Southwestern Seminary’s board of trustees approved a new “text-driven” curriculum for the Master of Divinity (M.Div.); approved changes to the college’s bachelor of arts and bachelor of science programs; elected a new dean of the School of Theology; passed a $37 million budget; elected and promoted faculty members; and conducted other business at their annual spring meeting, April 13.

Text-Driven M.Div.

Trustees approved a new “text-driven” curriculum for the M.Div. degree, extending it from 91 hours to 92. Among other changes, the revised curriculum will see an extra semester each of Old Testament, New Testament and systematic theology. Trustees also approved the incorporation of these three elements into all of the seminary’s other master’s programs.

“This is an effort to prepare students to deal with the Word of God,” says Southwestern President Paige Patterson. “We understand that there will be some students who are more interested in a degree than they are in preparation, but the student who is interested in preparation for biblical studies is going to love what we have designed. … [This new M.Div.] is a tougher degree than those available in other seminaries, but we make no apology for that; we are trying to prepare men to be preachers of the Word of God.”

Changes in the College at Southwestern

Trustees approved the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Biblical Studies to replace the current Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies degrees. The new curriculum provides a strong humanities degree coupled with a sturdy biblical foundation. The degree prepares students to be great thinkers and students of the Bible.

New Dean of the School of Theology

D. Jeffrey Bingham was elected the new dean of the School of Theology. He is succeeding David Allen, who will now serve as dean of the School of Preaching. Bingham formerly served as associate dean of biblical and theological studies as well as professor of theology at Wheaton College. Read more about Dr. Bingham here.

Faculty Promotions

David Allen, professor of preaching, was promoted to distinguished professor of preaching.

Howard Aultman, professor of music theory, was promoted to distinguished professor of music theory.

Helmuth Pehlke, professor of Old Testament, was promoted to research professor of Old Testament.

Malcolm Yarnell, professor of systematic theology, was promoted to research professor of systematic theology.

Faculty Elections

Justin Buchanan was elected assistant professor of student ministry in the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries.

Robert Oscar Lopez was elected professor of humanities in the College at Southwestern.

All faculty promotions and elections will be effective August 1.