EDITOR'S NOTE: "From the Seminaries" includes news releases of interest as written and edited from Southern Baptist seminaries.

Today's From the Seminaries includes:





SEBTS to launch Spurgeon Center

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (SEBTS) -- The Charles H. Spurgeon Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching, which is expected to launch this fall, will be a means by which Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary equips Great Commission-minded pastors to preach God's Word and lead healthy churches.

Charles "Chuck" Lawless, dean of graduate studies and professor of evangelism and missions at Southeastern, will direct the Spurgeon Center.

"I envision the center promoting practical leadership training for local church pastors," Lawless said. "We want to help church planters as well as pastors who are working to revitalize a church."

This center has a board of advisers composed of Edgar Aponte, director of Hispanic leadership development at Southeastern; Dennis Kim, pastor of Global Mission Church, Silver Spring, Md.; Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga.; Sam Rainer, pastor of Stevens Street Baptist Church, Cookeville, Tenn.; and A.B. Vines, pastor of New Seasons Church, Spring Valley, Calf.

The board will help guide the center in assisting pastors in excelling within their daily ministries. Alongside of growing healthy churches and revitalizing dying churches, the center plans to encourage and resource church planters. It also will seek to build strategic partnerships with other Southern Baptist Convention entities, such as LifeWay Christian Resources and the North American Mission Board, that also work with pastoral leaders.

"I am excited about the blessing this center will be to the churches," said Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern. "We will attempt to serve pastors in fulfilling this noble work given to them by King Jesus."

A primary goal of the center is to help churches become Great Commission churches. Lawless said, "We're partnering with local churches to make them more effective in areas such as leadership so that the gospel can penetrate local communities and ultimately extend to all nations."

Lawless emphasized that the center "wants to provide the best advice and necessary tools for pastors of local churches."

"Because of the world we live in today," Lawless said, "we have to offer multiple media. I would like to bring individuals to campus as well as send our faculty to those local churches. Alongside of these traditional avenues, I think we also have to be ready to provide training online."

The center plans to utilize the experience of Akin, Tony Merida, pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, and Jim Shaddix, pastor for teaching and training at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., to assist the center in helping equip churches.

"God calls and raises up pastors to feed, lead, protect and reproduce sheep," Akin said.

"Those under-shepherds who labor for the glory of the Great Shepherd need to be equipped and well trained for the weighty assignment that has been laid upon them. And we want to equip and train ministers well through the Spurgeon Center at Southeastern."

This story was first published by the Biblical Recorder, newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.


Southwestern Seminary degree launched for IMB Macedonia Project

By Benjamin Hawkins

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) -- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is launching an innovative master's degree that will meet the needs of the International Mission Board's Macedonia Project, which was introduced at the 2013 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in June.

"We've always wondered what the fastest way is to get a college student to the (mission) field in a legitimate fashion, so that they're the best product possible for us on the field," IMB President Tom Elliff said, describing the Macedonia Project to Southern Baptists.

The Macedonia Project, Elliff said, is a fusion of theological training and practical missions experience. A special International Service Corps (ISC) program, the project aims to deploy qualified missionary candidates immediately, while allowing them to pursue their theological training through Southern Baptist seminaries while on the field. For this purpose, the IMB has requested that participating seminaries develop an online, 45-hour master's degree in cross-cultural missions.

Southwestern Seminary is prepared to meet the needs of the Macedonia Project through a master of theological studies with a concentration in cross-cultural missions. This program is built upon Southwestern's new, fully online MTS degree, which includes 36 hours of study in Old Testament, New Testament, systematic theology, church history, Baptist heritage, Christian apologetics, and Bible and moral issues. This fully accredited degree was approved by Southwestern's trustees this spring.

The 45-hour MTS degree with a concentration in cross-cultural missions will replace Christian apologetics and Bible and moral issues courses with ones in world religions and cross-cultural ethics. It will also add a concentration with nine hours of study in missiology, cross-cultural church planting and evangelism.

"We're excited that not only can we partner with the IMB in this way but that we are already prepared to go in meeting this need," said Craig Blaising, Southwestern's executive vice president and provost. "This seminary has been the flagship of missions training over the decades, so our ability to partner in this way is exactly in line with not only our mission and vision but also with the historic focus of the school.

"The IMB has asked the seminary to provide the academic, theological and biblical training that a missionary needs to face challenges of ministry in the world today," Blaising said. "Southwestern has that. We have a degree program that does exactly that, one that will exactly complement the practical training that they will be doing in the IMB structure. We feel that it is an exact fit.... So we're happy to be the first to announce that we're ready in partnering to do this."

According to Keith Eitel, dean of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, Southwestern Seminary is a "first responder" in this attempt to send and train more missionaries to relieve the "disaster of lostness in the world."

