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Midwestern A Publication of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary | Fall 2012

New V.P. of Institutional Advancement named PAGE PAGE 13 13

SBC president outlines goals during campus visit PAGE PAGE 10 10

Midwestern Seminary welcomes its fifth president, family page page 44

CONTENTS MW NEWS 12 Tim Chong named dean of Korean Studies at Midwestern 13 Charles Smith appointed Midwestern’s V.P. of Institutional Advancement


President’s Editorial


Jason Allen elected as Midwestern Seminary’s fifth president


Getting to know Karen Allen & the kids


Allen’s initial chapel message outlines his thoughts on a seminary’s purpose

14 Former Midwestern administrator inaugurated as president at Hannibal-LaGrange University 19 MBTS student returns to the streets with hope


Jason K. Allen


T. Patrick Hudson


Jenny Buehler


The Covington Group

2 The Midwestern Fall 2012

Fall 2012

CHAPEL UPDATES 15 Chapel Progress Pictures

INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT 21 Ministry in the 21st Century

ALUMNI 16 Midwestern Alum named SBRF “Researcher of the Year” 22 Keeping in Touch


10 Luter delineates goals during seminary visit

The Midwestern Fall 2012 Newsmagazine for Alumni and Friends of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Midwestern

The Midwestern highlights the Seminary’s mission: Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary serves the church by biblically educating God-called men and women to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ. MBTS is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Midwestern is distributed free for alumni and friends of MBTS by the Office of Institutional Advancement, 5001 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64118. Postage paid in Kansas City, Mo.

Send address changes to: Institutional Advancement 5001 N. Oak Trafficway Kansas City, MO 64118

The Midwestern 816.414.3700, ext. 709 (Ph)


New Beginnings & Old Commitments: The Enduring Mission of Midwestern Seminary


imes of change are as natural as life itself, and at Midwestern Seminary this is a season of transition. The election of a new seminary president self-evidently ushers in a time of change and prompts Midwestern Seminary to reflect upon all God has done – and is calling us to do – as a theological institution. Furthermore, the dawn of a new administration beckons Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to reaffirm our central calling and non-negotiable commitments as an institution. These institutional markers have framed Midwestern Seminary’s identity and mission since 1958 and, as president, I am resolved to renew and strengthen them in the season ahead. First, we declare proudly our abiding accountability to the Southern Baptist Convention and our determination to operate in trust with this great denomination. Southern Baptists own Midwestern Seminary, and as an institution we have the privilege to equip the next generation of pastors, ministers and missionaries on their behalf. This ownership is exercised through the trustee system and in accordance with established denominational expectations. Yet, Midwestern Seminary’s denominational accountability is more than policies to be maintained; it is a sacred trust to be stewarded. Midwestern Seminary is resolved to keep the letter – and the spirit – of our denominational accountability, and all the Southern Baptist Convention expects and desires of her seminaries. Second, in that the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention own Midwestern Seminary, we resolve to train pastors and ministers for the churches of this denomination. We understand that Midwestern Seminary exists for the church; the church does not exist for the seminary. Therefore, we function as a seminary with a precommitted end – to train servants of the church for our Lord Jesus Christ. This pre-commitment necessitates we evaluate every course, syllabus, event, program and institutional initiative by

asking how it strengthens the local church and those who are training to serve the church. Third, Midwestern Seminary’s trust with the Southern Baptist Convention brings with it nonnegotiable theological accountability as well. We proudly take our stand with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. Every prospective student can know that in Kansas City they will find professors who teach in accordance with and not contrary to our Southern Baptist confession of faith. Moreover, our confessional commitment also implies a commitment to training expository preachers and teachers of God’s Word, and to enhancing a distinct and confident Baptist identity. Fourth, our denominational stewardship also demands a missiological imperative. Southern Baptists are a gospel people and Midwestern Seminary is a gospel institution. We resolve to do all within our power to support, extend and catalyze the fulfilling of the Great Commission. We believe the gospel, and we believe in the power of the gospel – to save, transform and resurrect. Therefore, the great end to which the church labors is the end to which Midwestern Seminary will labor, the reaching of the nations for the glory of Christ. In a world of near constant change, the mission and core values of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary remain constant. With these foundational commitments, here Midwestern Seminary stands: for the church, for the nations, for Christ. And by the grace of God, we shall so stand until Jesus returns. Now is the time for friends, alumni and supporters of Midwestern Seminary to stand with us.

