SBTS trustees adopt comprehensive master plan, add faculty

Communications Staff — April 17, 2012

The Board of Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary approved a master plan to repurpose and refocus the seminary’s physical campus, April 17, 2012. This dramatic step represents the most significant physical revitalization of the seminary since moving to its current location in 1926.

“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,” said SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. “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. For that reason, we need to take responsibility in this generation 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 about the adoption and implementation 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 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 requires the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to approve a $20 million loan during its annual meeting in New Orleans, this June.

The master plan will repurpose the historical 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 advance 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 addition to approving the 2012-13 budget, the Board of Trustees voted to grant James M. Hamilton Jr., associate professor of biblical theology, with tenure. The board also promoted 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 echoed Moore’s sentiment, stating that Hamilton and Jones model Christian scholarship: “Professors Hamilton and Jones 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.”

More information about Southern Seminary is available at www.sbts.edu; more information about Boyce College is available at www.boycecollege.com

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