precisely what the churches need and how to meet those needs.”
Patterson said that changing the school’s name to the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries will encourage this family-oriented approach to ministry. The seminary has also attempted to foster this approach to ministry by establishing a concentration in family ministry and by planning a family ministry conference to be held in Spring 2010. The education school’s new name reflects the variety of programs within the school as well as this focus on the family.
“We train leaders for all types of local church ministries, and our emphasis on the primacy of the home in its relationship to the local church is central to all we do,” said Waylan Owens, dean of the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries. “In Genesis, God began the family, and in the New Testament, Jesus is the foundation of the church. As a seminary, we do not build new foundations. Rather we serve the local church and the home as the institutions created by our Lord upon which and through which all the work of Christian education, discipleship and leadership must be built.”
According to Patterson, the education school’s name change also honors “a man who has given as many highly productive years to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, serving in varied positions, as anyone ever has.”
“Jack Terry has given an unbelievable 40 years to Southwestern Seminary,” Patterson said. “He has taught as a professor, served as the dean of the School of Religious Education and as vice president for institutional advancement, raising significant funds and building long-lasting relationships that continue to benefit the seminary today and into the future. All of this he has accomplished in the context of functioning as ‘churchman par excellence.’ No one could be more deserving of this honor, but more important is the fact that the seminary will display the model of what education ought to accomplish in our churches by attaching Dr. Terry’s name to this vital program.”
Terry presently serves as vice president emeritus and special assistant to the president as well as professor of foundations of education at Southwestern.
Before joining Southwestern, Terry was professor of Bible and Religious Education at Hardin Simmons University and served on staff at several Southern Baptist churches as minister of education and minister of music. He also has served as interim pastor for churches in Texas, as well as in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Born in Houma, La., Terry graduated from East Texas Baptist University in 1956 and from Southwestern Seminary in 1962, 1967 and 1994. He also completed postdoctoral studies at North Texas State University and the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He has been recognized with Outstanding and Distinguished Alumnus awards from both East Texas Baptist University (1974) and Southwestern Seminary (1999). Terry and his wife, Barbara, were married in 1955. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Terry has authored and contributed to several publications, such as Leadership in Higher Education: A Handbook for Practicing Administrators (1983), “The Theological Foundation of Religious Education” in The Ministry of Religious Education (1978), and “God as Teacher” in The Teaching Ministry of the Church (1995). He has contributed to many publications and authored numerous teacher training guides and curriculum for church educational programs. His involvement in the community includes service on the board of directors for the Fort Worth Metro Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), on the board of trustees for Birdville Independent School District, and on the board of directors for the Haltom/Richland Chamber of Commerce.