Jason K. Allen President

Fall 2012 The Midwestern 3

by T. Patrick Hudson


n a vote of 29-2, Jason K. Allen was elected by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Board of Trustees to serve as the institution’s fifth president. The vote took place on Oct. 15 during the board’s semi-annual meeting held at the Embassy Suites hotel in Kansas City, Mo. Allen, 36, comes to Midwestern from Louisville, Ky., where he served as vice president for institutional advancement at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and also as executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation. He concurrently served as senior pastor of Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville. Midwestern’s new president, who said that his service to the Seminary is effective immediately, noted his thoughts upon being elected. “I think the key word that defines my state of heart is first that I’m honored,” Allen said. “I’m honored by the trust this board has overwhelmingly placed in me. Karen and I both have sensed unmistakably the Lord’s leadership these past several months that has come to fruition and completion in many ways today. I intend to lead in building a seminary that serves all Southern Baptists, that is committed to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, and by God’s grace will find a seminary that the vast majority of n, Anne-Marie, ren (from left) Alde Ka n, so Ja s: len Al The e and William. Elizabeth, Carolin

4 The Midwestern Fall 2012

Southern Baptists are both proud of and pleased with.” He added that throughout the process, God has placed a great love in his and his wife’s heart for everything about Midwestern. “Over the last several months, the Lord has given us a love for people we are yet to know and a seminary we are yet to reside at,” Allen said. “We are zealous to get there and invest our lives to the Midwestern Seminary community and to see God do a great work within that community.” Trustee chairman, Kevin Shrum, expressed great excitement and confidence in the board’s action to bring Allen on as Midwestern’s leader. “We couldn’t be more pleased to announce the election of Jason Allen as the fifth president of Midwestern Seminary,” Shrum said. “In addition to a tremendous student body, a fine faculty, and a great staff, we now have a new president that will help us embark on a new phase in the history of Midwestern. So, we are very excited about moving forward, about the future, and about what God is going to continue to do at Midwestern.” Shrum is pastor of Inglewood Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn.


len sing a hymn Jason and Karen Al on Oct. 16 ser BTS chapel vice during their first M

As a member of Southern Seminary’s executive cabinet since January 2006, Allen has been vice president of institutional advancement since 2009 and was executive assistant to the president from 2006-09. He also has taught courses in personal spiritual disciplines, pastoral ministry and preaching at Southern since 2007. Stressing that during his administration, the seminary will be “absolutely committed to the Great Commission,” Allen outlined his approach to leading the school into the future. “We are a denomination of the Great Commission,” Allen said. “This will be a seminary of the Great Commission, and I will be a leader that leads the seminary to fulfill the Great Commission.” Allen added that he foresees two specific ways of attaining this atmosphere. The first is to create a specific campus community culture. “We want to build a robust campus community culture,” Allen said. “It will be marked by godliness, fellowship, a place that every square inch of the campus is family-friendly, and a place where there is a sense of Great Commission commonality and a sense of being here to train to learn to serve the local church.” Secondly, Allen desires Midwestern to be known as “the school that is steadfastly committed to serving the local church.” “I want every faculty member, every aspect of the curriculum and everything we do to have a laser-like focus on serving the churches, and specifically the churches within the Southern Baptist Convention,” Allen said. Allen, in other ministerial roles, has been senior pastor of Muldraugh Baptist Church in Muldraugh, Ky., and has worked in varying positions at churches in Alabama and Kentucky since 1998. He holds Ph.D. and Master of Divinity degrees from Southern and an undergraduate degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. Allen and his wife, Karen, have five children. Allen was officially announced as a nominee on Sept. 5 by Midwestern’s Presidential Search Team. That team was led by Bill Bowyer, who spoke of the confidence the team had in nominating Allen. “Dr. Allen has broad and insightful experience into the innerworkings of a seminary,” Bowyer said. “That, coupled with his

