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Jason Allen nominated to lead Midwestern

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
KANSAS CITY, MO. (BP) -- Jason K. Allen, vice president for institutional advancement at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been selected by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's presidential search team members as their nominee for MBTS president.

Allen, 35, also is executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation and has concurrently served as senior pastor of Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky.

The search committee, in response to a Baptist Press query, said it expects to bring Allen's nomination to the board of trustees in October for an official vote. If elected, Allen will succeed R. Philip Roberts as Midwestern's fifth president.

Midwestern trustee chairman Kevin Shrum said in a statement issued by the seminary, "After much prayer and considerable deliberation, the MBTS Search Team is unanimous in its recommendation, and we look forward to working with Dr. Allen and his wife, Karen, in the years to come. Though young in years, Jason is rich in experience that crosses a wide spectrum of ministry concerns such as local church ministry, denominational service, seminary administration, teaching and executive experience. All of these professional attributes, coupled with Jason's contagious personality, will assist MBTS in preparing pastors for local church ministry and missionaries for global missions. Midwestern's best days are yet ahead." Shrum is pastor of Inglewood Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn.

Bill Bowyer, chairman of Midwestern's presidential search team, said in the statement, "With the heart of a pastor, a mind of a scholar, and proven administrative and development skills, Jason Allen is well gifted to become the fifth President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The entire Presidential Search Team is thrilled about the prospect of Dr. Allen leading MBTS to the next level of training a generation of highly effective ministers, church planters and missionaries." Bowyer is pastor of Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Wake Forest, N.C.


Allen said he and his wife Karen "are deeply humbled and honored by the trust and confidence that the presidential search team has placed in us."

"We have unmistakably sensed the leadership of the Holy Spirit throughout this process, and we are united with a resolve to give our hearts and lives to the serving and leading of Midwestern Seminary," Allen said. "I look forward to the upcoming October meeting with the trustees where I can share my heart for Midwestern Seminary and my vision for where I pray the Lord will be leading us together into the future."

As a member of Southern Seminary's executive cabinet since January 2006, Allen has been vice president of institutional advancement since 2009 and was executive assistant to the president from 2006-09. He also has taught courses in personal spiritual disciplines, pastoral ministry and preaching at Southern since 2007.

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. described Allen as "a man of tremendous ability, sterling character, and deep conviction, and he will lead Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary into a new era of faithfulness and vision."

"He has been a crucial part of the Southern Seminary senior leadership team, and he is a gifted and visionary leader," Mohler said. "I have known Jason for many years, and I know him inside and out. He has the experience and the heart to be a great president for Midwestern Seminary. I am thankful for Jason's years at Southern Seminary, and I am very proud that our sister seminary has come to him as its new president."


Allen, in other ministerial roles, has been senior pastor of Muldraugh Baptist Church in Muldraugh, Ky., and has worked in varying positions at churches in Alabama and Kentucky since 1998.

He holds Ph.D. and master of divinity degrees from Southern and an undergraduate degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala.

Allen and his wife have five children.

Two of Allen's former pastors affirmed his nomination. Fred Wolfe, pastor of the Luke 4:18 Fellowship in Mobile, Ala., who was Allen's pastor while growing up, said, "I remember his conversion as a wonderful experience in in his life. His life was truly changed. He is a strong leader who works well with others." Clint Pressley, senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., said Allen is "the man of the hour for MBTS.... Jason Allen will provide great leadership, solid theology, and a clear Christ-centered perspective."

Also affirming Allen's nomination, Tom Elliff, president of the International Mission Board, said Allen "is imminently qualified to assume the presidency of one of our Southern Baptist seminaries. He has served with excellence and is a gracious and thorough leader of men."

David S. Dockery, president of Union University, said, "Jason's leadership gifts, commitment to theological education in service to the church, understanding of institutional processes, and heart for the things of God's Kingdom are the kind of characteristics that certainly point to a bright, blessed, and hopeful future for Midwestern in the days ahead."


Retired Texas appellate judge and layman Paul Pressler described Allen as "a visionary leader -- kind, cooperative, and gracious in his leadership style. I know him as a scholar, a faithful witness to our Lord Jesus Christ, a Bible-believing exponent of God's Word, a thorough gentleman, and an outstanding leader."

Midwestern Seminary has been in search of a successor to Roberts since his resignation in February. Robin D. Hadaway, the seminary's professor of missions, has served as interim president since Feb. 10.

T. Patrick Hudson is director of communications at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press


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