"This dramatic step represents the most significant physical revitalization of the seminary since moving to its current location in 1926," the news release stated after the trustees' April 17 meeting at the Louisville, Ky., seminary.
SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. noted, "One of our chief responsibilities in this generation is to ensure Southern Seminary is propelled into the future unconstrained by limitations that we have the responsibility to address now.
"The campus of Southern Seminary is merely a tool, but it's a very important tool for our ability to fulfill the mission that has been entrusted to us," Mohler said. "For that reason, we need to ... make certain that the campus continues as a great asset to our mission and does not become a liability. That explains this very significant effort to address long-term issues and also important opportunities for the campus."
Dan Dumas, senior vice president for institutional administration, said of the trustees' adoption of the master plan: "After restoring the theological heritage of the seminary in the late 20th century, we are committed to restoring the historic buildings of this campus in order to align them with our mission."
During the next 10 years, the master plan will dissolve $52 million in deferred maintenance and will position the campus for immediate and future structural and financial sustainability. Phase one will restore and update the campus, primarily in terms of housing and administrative offices. This phase will require a $20 million seminary loan to be on the agenda of the SBC Executive Committee during its June 18 meeting in New Orleans.
The master plan will repurpose the historic Mullins Complex as a state-of-the-art facility for Boyce College, the undergraduate school of Southern Seminary.
"Moving Boyce College into the Mullins Complex in the heart of campus will facilitate the greatest integration of the college into the life of the seminary since its inception," Mohler said. "It will accelerate our programs that link the college and the seminary together in order to get committed missionaries and pastors onto the mission field and into the churches as quickly as possible. It will also maximize the stewardship of all of our campus facilities."
Phase two will enhance the learning community of Southern Seminary primarily through renovation of the James P. Boyce Centennial Library. Phase three, without requiring any firm commitments, anticipates future development.
In their April 17 meeting, trustees also voted to grant tenure to James M. Hamilton Jr., associate professor of biblical theology, and to promote Timothy Paul Jones, currently associate professor of leadership and church ministry, to full professorship.
"Jim Hamilton and Timothy Paul Jones are two of our most creative, visionary professors," said Russell D. Moore, senior vice president for academic administration and dean of the school of theology. "They are not only writing the books the next generation of Christians will read, they are also pouring their lives one by one into students here on this campus. I couldn't be happier to have them as part of this great, historic faculty."
Mohler, stating that Hamilton and Jones model Christian scholarship, said the two men are "not only capable scholars, but deeply committed Christians and involved churchmen who model for our students just the right picture of what it means to be a Christian scholar."
This story is adapted from a news release issued by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's communications office. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College are on the Web, respectively, at www.sbts.edu and www.boycecollege.com.
Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net