Seminary Hill Press releases revised, expanded history of Terry School of Educational Ministries

Ashley Allen

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Seminary Hill Press, the publishing arm of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, released today a revised and expanded edition of Christian Education on the Plains of Texas: A History of the School of Educational Ministries of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1915-2021, by Jack D. Terry Jr, retired dean and the school’s namesake. The book’s release comes as the school celebrates its centennial anniversary this year. 

“I’m delighted by the release of this important updated work of Southern Baptist theological education history,” said Adam W. Greenway, president of Southwestern Seminary. “There is no one more capable to tell the story of educational ministry innovation that has marked the Terry School than Jack Terry, the man who has personally lived more than half of the school’s history and is responsible for much of its success.”

Originally released in 2018 and covering the years, 1915-2015, the revised and expanded edition includes an additional chapter that provides an updated history of the school through the spring of 2021. The new edition also includes personal antidotes, perspectives, and stories recounting Terry’s 65-year history with the school beginning as a student in 1956 and his election to the faculty in 1969 under the seminary’s fifth president, Robert E. Naylor.

Terry, who served as the school’s third dean from 1974-1995, said prior to the book’s 2018 edition, the history of the school was found in “bits and pieces in some position papers written by J.M. Price and Joe Davis Heacock, a few antidotes in the minutes of religious education organizations, and a tracing history in Dr. Robert Baker’s Tell the Generations Following which was completed in 1983.” Price was the founding dean of the school, while Heacock was his successor. 

“I want the coming generation of educational ministers to have as complete a history and understanding of the religious education pioneers who cut the path for religious education in Southern Baptist churches over this 106 year period of time,” Terry said, referencing the school’s genesis as a department of the seminary in 1915 before becoming a school in 1921.

Terry says the book’s contents are personal for him as he has “lived and breathed every moment of these 52 years as a faculty member with many of the people who are identified in the book” and has had “a spiritual involvement with many who went on before me.”

Under Terry’s leadership, the school grew to become the largest school of its type in the world. The school was renamed in his honor in 2009. 

After he concluded his time as dean of the school, Terry served as vice president for institutional advancement of the seminary and later as interim dean of the school. Today, he continues to serve as a senior professor of foundations of education in the Terry School, as well as vice president emeritus for institutional advancement and special assistant to the president. 

Christian Education on the Plains of Texas: A History of the School of Educational Ministries of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1915-2021 is available for purchase at