gracious manner, his loving heart and his pastoral spirit that he’s going to make a perfect match for Midwestern and we’re anticipating wonderful days ahead.” Bowyer, who pastors Crossroads Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., added that things setting Allen apart from the other candidates included his previous seminary experience and answers during hours of discussion about numerous issues pertaining to the seminary, but ultimately it was the leading of the Holy Spirit. “Prayer, fasting and following the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, led us to him to the point that seven of us unanimously agreed that ‘This is the man God set aside for us at Midwestern Seminary,’” Bowyer said. Shrum concurred and added that the entire selection process hinged on the team’s willingness to listen to a number of seminary constituencies to learn what was desired in the next leader. From there, the search team formulated a Presidential Profile. “We weren’t operating in a vacuum because we had been listening to what students, faculty and personnel were saying,” Shrum said. “Those inputs helped guide us in the search, and we felt like Dr. Allen addressed a lot of those issues.” Midwestern Seminary has been in search of a successor to R. Philip Roberts since his resignation in February. Robin D. Hadaway, the Seminary’s professor of missions, served as interim president since Feb. 10. The trustee board’s leaders spoke high praise for the tremendous work that Hadaway accomplished in the interim. “Dr. Hadaway combined the right skills at the right time for this transitional period,” Shrum said. Bowyer added that Hadaway “has done a masterful job at the seminary. He will be very helpful in making it a very smooth transition to hand the presidential baton to Jason Allen. So, we’re deeply indebted to you, Dr. Hadaway.” MW

Jason K. All Born: Nov. 5 en , 1976, in M obile, Ala. Converted to Christ: A ugu Surrendere d to Ministr st 1995 y: Novembe Married: Ka r 1997 ren Marie B runson, Jun Children: An e 26, 1999 ne-Marie, 10 ; Caroline Eliz Franklin, 7; abeth, 8; W Henry Alden illiam Interests: S , 5; Elizabeth pending tim Grace, 4 e with family supporters, , visiti reading, pre aching, teach ng seminary golfing, all a ing, leading thletics , Education: Ph.D. in Pre a ch ing – South Theological ern Baptist Seminary; M .Div., Empha Theology – S sis in outhern; B.S ., Political S Hill College cience – Sp in Mobile, A ring la. Employmen t: V.P. of Inst itutional Adva Executive D ncement/ irector of th e Southern Foundation Seminary – 2009-201 2 Chief of Sta ff, Pre Southern Se sident’s Office – minary – 20 06-2009 Assistant Dir ector of Adm issions – Southern Se minary – 20 Local Churc 01-2002 h Ministry: Intentional In Senior Pasto terim and r – Carlisle A venue Bapti Louisville, K st in y. - 2006-20 12 Senior Pasto r – Muldrau gh B a Muldraugh, Ky. – 2002-2 ptist in 006 Fall 2012 The Midwestern 5

