SWBTS announces second $2 million endowed chair

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary now has a second $2 million endowed chair, President Adam W. Greenway announced today after receiving an anonymous $1 million gift to complete the funding of the Jack D. and Barbara Terry Chair of Religious Education.

While the Terry Chair is the second academic chair to be fully funded at the current funding level, it is the first fully funded chair of the Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries. In October, the seminary announced the establishment of the Charles F. Stanley Chair for the Advancement of Global Christianity, which will be in the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions.

“I am delighted that in the Lord’s providence we are now able to see the establishment of the second fully funded endowed chair at Southwestern Seminary at the $2 million funding level,” Greenway said. “I am further gratified that this particular chair honors one of Southwestern Seminary’s choice servants, Dr. Jack Terry, and his wife, Barbara, recognizing their decades of faithful service to our seminary. We are indebted to the anonymous donors who have made possible this gift that will ensure teaching in the fields of educational ministries at Southwestern Seminary in perpetuity.”

Established in 2007, the Terry Chair is named for Jack D. Terry Jr., former dean and long-time faculty member, and his wife of more than 60 years, Barbara. The School of Educational Ministries was named in his honor in 2009.

Terry, who describes the anonymous donors as “two of the dearest friends” of his and his wife’s, said the benefactors’ investment in Southwestern Seminary “is for the Gospel to be spread to the entire world.” He added the benefits of the chair will accrue “throughout all of our present age” but also through “the work that it does for the world through all of our ministers and missionaries, and the young people that it educates as we’re able to spread the Gospel throughout the entire world.”

When the chair was established by trustee action in 2007, the initial gift, then at the $1 million level of funding, was given by Carliss and Lois Phillips of Quitman, Texas. In 2019, SWBTS increased the amount of fully funded academic chairs to $2 million to ensure sufficient funding in perpetuity.

Terry, who was elected to the faculty in 1969, served as the dean of the then School of Religious Education from 1974 until 1995, when he was named vice president for institutional advancement under Kenneth S. Hemphill, Southwestern Seminary’s seventh president. With Terry’s support, the School of Religious Education was renamed the School of Educational Ministries in 1998. Upon his retirement as vice president in 2006, Terry was named vice president emeritus for institutional advancement. He currently serves as special assistant to the president and as a senior professor in the Terry School. A revised and expanded edition of Terry’s history of the School of Educational Ministries, Christian Education on the Plains of Texaswas released by Seminary Hill Press in October in conjunction with the centennial anniversary of the first school of religious education in the academic world.

Endowed chair funds are invested in accordance with seminary guidelines to produce investment returns which underwrite the salary of the chair occupant, a professor who is officially named to hold the chair by subsequent trustee action. Greenway intends to recommend a faculty member to occupy the Terry Chair at the spring meeting of the board of trustees, he said.

Ashley Allen
Director of News and Information
Ashley Allen
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
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