Trentham elected president of Society of Professors in Christian Education

Communications Staff — January 8, 2018

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor John David Trentham is the new president of the Society of Professors in Christian Education, a guild of evangelical scholars in applied theology, leadership, and church ministry. The SPCE announced Trentham’s election in a press release on December 23.

“It is truly an honor to be elected president of SPCE,” said Trentham, who is assistant professor of leadership and discipleship at Southern. “It is truly humbling to be the youngest to serve in this role. This is an institution established and led for generations by giants in the field of Christian education. I am primarily a recipient of wisdom in this field, both from my predecessors and my peers. As such, I view my ascendancy as having been lifted up and supported on the shoulders of others rather than as having accomplished a singular recognition or status on the basis of personal achievement.”

Trentham, who will serve a two-year term as president, will be the youngest president in the history of the SPCE. He is currently chair of the department of leadership and discipleship within the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry. Christian education is a broad and complex field, Trentham said, and is the church’s intentional effort to teach and apply the Bible to laypeople.

The SPCE serves as a way to connect evangelical scholars to evangelical leaders who are training and discipling in the local church and other Christian organizations. It is made up of people professionally committed to training ministers — from age group ministry and parachurch involvement to administration and higher education.

Trentham said he hopes to oversee growth in racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in Christian education, with the goal of serving the global Christian church better. He also hopes to inspire a new generation of excellent evangelical scholarship, further expanding evangelicalism’s influence in both the church and the academy.

“Alongside the the organization’s board members, my primary responsibility and overarching goal as president is to harness the resources and energy of academicians in the field of Christian education in a redemptive way, so that its members are enriched and better equipped to lead with excellence and virtue and mission,” he said.

Trentham is also the editor of the Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry and has written and contributed to numerous books, journal articles, and research studies. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and his master of arts and doctor of philosophy from Southern Seminary.

“John David Trentham is one of the rising leaders in the field of Christian education and discipleship, and his election as president of the Society of Professors of Christian Education is a great honor and worthy recognition,” said Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School. “His important work this year with SPCE will be a natural complement to his teaching and writing ministry as a professor in the Billy Graham School, and Southern Seminary is blessed to have someone like Dr. Trentham working to equip future pastors and disciple-makers for more faithful service.”

Trentham and his wife, Brittany, are originally from East Tennessee and have two children. They attend Christ Fellowship Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where Trentham also serves as an elder.

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