by T. Patrick Hudson


hen Jason Allen was introduced to the students, with the ladies of MBTS. “I would like for every female and faculty and staff as Midwestern’s fifth president on student wife to know me and view me as a friend.” Oct. 16, one of the first things he told the chapel As for her role at the seminary, Karen envisions she will be audience was, “To get me is to get my family. That is the better involved with students, student wives, faculty wives, as well as end of the deal – I promise.” trustees, donors and seminary friends’ wives. She’d like to have He highly praised his wife, Karen, saying “She in every way is discipleship opportunities, Bible studies and live day-to-day life by my side and supports my ministry…She will pour herself into with them as well. the ladies and wives of this seminary community in a way that will “I want to have fellowships, invite these ladies into our home, be very fruitful.” get to know their children and what’s going on in their lives,” Of his five children, he added that they will make a lot of Karen said. She added that she sees the Vivion Home being open noise and put some scuff marks on the walls, but “I trust they will a lot and being used for many different purposes. bring joy and enthusiasm to this seminary community.” Those As for the Allen’s children, Karen gave a brief description of children are: Anne-Marie, 10; Caroline Elizabeth, 8; William each one’s personality. Franklin, 7; Henry Alden, 5; Elizabeth Grace, 4. Anne-Marie: “Our cautious one. Definitely more like a mother While many have seen the new president around campus and hen, who tries to keep everyone in line.” during Seminary events, getting to know Karen and the kids a Caroline: “Our free spirit. Naturally curious and enjoys the little better has not been an option because they have been back in outdoors and gymnastics.” Louisville, Ky., wrapping up their school work and preparing to William: “Is all boy! Loves to be outside, loves Legos, and move. The family plans to arrive on campus in early December; really enjoys being around other boys.” and after some renovations, they will reside in the Vivion Home. Alden: “He’s higher-maintenance. Curious, always wants to Karen’s perspective on the whole process, from learning about know things and asks, ‘Why?’ a lot.” her husband’s new opportunity to his accepting the position, was Elizabeth: “She’s just happy to be along. She likes to eat, so one of humility and knowing that the Lord’s hand was upon every give her food and she’s good.” step of the process. Karen noted that the kids are doing really well with the One example she gave was that the family had been transition and are extremely excited to arrive in Kansas City, make prayerfully considering moving into a new home in Louisville, but new friends, and start their new school. that the Lord would not provide them a peace about moving “In every area, the Lord has taken care of us,” Karen said. “It’s forward with the process. “I thought, ‘Why wouldn’t the Lord give been amazing, and we’re so excited to get moved here and become us a peace about moving forward?’” Karen said. “We intended to part of the Midwestern family.” MW develop deeper roots in Louisville.” They decided against the new home, and it was shortly after that experience that her husband was contacted about the position at Midwestern. Karen noted that throughout the process the Search Team kept her thoroughly included. She added that the Search Team’s unity and “kindred spirit” during the interviews gave the couple further confirmation about the direction the Lord was leading them. Upon learning about her husband being offered the position, Karen said, “We saw this as an opportunity that we’d be extremely happy to be a part of because we love the ministry, the seminary, and the local church. This would be a unique opportunity for my husband to lead, and being young, we could watch it unfold for years – hopefully for generations.” When asked about her ministry, Karen stated unreservedly, “My husband is my ministry. I try to undergird his ministry, so every day I ask him, ‘What can I do to make your day run better?’ I love him; I support him; and I’m his secretary here at home. So, whatever he needs, I try to be there to help him.” Now that she holds the title, “First Lady,” Karen admitted that it’s a humbling thought to her. In her new The Allen children pos e for a photo outside of capacity, she desires to develop personal relationships their new campus family plans 6 The Midwestern Fall 2012

to live in the Vivion Ho me upon moving to cam

home. The pus in December.

FEATURE STORY eaches his first Jason Allen pr western’s fifth sermon as Mid ct. 16 in the president on O auditorium. el campus’ chap


n his first chapel message as president of Midwestern Seminary on Oct. 16, Jason Allen shared his vision about the role of the institution in theological education, within the denomination and in serving its constituencies, particularly the local church. With the new president’s election occurring the previous day, the mood of the packed chapel was celebratory. Allen, his wife, Karen and their children were formally welcomed into the Seminary family by Bill Bowyer, chairman of the board’s Presidential Search Team. Allen said he and his family have undeniably felt the moving of the Holy Spirit throughout the search process. “If ever I’ve been convinced of the certainty of God’s will in my life it has been unto this,” Allen said. “Karen and I have prayed for months… and as we’ve sensed every step of the way the Lord’s leading us down this road, it has brought with it such a sweet assurance. God has already developed in our hearts a love for a people we aren’t really yet to know and a desire for community we are yet to even fully be in. We’re so overjoyed to be here!” Turning to his sermon entitled, “What hath the Seminary to do with the Church?” from 1 Timothy 3:14-16, Allen noted his initial chapel message wasn’t intended to provide a manifesto for the Seminary, rather to share from God’s Word about theological education, what the seminary is, and how the seminary relates to the local church. Allen noted that throughout denominational life, Southern Baptists have often had an uneasy relationship with the

by T. Patrick Hudson

seminaries. “When we think about the history of theological education within our Southern Baptist Convention, any survey of that history reminds us that there has from the very beginning been an uneasy relationship between theological education, our seminaries, our churches and this denomination. If you think about it, really it’s been rather easy as a denomination to form a missionary consensus because we are a Great Commission people and that has been rather easy to build a missionary consensus amongst our churches. It has been rather easy as well to build a programmatic consensus in our denomination because we are a people who have enjoyed and utilized programs over the decades. But it has been a bit more challenging to build a theological or a seminary consensus over the decades.” He said questions often lingered like: “What is a seminary to be anyway? Is it merely a divinity school? Or is it to be designed and built and pointed at serving the local church? Does a Seminary serve a convention or is it built to sort of change and prod a convention? Is a seminary to be marked by confessional integrity or unfettered academic freedom?” Answering these questions, Allen said, “I think we as Southern Baptists know the answers to these questions, and I stand before you today as one committed to certain answers to the questions. I believe we are committed to serve the local church and not to point our attention or our affections toward greater scholarly achievement from a secular academy. We are called to serve a denomination, not to prod or push a story continued on page 8 Fall 2012 The Midwestern 7