This program, Eitel said, has "two key strengths, one being that it allows a synergistic blend of academic learning and critical analysis of issues to be done simultaneously with on-the-field learning experience. So theory and practice are merged into one organic learning experience."

The second strength of this program, Eitel said, is that it builds a foundation for further study on the master's level or, eventually, on the doctoral level.

With additional master's level study, for example, students could eventually enroll in Southwestern's Ph.D. in world Christian studies, another pioneering degree aimed at training missionaries and other Christian leaders as they proclaim the message of Christ throughout the world.

Benjamin Hawkins is senior news writer for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (www.swbts.edu/campusnews).


Andrew Davey named Midwestern's institutional administration VP

By Tim Sweetman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (MBTS) -- Making a selection to fill a significant Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary cabinet position, President Jason K. Allen appointed a vice president of institutional administration June 26.

Andrew Davey, the former director of enterprise systems and technology for the city of Lenexa, Kan., accepted the position overseeing all business services, human resources, dining services, campus operations, information technology and other seminary programs and efforts.

Allen said Andrew Davey is "uniquely gifted for these responsibilities. God's bringing the Davey family to Midwestern Seminary is a story of answered prayer, unmistakable providence, and serves as another reminder of the ongoing blessing and provision for this institution."

Allen noted that the strengths Davey brings to the role include "proven business and administrative expertise that is surpassed by his devotion to Christ and his proven churchmanship as a leader at Lenexa Baptist Church."

Steve Dighton, pastor of Lenexa Baptist Church, said of Davey, "It has been my privilege and joy to be Andrew Davey's pastor for the past 12 years. He and his wife Kenna have three precious children and have been the model of a Christ-centered family."

Of being appointed to the position, Davey said, "Kenna and I are excited about what God is doing at Midwestern. We are honored to be joining the team and humbled at the opportunity to serve the church in this way."

Davey, who graduated with a management and human relations degree from Mid-America Nazarene University, noted that he foresees a bright future for Midwestern Seminary and is eager to get involved in the seminary community.

"This is an exciting time in the history of Midwestern. The management team and faculty have additional momentum in enabling pastors, missionaries and evangelists to serve the body of Christ," Davey said. "I look forward to coming alongside the faculty and staff to propel the seminary forward."

Allen thanked Robin Hadaway for his time serving in the position as interim. He also announced that Hadaway will have an ongoing role in the school's administrative cabinet.

"As he did while interim president, Robin Hadaway has faithfully stood in the gap for Midwestern Seminary while serving as interim vice president for institutional administration these past eight months. Dr. Hadaway is a valued colleague, and I'm pleased to have him continue in a cabinet-level role in addition to his classroom responsibilities."

Over the past 20 years, Davey has led technology development, business planning and analytics for the city of Lenexa, as well as at Sprint and American General Financial Group.

In his previous role, he won the Kansas City Business Journal's Business Impact Award in 2012. He has been awarded seven U.S. patents in the areas of business processes and technology. Currently, he is on the council of IT Executives and serves as the chairman of the Regional Information Technology Managers' Association of the Mid-America Regional Council.

Davey has been a member of Lenexa Baptist Church since 2001 and was ordained as a deacon in 2007. Davey will begin his responsibilities at Midwestern Seminary Aug. 5 in conjunction with the new academic year.

The Daveys have been married for 21 years and their children are Connor, 17; Parker, 13; and Abby, 9.

Tim Sweetman is director of communications and brand strategy at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Golden Gate welcomes new institutional advancement VP

By Phyllis Evans

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (GGBTS) -- Ben Skaug has assumed his role as vice president for institutional advancement at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Skaug was elected by trustees during their spring 2013 meeting in Mill Valley, Calif., in April.

"Dr. Skaug has a proven record of fundraising success in a seminary, a passion for impacting the world through theological education, and is well-suited for our multi-cultural ministry setting at Golden Gate Seminary," said Jeff Iorg, the seminary's president.

Skaug formerly was director of development at Southern Seminary. Through his experiences there, he discovered his proclivity for fundraising and his bent toward educational administration.

While at Southern, Skaug concluded that effective seminary leaders should be seasoned with field ministry experience before devoting themselves to lifelong seminary leadership.

To that end, Skaug has served as an associate and senior pastor in Colorado. He was also the founding pastor of Covenant Grace Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C.

Skaug and his wife Jodie are both from Idaho. Ben is Native American. He and Jodie have one daughter, Jessica, adopted from China. "As a multi-ethnic family, we are thrilled to work in a community of families with similar diversity," Skaug said.

"We are delighted to add someone with Dr. Skaug's competence and passion for seminary education to our staff," Iorg said. "We are also pleased to increase the diversity of our leadership team by adding a Native American as a vice president."

Golden Gate Seminary, on the Web at www.ggbts.edu, is a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention, operating five fully-accredited campuses in Northern California, Southern California, Pacific Northwest, Arizona and Colorado.

Phyllis Evans is director of communications at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

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