FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary approved a new master’s degree in apologetics; appointed faculty to academic chairs in evangelism and biblical theology; elected new faculty, included a dean of libraries; elected officers; and conducted other business during their spring meeting, April 9. Additionally, trustees received reports of double-digit increases in enrollment for the spring semester.

Enrollment Increase

Trustees heard a report from Steven Smith, vice president for student services & communications, noting a 12 percent increase in enrollment for spring 2014 over spring 2013. Additionally, the school experienced a 19 percent increase in enrollment in its School of Theology for spring 2014, which does not include online students.

Apologetics Degree & Certificate

Trustees approved a 45-hour Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics as well as a 15-hour Certificate in Christian Apologetics. The master’s degree features 12 hours in philosophy, 15 hours in apologetics, 7 hours in apologetics research, and 11 hours in theological and ministry studies. The certificate is a non-degree program that makes apologetics courses such as Christian Faith and Science, World Religions, God and Evil, Archaeology and Ancient Israel, Ethics, etc. available to pastors and church members who want to strengthen their ability to engage the world with the Gospel.

L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism

Assistant Professor of Evangelism Matthew Queen was elected to the L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism, effective Aug. 1. The position, also known as the Chair of Fire, was established by B.H. Carroll, the seminary’s founder, and was the first ever chair of evangelism in an academic institution. The position has been held by many prominent Southern Baptist evangelists, including L.R. Scarborough, Roy Fish, and most recently Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson.

Patterson praised Queen and other professors for kindling a fire for evangelism on campus over the past few years.

“Due to Matt Queen, this place is a different place than it was three years ago,” President Paige Patterson told trustees.

Queen has served as an evangelism professor since 2010. He has led faculty and student efforts to evangelize every home within a two-mile radius of the seminary in addition to training churches in evangelism strategies in their communities.

Jesse Hendley Chair of Biblical Theology

Trustees approved the establishment of the Jesse Hendley Chair of Biblical Theology and elected Executive Vice President and Provost Craig Blaising to the position. Hendley was a prominent Southern Baptist evangelist and scholar who preached crusades around the world and hosted The Radio Evangelistic Hour, Atlanta's first Christian radio broadcast, for more than 60 years.

Blaising has served at Southwestern since 2002 and is recognized as a premier theologian in the area of eschatology.

Faculty Elections

J. Craig Kubic was elected as dean of libraries, effective Aug. 1. Kubic has served as Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s director of libraries since 1988 and fills the position left vacant by C. Berry Driver, who now serves as librarian at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned his D.Ed.Min. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2006, his M.Div. from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in 1982, and his M.L.S. from Louisiana State University in 1979. Since 2006, Kubic has served as a chaplain for the United States Air Force Auxiliary.

Vern Charette was elected as assistant professor of preaching in the School of Theology, effective immediately. Charette has been serving as a preaching instructor at Southwestern since 2010 and received his Ph.D. in preaching from Southwestern in December 2013. He earned his Th.M. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007 and his M.Div. from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in 2004. Since 1995, Charette has served as an itinerate evangelist at revivals, conferences, camps and other venues.

Paul Gould was elected as assistant professor of philosophy and Christian apologetics in the School of Theology, effective immediately. Gould has been serving under presidential appointment since January. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue University in 2010 and his M.A. in Philosophy from Talbot School of Theology in 2003. Prior to joining Southwestern’s faculty, Gould served on staff with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) for 16 years.

Keith Loftin was elected as assistant professor of humanities in the College at Southwestern, effective immediately. Loftin has been serving under presidential appointment since 2012. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, in 2014, his M.A. in Philosophy from Louisiana State University in 2009, and his M.A. in Humanities from the University of Dallas in 2008.

Officer Elections

Trustees re-elected chairman Steven M. James, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles, La., and secretary John S. Brunson, an at-large trustee from Houston. Vice chairman Miles F. (Mike) Boyd, pastor of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., declined re-nomination, and trustees elected Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, as the new vice chairman.

Other items
  • Trustees received a concluding report on the seminary’s 2009-2013 strategic plan and approved a five-year, strategic plan for 2014-2019.
  • Trustees approved a 2014-2015 budget of $35.1 million, which represents a 6.7 percent increase over the 2013-2014 budget and includes a 3 percent raise for all faculty and full-time staff, effective Aug. 1.
  • Trustees approved and endorsed the seminary’s Board of Visitors, a voluntary group designed to support the mission and ministry of the seminary.