story continued from page 7 denomination. We are called to minister and to teach in a context enough that I say, where you find no truth, you find no church. Regardless of the height of the steeple, the seating capacity in the of confessional integrity. sanctuary, the beautiful song of the choir, or any other operation “These are crucial questions,” he added. “How you answer of a church, if there is not the truth of God’s Word present, you these questions determines everything about the faculty you seek have no church. It has collapsed under its own logic. It has to build, the curriculum you seek to structure, the graduates you collapsed under the weight of itself, and God is so concerned hope to produce, the pastors you hope to equip, the ministers about it that in Ephesians 4, he expresses how the church would you intend to send and the missionaries you intend to launch. be ordered – that He would give some to be apostles and And we remind ourselves on this occasion that our chief prophets and preachers, accountability is not to teachers, evangelists. accreditors, though we We are called as a seminary to equip men “We are called as a seminary appreciate our accreditation. Our chief accountability is not and women to be defenders of truth. We to equip men and women to be defenders of truth,” Allen said. to a department of education, are to be proclaimers of the truth of God’s “We are to be proclaimers of the but we are glad one exists. truth of God’s Word and of Jesus Our chief accountability is not Word and of Jesus Christ….If there is one Christ….If there is no other to professional organizations or to other secular, academic other place on the planet where people place on the planet where people who will defend the truth will be benchmarks.” who will defend the truth will be found…it found…it will be this place.” The new president then The president then asked stressed where the seminary’s will be this place. ~Jason allen what he called a dangerous chief accountability truly lies. question. “Where in the New “Our commitment in the years Testament is a seminary? It’s nowhere, but there’s a sense in forward, as in years past, is to our churches and our which it’s everywhere. We get no clear command, or no clear denomination; to train men and women for the church and the injunction to have a seminary as we have so ordered it, but we nations for the glory of Christ,” he said. see the mandate for theological education and for training in the “The urgent role of the church is to be the place where truth Scriptures everywhere. can be found,” Allen said, citing from verse 15 that the church is “We see the trappings of seminary education everywhere, to be the “pillar and support of the truth.” and we understand that given the urgency of this and given the He added that the central role of the seminary is to come way God is calling out individuals to serve his church that alongside the church in accomplishing that task. “There is this theological education is not child’s play. It is deadly serious. It is climax of urgency in the end of verse 15, again where he [Paul] localizes this concern to the fact that the church is to be the pillar urgent. There is a sense of urgency in my bones, and a sense of gravity in my soul because I think I understand something of and support of the truth. How important is this? It is what God is seeking to accomplish through a people dedicated important to His glory. And I understand that every graduate we send out is being flung out against the forces of darkness that would seek nothing more than to destroy them, destroy their ministry, destroy their witness, and destroy their church. The stakes are high indeed.” The focal point of this urgency is the proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ, Allen stated, and that presenting the simple message of Jesus must be our first priority. “The most urgent question I believe that comes to us from the New Testament is this; ‘What must the church do?’” Allen said. “The church must proclaim the Gospel, must defend the truth of God’s Word, must hold high the standards of Scripture, and must be a people who would seek to serve the church. We must lean into that with the church as well, training those who would hold high the standard of truth. How does the church stabilize and support the truth? By believing it; by obeying, but living it; by defending it; by proclaiming it; by studying it; and by transferring it.” He continued, “Notice verse 16. I love this because after his bold, anchoring statement about the church being , her son, William the pillar and support of truth, Paul says this, ‘By common Karen Allen and d of Regents confession, great is the mystery of godliness.’ And then meet MBTS Boar r Souder, afte member, Danny there is this move into this early church hymn or early . 15 . ct uet on O the Trustee banq church confessional statement that is so Christ-centered and so Gospel-specific; and here we remind ourselves 8 The Midwestern Fall 2012

