FROM THE COLLEGES: Criswell College, IABCU, UMobile

Baptist Press
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Posted: Oct 29, 2013 5:52 PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: "From the Colleges" includes news releases of interest as written and edited from Southern Baptist universities and colleges.

Today's From the Colleges includes items from:

Criswell College

International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities

University of Mobile

Jimmy Draper named Criswell College interim president

By Staff

DALLAS (Criswell College) -- James T. "Jimmy" Draper has been named interim president of Criswell College, effective Nov. 1. The college's executive board met Oct. 25, selecting the president emeritus of LifeWay Christian Resources and former Texas pastor to lead until a new president is selected.

Jerry Johnson, the former president, is now president of the National Religious Broadcasters.

Draper led LifeWay from 1991 to 2006. He was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1982, serving two terms during the years of the SBC'a Conservative Resurgence.

An Arkansas native, Draper has pastored six churches in Texas, including First Baptist Church in Euless for 16 years, as well as Red Bridge Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., and First Southern Baptist Church in Del City, Okla. Prior to being called to Euless, he served as associate pastor to W.A. Criswell at First Baptist Church in Dallas.

A graduate of Baylor University, Draper received a master of arts in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He later served on the board of trustees at both institutions.

"Jimmy Draper will provide a wonderful transition for the future of Criswell College," said board chairman-elect John Mann, pastor of La Junta Baptist Church in Springtown, Texas. "We are excited about the fidelity to Scriptures as well as the compassionate leadership that has come to define Dr. Draper's ministry."

Current board Chairman Keet Lewis of Dallas also observed that because Draper assisted founder W.A. Criswell during the school's formative years, he has been privy to the college's vision from the beginning and is uniquely positioned in this interim role to guide the college toward its expanded vision for the future.

Draper expressed confidence in the school's future, telling the TEXAN, "Because of the commitment of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and the Criswell Foundation, you can look anyone in the eye and tell him that Criswell College will be in the future what it is today, rooted in the Word of God and the good news of Jesus Christ."

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College administrators receive enrollment, tuition report

By Staff

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (IABCU) -- More than 100 attendees participated in the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU) annual meeting at California Baptist University in early June. A report on the state of IABCU member institutions was among the agenda items.

Top administrators from IABCU schools came from as far as Nigeria and Japan for the three-day meeting.

An IABCU research study titled "The State of Higher Education Among Baptist Colleges and Universities 2013" revealed that enrollment at IABCU member institutions is up 21.3 percent from the fall 2000 to fall 2011. Also, tuition at those schools remains an average of 22 percent less nationally than other private four-year not-for-profit institutions, even as the total cost of attendance for students steadily increases at all institutions.

In addition, the majority of students enrolled at IABCU schools are within the traditional college age group, with more than 76 percent of undergraduates under the age of 25 and the same percentage of graduate students aged 25 or older.

The research also revealed that larger IABCU institutions report higher retention rates. For colleges and universities with 4,000 or fewer students, about 65 percent of first-time freshmen in 2010 enrolled again in the fall of 2011, while universities with larger enrollment saw higher retention rates -- 77 percent for institutions with 4,001-9,999 students and 85 percent for those with 10,000 or more students.

The study was conducted for IABCU by California Baptist University's Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Assessment. It was based on data reported in the 2011 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the latest IPEDS data available when the analysis began last April.

Elected as new officers for 2013-14 were David Olive, president of Bluefield College, as chair; Fitzgerald Hill, president of Arkansas Baptist College, vice-chair and chair-elect; and Samuel "Dub" Oliver, president of East Texas Baptist University, recording secretary.

New board members elected for terms beginning June 2013 to June 2017 are Jairy Hunter, president of Charleston Southern University; Kina Mallard, provost at Carson-Newman University; Elizabeth Davis, provost at Baylor University; and David Wilkinson, executive director of Associated Baptist Press, who will serve as an at-large member.

A $268,170 budget was approved for the association's 2013-14 fiscal year.

Laine Scales, associate dean of the Baylor University Graduate School, announced that the Baptist College and University (BCU) Scholars program had six new scholars in 2012-13, for a total of 13. Scales said she expected participation to grow to 20 in the next academic year. The program encourages scholars nominated by Baptist schools and accepted at Baylor for Ph.D. study to combine scholarly research skills with integration of faith and learning in the classroom.

The IABCU contributes up to $10,000 annually in support of BCU Scholars.

David Kinnaman, author and president of the Barna Group, delivered the annual Hester Lectures, warning that colleges and universities must pay attention to changes in the younger generations of students who are less connected to institutional church.

"If we don't think differently about our institutions, we are going to lose them," Kinnaman said. "Something is happening here that we need to pay attention to. What is it God is telling us about our opportunity with this upcoming generation?"

Next year's meeting of the IABCU will be held at Charleston Southern University June 1-3.

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Univ. of Mobile trustees reaffirm 'Distinctively Christian' focus

By Staff

MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile's trustees unanimously reaffirmed the Baptist-affiliated university's "distinctively Christian" focus during their fall meeting.

The action comes nearly a decade after trustees first approved the "Statement of Christian Affirmation" as a guiding principle of what it means to be a "distinctively Christian" university.

The Oct. 22 reaffirmation of the Statement of Christian Affirmation had the dual purpose of validating the direction the university has been pursuing to fully integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of the school, while at the same time expressing a commitment to continue that focus into the future.

UMobile trustee chairman Fred Wilson said, "The vote by the board of trustees is confirmation that the University of Mobile stands strong in its commitment to provide relevant and effective Christian higher education, both now and in the future."

UMobile President Mark Foley said the board's action reinforces the university's dedication to holding fast to key Christian theological beliefs, even as society's culture has increasingly distanced itself from traditional Christian values.

"When we first started this journey to fully integrate learning, faith and leadership into all areas of university life, we did so with the belief that being a Christian university means more than having a few required chapel courses or a few Bible studies. Our faculty, staff and students embraced the challenge of defining what it means to provide 'distinctively Christian' higher education," Foley said.

The process continues across the academic program, as faculty intentionally integrate Christian ethics and values across academic disciplines. Throughout the university, campus life programs intentionally explore Christian perspectives on issues such as citizenship, marriage and family, volunteerism and service, and theological and philosophical life concepts.

Foley said the aim is that, through the influence of its graduates, the University of Mobile will be a nationally recognized leader of revitalization of Christian faith and character in America by the year 2020.

The Statement of Christian Affirmation affirms that the institution adheres to key Christian theological beliefs regarding the nature, ethic and mission of Jesus Christ. It accompanies the university's mission statement, philosophy statement, and goals as a guide for the growth and development of the school. The statement is posted on the university's website at www.umobile.edu.

Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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