Southwestern Women showcase degree offerings, scholarship during SBC

SWBTS Women SBC 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The Southwestern Women’s booth at the Women’s Expo, held June 9-11 during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, showcased the academic offerings and multi-faceted opportunities for women at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In a pre-SBC interview, Southwestern’s Dean of Women, Terri Stovall, explained the Fort Worth institution offers “very specialized degree programs to help women be trained to reach women and to minister to women at all levels, from certificate level all the way to doctoral level and everything in between.”

Stovall, who also serves as the interim associate dean of the Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries and professor of educational ministries, added that the seminary also offers “opportunities” for student wives to be “trained and encouraged and mentored” while also providing ways for “our advanced female students to network through our Society of Women in Scholarship.”

“We want to train women, not only just theologically and biblically, but also practically and spiritually,” Stovall said, adding “we’re very intentional about that.”

Stovall said she hoped visitors to the Southwestern Women’s booth left with an “appreciation for what Southwestern is doing to help train the next generation of women who are going to do amazing work for the Kingdom.” She said she also hoped those who learned more about the academic offerings for women at the Fort Worth-based institution “may come and join us, may send students to us, may support us but if nothing else, they will pray for us as we continue to do the work that God’s given us here.”

Through interaction with visitors to the Southwestern Women’s booth Deborah Guzman, women’s center associate, helped share about the degree programs offered at the seminary. Guzman, a Bachelor of Arts in Christian studies student from Guadalajara, Mexico, drew from her own experience as a student to answer questions from prospective students.

Guzman singled out an exchange she had with a student interested in taking classes online. Guzman said the woman asked questions about how the classes worked via Zoom and she explained that “the professor sees you and you get to talk.” Guzman recalled that the woman found the information “helpful” because “you really can’t get that information from someone else who’s not a student.”

Guzman, who served at the Southwestern Women’s booth for the second consecutive year, said it was “cool” to meet “ladies from various backgrounds, various stages of life.”

“You get to meet new mothers with their babies and just talk with them about how they’re doing with their ministry with their husbands,” Guzman explained. “Then you also get to talk with people that are older and they have a lot more experience in ministry.” In particular, Guzman highlighted meeting Southwestern alumni who have served in ministry for many years as “it’s very encouraging to know those people are still faithful in ministry.”

Mollie Duddleston, a recent Southwestern Seminary graduate and member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, participated in the reception that included the societies for women in scholarship from Southwestern Seminary, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary June 10 as part of the events of the SBC annual meeting held June 9-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Doctoral and graduate-level female students at Southwestern also had the opportunity on June 10 to interact with like-minded students through the Society for Women in Scholarship Reception. The reception included the same societies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Stovall said the reception is a “time to bring the societies together for those who are at the convention just to connect with other women” who are “at the same level, same pursuit, from different seminaries just to be encouraged that there are women out there doing amazing things in academics and theology and scholarship.”

Recent Southwestern Seminary Master of Theological Studies graduate and member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee (EC), Mollie Duddleston, said attending the society gathering was “a great opportunity to meet other women.”

The reception was “an opportunity to just meet other women and see what they’re doing in their ministry calling – how God’s equipping them to lead in the sphere where they are, whether that’s the local church, like where I serve, whether that’s at the university and seminary level, or, you know, any number of other ways,” said Duddleston, who serves as the director of ministry operations and women’s ministry at CrossChurch in Northwest Arkansas. “It’s just neat to see women serving throughout the convention in different capacities and … it’s very encouraging to see so many women who are excelling in what God has called them to do.”

Peggy Osborne, wife of Southwestern Seminary professor Chris Osborne, was named the president of the 2025 SBC Ministers’ Wives Luncheon. The annual luncheon, which will be held in Dallas, is a regularly held event for ministers and pastors wives during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

During the SBC Ministers’ Wives Luncheon on June 11, Peggy Osborne was named the president of the 2025 SBC Minister’s Wives Luncheon when the event will be held in Dallas as part of the 2025 SBC annual meeting.

Osborne told the 1,700 luncheon attendees that she is “excited about next year.” She announced the 2025 luncheon theme is “In His Presence,” based on Psalm 16:11. In addition to encouraging the attendees to mark their calendars for the Feb. 2025 opening of ticket sales, she said that Shelia Walsh will serve as the annual luncheon’s speaker when the event is held in Dallas. Originally from Scotland, Walsh is an internationally known singer, author, and Bible teacher.

Osborne, the wife of Chris Osborne, professor of preaching and pastoral ministry and James T. Draper Chair of Pastoral Ministry, has served alongside her husband as he has pastored four different churches, including Central Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas, for more than three decades before moving to Fort Worth where Chris began serving at Southwestern in 2020. Osborne also serves as the women’s ministry regional representative for the Fort Worth area for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.