FEATURE STORY to proclaim and herald the name of Jesus. Of the first, he said, “That is most clearly and fully codified in our confessional commitment to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000; and we embrace that, teach that, defend it, and believe it, not with shame or embarrassment, but wholeheartedly we steward ourselves under that.” Secondly, having a servant’s mindset toward serving the local church means, “Really, our only accountability is with the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention as exercised through the trustee system as governing this institution. Thereby, we have a commitment to teach, instruct, and to train not merely in a way that is congruent with those confessional expectations, but also that truly has a servant mindedness to say, ‘What do our churches need?’ ‘What do they expect of us?’ and ‘How do we meet those needs and equip people to serve those churches?’” Of the holistic ministry training experience for students, Allen noted it should be something that is, “Renewing the mind in biblical truth, impacting the heart, deepening that sense of calling and service to the church, and enriching the soul – meaning every person should be graduating from this institution more godly and more Christ-like than the day they showed up. Every class that is taught must have the savor of Christ – the whiff of Christ within that room. Lastly, of the resolve to proclaim and herald the name of Jesus, the new president said, “This is a sacred task we are called to, and I believe it is a task we are up for.” To see Allen’s message in its entirety, go to MW that when we speak of proclaiming the truth of God’s Word and defending the truth of God’s Word, we don’t merely mean that in an abstract sense. That, in and of itself, is at the very forefront of the church’s truth proclamation – that we proclaim a man, and His name is Jesus; and He is God’s son; and He did live a sinless life; and He did die on a cross; and He was raised from the dead; and He is coming back. If you will believe in Him, you can live with Him forever.” The preached Word also confronts fallen man, Allen stated. “If our presentation of the Gospel isn’t challenging and confronting to modern man, I’d question whether or not we presented the Gospel in the first place,” he said. “The Gospel is a frontal assault on the assumptions and convictions of fallen man. We proclaim things like ‘You are a sinner,’ ‘God is holy,’ ‘His son is your only Savior and Lord,’ and ‘You must repent and believe in Him.’ So we see things here in this passage that remind us of what is integral to the role of the church to be the pillar and supporter of truth. The focal point of that is the declaration of the Lord, Jesus Christ who can be preached from Genesis to Revelation, but it comes with a whole freight of Biblical truth claims – truth claims that we must not be afraid to embrace and preach and defend.” In closing, Allen asked the question, “What does all this mean for a Southern Baptist Seminary?” He summed the answer as a commitment to: keeping trust with our denomination in both the letter and spirit of its expectations; having a servant’s mindset in serving the churches of our denomination; the Great Commission; a holistic ministry training experience for students geared toward renewing the mind, enriching the soul and impacting the heart; and a resolve

Jason Allen , right, alon g with his daughter, A nne-Marie, get to know John Howel l, Midweste rn’s Academ Dean Emer ic itus, after th e Trustee banquet on Oct. 15.

Fall 2012 The Midwestern 9

FEATURE STORY by T. Patrick Hudson

Luter delineates goals during seminary visit


outhern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter Jr. discussed his goals with more than 100 Kansas City-area pastors and denominational workers after delivering a chapel message at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 11. Luter said he plans to be an advocate for spiritual revival, essential to the SBC’s success, in comments at a luncheon cohosted by Midwestern and the Blue River-Kansas City, the Clay Platte and the Kansas City Kansas Baptist associations, attended by area pastors and various staff members. “It all starts with revival. Revival starts in the pulpit, with the preachers,” Luter said. “You can’t expect revival in the pew if it doesn’t first happen in the pulpit. So we need pastors and congregations to call out for revival … then let’s watch God do what He does best in this convention.” Greater African American involvement in SBC life, increased financial giving and the retention of young people in church bodies are also Luter’s goals. “But I’m not just going to appoint you to a position because you’re African American,” he said. “You have to participate and get involved – in your association, state and in the national convention. You’ve got to be present.” Luter is asking all churches to increase their C.P. giving by one percentage point of their budget. “You’d be amazed at the number of missionaries we can put on the field, the number of churches we can plant, and the number of students we can train if all of our churches give just one more percent to the C.P.” Luter said he also will consider Cooperative Program giving when making appointments. “You’ve got to be able to give,” he said. “Don’t just have your hands out saying, ‘What can I get from the association?’ We’re asking you to give a percentage of your tithes and offerings to the convention, your local associations and your state convention.” Regarding the retention of young people in the SBC, Luter said the message of Jesus Christ doesn’t change but the methods to reach younger generations must. “There’s no way we can reach this iPad, iPhone, and iPod generation with eight-track ministry,” Luter said. “We’ve got to change some methods to reach them.” Luter, senior pastor of New Orleans’ Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, made Midwestern the first stop on the SBC president’s traditional seminary tour. “Our nation is in trouble,” Luter said in his chapel message. “And the question of the hour is: ‘What is it going to take to 10 The Midwestern Fall 2012

