Southern Seminary BGS dean will lead IMB in theological education

Communications Staff — May 24, 2011

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Chuck Lawless will become vice president for global theological advance at the International Mission Board, June 1. The IMB Board of Trustees unanimously elected Lawless in an effort to emphasize the importance of sound theology as the foundation for mission work.

“Chuck Lawless is a great man of God, a man of deep Gospel passion and a wonderful teacher,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary. “He will devote all these great gifts through the International Mission Board into the lives of missionaries around the world.”

Baptist Press quotes IMB President Tom Elliff’s statement about Lawless: “Chuck brings so many things to the table, especially in terms of acquainting a whole new generation of young pastors and churches with our story, [IMB] and why we’re here and how we can serve them.”

In his new role, Lawless will provide theological leadership and guidance to the IMB and its personnel, while helping strengthen relationships with Southern Baptist churches, seminaries and other partners. Since 2008, he consulted the IMB about theological education while continuing in his work at Southern Seminary. And now Lawless will dedicate his full attention to that work.

Lawless served SBTS as dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism and vice president of academic programing since September 2005. Prior to his deanship, Lawless taught as a professor of church and community in the Graham School, beginning July 1996.

“Southern Seminary loses a great leader in Chuck’s move to the IMB, but this is a great day for Southern Baptists,” Mohler said. “I am so thankful for Chuck’s service as professor and dean of the Billy Graham School. Chuck and Pam Lawless will always be honored members of the Southern Seminary family.”

Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration at SBTS said of Lawless:

“Chuck Lawless has been the driving force at Southern Seminary for more than 15 years, keeping our focus on the Great Commission. When I think of Chuck Lawless’ legacy, there are so many things that come to mind – his investment in students, his scholarship, his administrative leadership – but I think his primary legacy has been prayer. Dr. Lawless has by example led the seminary to pray. When I think about Chuck Lawless, I think of godliness, I think of integrity, I think of prayer.

“I am thrilled about what God is doing with Chuck and Pam as they lead missionaries around to world to greater confidence in a God who answers prayer,” Moore said.

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