Mark Dever announced as inaugural Duke K. McCall Professor of Pastoral Leadership

Communications Staff — September 6, 2019

Baptist pastor and scholar Mark Dever is joining the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, according to an announcement last week from President R. Albert Mohler Jr. Dever, who will continue his service as senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., is the inaugural Duke K. McCall Professor of Pastoral Leadership at Southern Seminary.

Dever — who is also president of 9Marks Ministries, which is dedicated to helping churches and church leaders — is a leading pastor and theologian in the Southern Baptist Convention and broader evangelicalism. He is the author of nearly 20 books on topics ranging from theology to church life, including Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus, and The Church: The Gospel Made Visible. He has been the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church since 1994. 

“Decades ago, Mark Dever and I were fellow students at Southern Seminary. Our friendship was born out of prayer, common conviction, common vision, and a common hope for a scriptural reformation within our churches, the Southern Baptist Convention, and, most urgently, Southern Seminary,” Mohler said. “Imagine my joy, so many years later, to see how God has answered our prayers. That joy is so powerfully evident in the announcement that Mark Dever will assume this new responsibility as The Duke K. McCall Professor of Pastoral Leadership. This great and influential pastor-scholar is exactly what we need as the first incumbent of the McCall Chair.” 

Dever earned a master of divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a master of theology from Southern Seminary, and a doctor of philosophy from Cambridge University.

The faculty chair is endowed by the family of Duke K. McCall, the seventh and longest-serving president of Southern Seminary. McCall is an essential part of the Southern Seminary story, according to Mohler, and the establishment of a chair in his honor reflects his legacy nearly 40 years after his presidency. 

“Dr. McCall, the seventh president of Southern Seminary, had already been president for almost 30 years when I arrived as a student. You cannot tell the story of Southern Seminary without him. In this announcement, the past, present, and future of Southern Seminary combine.” 

McCall was a “transformational leader” for both Southern Seminary and the Southern Baptist Convention, said Matthew J. Hall, provost of Southern Seminary. His influence continues to this day, both with the annual McCall Lectures and now the endowed faculty chair. 

“In the years prior to Dr. McCall’s death in 2013, his family went to great efforts to endow both a lectureship and a faculty chair to bear his name,” said Hall. “The McCall Lectures have proven to be an invaluable and enriching addition to Southern Seminary. And it is with great pride that we are able to announce the final stage in the fruition of the McCall family’s generous investment.”

In a statement about his hiring, Dever said his personal history with Southern Seminary and his full agreement with the Abstract of Principles, the seminary’s founding charter, made him interested in this new role. 

“I’m very thankful for the honor and the trust that Dr. Mohler and the trustees have shown me and I look forward to having this opportunity to try to train pastors,” Dever said. 

Dever added that he was present for McCall’s final lecture in Southern Seminary chapel and that he looks forward to teaching faithful pastoral leadership to future pastors and ministers in his new role. 

“I’m thankful for the way Dr. Mohler has helped to shepherd the relationship of the institution with the McCall family and I am happy to try and present a biblical vision of pastoral leadership sponsored by such long-time friends of the seminary,” Dever said. 

According to Hall, Dever is the ideal person to train the next generation of church leaders, thanks to his extensive experience in pastoral leadership and ministry. 

“I’ve known Mark Dever for many years now and have been the direct beneficiary of so much of his ministry,” Hall said. “As a trusted pastor and leader, his impact on a generation of pastors is evident throughout Southern Baptist life and the broader evangelical world. His appointment to the faculty at Southern Seminary is so encouraging to me personally and will present students with a remarkable opportunity to learn from a pastor-theologian of the highest caliber.”

Said Hershael W. York, dean of Southern Seminary’s School of Theology: “Mark Dever is so singularly gifted, so uniquely passionate to teach pastors through personal example, as well as expansive publication, that he has already marked a generation for service to Christ. I am grateful that God has used him, amazingly, from the pastorate of a local church. He embodies the pastor-theologian like no one else.”

Dever is married to Connie and they have two adult children, both married, and one grandchild.

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