FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Trustees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary approved two new degree programs—a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies with a concentration in Christian ministry and a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling—during their fall meeting, Oct. 20. Additionally, trustees approved a new vice president, elected new faculty, adopted a revised mission statement and strategic plan, and conducted other business.
New Degree Programs
The bachelor’s in biblical studies becomes the third undergraduate degree in the College at Southwestern in addition to the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Bachelor of Arts in Music. Steven Smith, dean of the College at Southwestern believes the new degree in biblical studies complements the existing B.A. in Humanities with a strong emphasis in Bible and theology.
“This historical strength of Southwestern will be offered at the undergraduate level where college students will have top-flight Bible training in an atmosphere of high academic standards, missions and evangelism,” Smith said.
“The incoming student will need to know that this is not a light degree but an engagement with the truth that will greatly advantage the student who is going to seminary.”
The 124-hour program will be comprised of courses in Old and New Testament studies, systematic theology, interpretive methods, apologetics, evangelism, missions, and Baptist heritage. General courses in English, math, science and history will also be offered. Under the Christian ministry concentration, students will be trained in preaching, pastoral ministry and biblical counseling, in addition to earning credit for hands-on ministry experiences.
The 66-hour Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling was designed by Southwestern counseling faculty.
“We are committed to preparing counselors who will apply the words of the Bible to the point of God’s work in a person’s life, seeking first of all a right relationship with Christ for every person we serve, primarily in the context of the local church,” said Waylan Owens, dean of the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries.
The degree includes courses on Old and New Testament studies, systematic theology, hermeneutics and evangelism, which inform a biblical approach to counseling. Counseling courses will examine the history of counseling, psychology and psychotherapy, while providing a biblical approach to counseling in matters of sexuality, gender, marriage, family and grief. As part of the program, students will conduct counseling sessions through Southwestern’s Walsh Counseling Center, while being observed and assessed by seminary faculty.
New Vice President
Trustees approved a new vice president position, naming Jason Duesing vice president for strategic initiatives. Duesing, who has served as the president’s chief of staff, will continue to oversee the president’s staff and provide administration for presidential strategies and initiatives.
Duesing will also serve as a liaison for the president to Southern Baptist agencies, Southwestern’s Board of Trustees and various civic and political entities. He earned his Ph.D. from Southwestern and serves as an assistant professor of historical theology.
Faculty elections and promotions
Trustees elected nine faculty members. Academic Administration committee chairman Anthony George (Florida) praised the new faculty, saying, “This is a remarkable lineup of faculty candidates, and we're thrilled about what this will mean for the seminary."
·      Patricia Ennis was elected distinguished professor of homemaking in the College at Southwestern, effective Aug. 1, 2011. Ennis has taught home economics since 1968 and has served as professor of home economics at The Master’s College since 1987.
·      David Hutchison was elected assistant professor of New Testament in the J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Hutchison has served as assistant to the associate dean for masters programs at Southwestern since 2000 and as an adjunct professor since 2008.
·      Yoon-Mi Lim was elected associate professor of organ in the School of Church Music, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Trustees also approved Lim to occupy the Albert L. Travis Chair of Organ.
·      Miles Mullin was elected assistant professor of church history in the J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Mullin has taught church history at the Havard campus since 2005.
·      Matt Sanders was elected assistant professor of Greek in the College at Southwestern, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Sanders has served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern since 2006.
·      John Simons was elected professor of music in the School of Church Music, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Prior to coming to Southwestern, Simons served as a music professor at Mercer University and Oklahoma Baptist University.
·      Ryan Stokes was elected assistant professor of Old Testament in the School of Theology, effective Jan. 1, 2011. A scholar from Yale in the area of Dead Sea Scrolls studies, Stokes will assist in Southwestern’s archaeology and biblical studies program.
·      Paul Stutz was elected assistant professor of family ministry in the School of Church and Family Ministries, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Stutz has taught church administration and recreation courses at Southwestern since 1991.
·      Terry Wilder was elected professor of New Testament in the School of Theology, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Wilder served as a New Testament and Greek professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1997–2010 and as academic acquisition editor for B&H Publishing group from 2007–2010.
Mission Statement and Strategic Plan
Trustees approved the revision of the seminary’s mission statement to say: “Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary assists the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by the biblical education of God-called men and women for their respective ministries, which fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.” Trustees also adopted the principle plans for the implementation of the 2009-2013 strategic plan.
Other Business
·      Trustees approved recipients of the B.H. Carroll and L.R. Scarborough awards.
·      Trustees heard about the spring accreditation visits from Mark Leeds, registrar at Southwestern, and about the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) from Edward Pauley, associate vice provost for academic programs.