Fred Luter Jr., SBC president, preaches during Midwestern’s chapel service on Sept. 11 as FUSION students listen attentively.

change things in America?’” he asked, answering his question with the theme of his sermon, “The Transforming Power of the Gospel,” drawn from Romans 1:16-17. Providing a long list of society’s ungodly behavior, Luter said it is all part of the world that every believer participated in prior to their acceptance of Christ as Savior. “What did it take to change you?” he asked the audience. “You had someone share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with you… and you accepted it and were saved! Your life was transformed by the power of the Gospel. And if God can change you, and you, and me, then why can’t God change them?” In describing the transforming power of the Gospel, Luter noted the Gospel is personal, powerful, practical and persistent. “The Word of God is the only thing I know that can penetrate years of sin and save the lost soul. That’s powerful!” The Gospel’s practicality, he said, means it can be accepted by anyone. “No matter your race, culture or heritage, it’s practical for everyone. If you’re red, white, black or brown, you can receive the Gospel. If you speak English, Spanish, French, German or Ebonics, you can receive the Gospel!” There’s no factor in life that the Gospel cannot overcome, he said, because the blood of Jesus covers it all and that makes the Gospel practical for everyone. “No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve gone through, you can always depend on the Gospel. Oh my brothers and sisters, God’s Word is crucial if we’re going to transform our culture, society, states and cities. God’s Word will continue to exist when everything else in life has failed – it is persistent. What America needs is the Word of God!” MW

by T. Patrick Hudson

Tim Chong, dean of Korean Studies at Midwestern, lectures during a Korean doctoral seminar at the seminary.


efore arriving at Midwestern Seminary in May 2011, Tim Chong was praying and considering what to do with his “second life.” He put several options on the table. He was asking himself “Shall I continue to teach as a professor, become a missionary, or pastor a church?” He was searching for the Lord’s direction and the place where his ministry skills might best be employed. The quiet search lasted for five years, but, when God answered, He did so in a whirlwind fashion. “Coming here was a rapid process,” Chong said. After having been a guest lecturer in some of Midwestern’s Korean doctoral seminars, school administrators offered him the Korean Studies director’s job just two weeks after his first visit to the campus, and he relocated to Kansas City within only two months. Now, only 14 months since arriving on Midwestern’s Kansas City, Mo., campus, Chong has been promoted to the Dean of Korean Studies at the Seminary. He feels his promotion recognizes the significance of Korean Studies at Midwestern. “This is a great honor, and I’m humbled by this opportunity. It is truly God’s work from beginning to end. Our faculty and students at Midwestern are just excellent, and I am proud to be a part of the group.” He is the first Korean man to hold such a position at one of the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries. Of the promotion, Chong said, “I view this as a significant step in line with the SBC’s progress toward a future of improved ethnic relations.” In his duties at Midwestern, Chong oversees about 250 students in both doctoral and master’s online programs. Several aspects of the program make it desirable for incoming Korean students, according to Chong. The first is the caliber of faculty that is teaching the courses. “Our professors are of top quality, and they are worldrenowned,” Chong said. “God is orchestrating these leaders to come in and teach others who will, in turn, go out and expand His kingdom.” Chong said that among the faculty in the Korean Studies department is Dr. Daniel Dongwon Lee, who planted and built Global Mission Church in Seoul, South Korea – the largest Baptist church in the world. The new chapel at Midwestern is named after him. Chong also added that Midwestern’s Korean Studies department enjoys having numerous famous professors and respected others. He said they possess solid character, academic credentials, and pastoral and missional hearts. 12 The Midwestern Fall 2012


