SWBTS approves budget, elects faculty, honors Dockery

FORT WORTH—The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board of trustees approved the 2023 fiscal year budget, heard reports of increased giving through the institution’s advancement efforts, elected a new faculty member to the School of Church Music and Worship, named two faculty members to hold endowed academic chairs, and approved the renaming of an academic center in honor of David S. Dockery, during its April 4-5 spring meeting.

“It is my joy to report to the board of trustees that the state of Southwestern Seminary is strong, and it is growing stronger every day by God’s grace,” Adam W. Greenway, president of Southwestern Seminary and Texas Baptist College, said in his report to the board during the April 5 plenary session.

The board approved the proposed fiscal year 2023 budget of $37.367 million, representing a 5.86 percent increase over the current year. The budget includes a 3 percent cost-of-living increase for faculty and full-time staff, a 3 percent increase in tuition and fees, as well as targeted investments in Hispanic programs, technology infrastructure, and other campus improvements, Greenway said.

“This is a careful, conservative budget,” he said, while noting that “in these inflationary times, we are able to include a cost-of-living adjustment for all full-time employees for the first time in many, many years.”

Trustees heard reports of “robust blessings” to the seminary’s various advancement efforts for fiscal year 2021, with $17.4 million raised. Not counting funds resulting from the Harold E. Riley Foundation settlement, more than $8.5 million was received, which has already been surpassed in fiscal year 2022 with nearly $10 million received through April 4. The seminary’s fiscal year ends July 31.

“Every dollar our Institutional Advancement team raises is one less dollar we have to charge our students in tuition and fees,” Greenway said. “Of course, we must also give thanks to faithful Southern Baptist churches across our nation whose sacrificial support through the Cooperative Program makes affordable theological education possible at Southwestern Seminary and our five sister seminaries.”

Joshua A. Waggener was elected professor of church music and worship, effective Aug. 1, 2022. He has served on the faculty of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2008 and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Durham University in the United Kingdom.

“We prayerfully look forward to welcoming he and his wife to service here at Southwestern Seminary,” Greenway said prior to the board’s election of Waggener to the faculty. Greenway later noted the School of Church Music and Worship was the first graduate school of its kind in the landscape of theological education and today is the last freestanding school at a North American seminary.

Two current faculty members were named to hold endowed chairs that have achieved full funding status in recent months: Chris Shirley, associate dean of the Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries, to the Jack D. and Barbara Terry Chair of Religious Education in the Terry School, and John D. Massey, dean of the Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, to the Charles F. Stanley Chair for the Advancement of Global Christianity in the Fish School. The Terry Chair and Stanley Chair are the first endowed chairs to be fully funded at the level of $2 million. Both chair designations are effective immediately.

“Every fully endowed chair that we are able to secure the funding for preserves and perpetuates academic instruction in these core disciplines,” Greenway said. “It is my prayer and my desire as president that we one day have a fully funded endowed chair in every core discipline in the Master of Divinity degree, the core degree program of the seminary, and these two chairs put us down that road in a very positive way.”

Greenway also announced the appointment of J. Stephen Yuille as professor of pastoral theology and spiritual formation in the School of Theology, effective July 1. He currently serves as vice president of academics and academic dean at Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, as well as associate professor of biblical spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Yuille earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from London School of Theology.

“We are very excited about Dr. Yuille’s coming and about a renewed and reinvigorated emphasis upon the spiritual formation of students here at Southwestern Seminary, particularly those heading into the pastorate,” Greenway said. “Before we are able to do anything for God, we need to always walk in humility and to be right with God and to give careful attention to personal spiritual disciplines and pastoral theology.”

Trustees approved the naming of the Center for Global Evangelical Theology in honor of David S. Dockery, distinguished professor of theology and former interim provost of the seminary. During the Evangelical Theological Society meeting in November, Greenway announced the previously “dormant” Center for Theological Research would be rebranded and relaunched.

“With the Dockery Center for Global Evangelical Theology, it is our hope to call for the recovery of the best of evangelical theology, a renewed commitment to historic orthodoxy, and a reclaiming of the best of the Christian tradition in its classical and Reformation expressions exemplified in the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene and Chalcedonian affirmations, primary commitments found among the Reformers and the Radical Reformers, as well as key aspects of Pietism, Puritanism and Revivalism,” Greenway said of the center’s work.

“The Lord is also helping our seminary increase our heart for the nations and truly become more of a global seminary,” Greenway said. “The Dockery Center for Global Evangelical Theology will help lead out in this effort as we continue to try to exemplify the best of what it means to be Baptist evangelicals and evangelical Baptists.”

Trustees also received announcements of other appointments and reassignments of several current faculty, effective June 1, 2022:

  • Tanya Karyagina, assistant professor of piano in the School of Church Music and Worship;
  • Coleman M. Ford, assistant professor of humanities in Texas Baptist College; and
  • Justin Wainscott, assistant professor of pastoral ministry in the School of Theology and director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

The board approved the promotion of Charles Carpenter from associate professor to professor of humanities in Texas Baptist College. Sabbatical leaves were granted to W. Madison Grace II, associate professor of theology in the School of Theology, and Joshua Williams, associate professor of Old Testament in the School of Theology, for Aug. 1, 2022-July 31, 2023, and for Deron J. Biles, professor of preaching and pastoral ministry in the School of Theology, for Aug. 1-Jan. 31, 2023.

Trustees reelected their current slate of officers: as chairman, Danny Roberts, executive pastor of North Richland Hills Baptist Church, North Richland Hills; as vice chairman, Jonathan Richard, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Estancia, New Mexico; and as secretary, Jamie Green, retired speech-language pathologist in Katy.

In other matters, trustees approved:

  • Spring 2022 graduates nominated by the faculty and certified by the registrar;
  • bylaw changes reflecting the new senior administrative structure and other updates;
  • responses to two motions referred by the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention that will be published in the 2022 SBC Book of Reports;
  • a contract with Guinn Smith & Co. for the fiscal year 2022 financial audit;
  • a revised corporate resolution;
  • renewal of the seminary’s line of credit authorization; and
  • the authorization of the president to designate year-end fiscal year 2022 funds.

All recommendations to the board were approved by unanimous votes.

At the conclusion of his committee report to the board, Mark S. Mucklow, chairman of the strategic initiatives and governance committee and pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Glendale at Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., said it is a “new day” at Southwestern Seminary as he commended the work and leadership of Greenway.

“I can get behind him, following him and these incredible people he’s found and brought together,” Mucklow said. Speaking about the future of the institution, he added, “God’s going to do an incredible thing; He already has.”

Board members heartily affirmed Mucklow’s words with “amens” and applause.

In his concluding remarks, Greenway expressed appreciation for the service of outgoing board members, J. Kie Bowman, Texas; Jeff Crook, Georgia; Connie Hancock, Ohio; and Don Whorton, an at-large member.

The next scheduled meeting of the board of trustees is Oct. 17-18, 2022.

Most Read

Baptism Sunday: Southern Baptists ‘Fill the Tank’ nationwide, celebrating new life in Christ

LEXINGTON, Ga.—The last two years have been a whirlwind for Pastor Matt Bartlett and Lexington Baptist Church. At its recent low point, the 176-year-old church had 39 people in attendance, with half being from the pastor’s …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.