Tim Chong named dean of Korean Studies at Midwestern “God is doing a great work to ensure that our students have the best teachers and mentors to guide them through their education at Midwestern,” Chong noted. Another aspect of the program that Chong hopes will draw students is the learning atmosphere in their courses. “We have a very spiritually encouraging and academically rich classroom experience,” he said. “We want students to come in, open up, and share their questions about ministry. Then, through sharing and honest discussion, those questions can be answered and direction provided. Our students are dedicated to God and His mission, and it’s with a pastor’s heart that they can interact with and pray for one another. It is truly an academic, but family environment.” Thirdly, Chong said he feels that the program’s availability to students who live and serve around the world is a definite advantage. Classes are held on Midwestern’s campus and at various locations around the United States and the world, including South Korea. “This is the global age where classes can be accessed all over the world,” Chong said. “In some instances, our professors travel to specific locations to teach classes, but any remote location with internet access will have availability to our online program – the Korean Master of Arts, Theological Studies. God is using technology to shrink the world and make kingdom-growing education available to anyone who desires to learn.” Chong envisions a bright future for the Korean Studies department at Midwestern, and he desires to interact in unity with other Southern Baptist agencies as well as other evangelical schools. “Jesus shed his blood for us on the cross; we need to build and expand the kingdom of God together,” he stressed. Growing up in Korea until he was 19, Chong was the eldest son in his family, participating in ancestral worship. He said he never cared about religion though, including Christianity. The ancestral worship was his family tradition, as it is a usual practice among Koreans. After immigrating to the U.S. with his family, though, he was invited to church more and more. However, he said he still thought Christians were foolish by going to church on Sundays, not resting before going back to work on Monday. Now, he confesses that he himself is a fool for Christ. Chong received his Ph.D. in Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and taught at Liberty University before coming to Midwestern. He assumed the position of dean on Aug. 1, and accompanying him to Kansas City was his wife, Julianne. They have two grown daughters. MW

MIDWESTERN NEWS by T. Patrick Hudson

Charles Smith appointed Midwestern’s V.P. of Institutional Advancement


n the first personnel appointment of his administration, Midwestern’s president, Dr. Jason K. Allen, named a vice president for Institutional Advancement on Nov. 1. Charles W. Smith, Jr., the former director of Development and Alumni Relations at Southern Seminary, accepted the position that will oversee donor and alumni relations, communications, the Board of Regents, and other strategic initiatives. He plans to begin work on campus in mid-December. “I’m absolutely delighted to have Charles and Ashley Smith joining the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary family,” Allen said. “They are a delightful Christian couple who are unquestionably committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and to training ministers and missionaries for the local church. Moreover, Charles and Ashley have a love for Southern Baptists and for ministry within the Southern Baptist context.” Allen noted that the strengths Smith brings to the position are a combination of “incredible entrepreneurial instincts, a successful business background, marketing and communications acumen,” and “a profound love for the local church and a desire

to strengthen and to support those training for ministry.” Of being appointed to the position, Smith said, “Ashley and I are humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust that Midwestern has bestowed, and eager to begin a new work there. This will not be an easy task. The slowing economy, cultural shifts and expanding seminary alternatives all present very real challenges to the Office of Institutional Advancement here at Midwestern. Our success will rise and fall on the willingness of friends from every corner of the campus, city, state and denomination to invest in what God is doing at Midwestern.” Smith, who graduated with a business administration degree from Mississippi College and a Master’s of Divinity from Southern Seminary, added that his previous work experience has prepared him well for his new assignment. “Serving in various capacities in Southern Seminary’s Institutional Advancement office over the past five years has been an invaluable experience,” Smith said. “I have had the opportunity to lead many of their development efforts, Alumni Relations Department, work with Southern’s trustees and Foundation Board and develop comprehensive strategies to support the organization.” Allen stressed that Smith’s background will enable him to significantly contribute to the Seminary’s mission in the days ahead. “Charles has a proven track record of successful development and representative work already,” Allen said. “I am absolutely confident the Smiths will make an immediate and welcome contribution to the Midwestern Seminary community and, more specifically, an immediate and impactful contribution to our administrative work.” Of relocating his family to Kansas City from Louisville, Ky., Smith said, “Ashley and I are delighted with the opportunity to move to Kansas City. The city is an absolute gem. The people, landscape, weather, food and culture make this city a wonderful place to raise our daughters. We are eager to invest our lives building what we believe is one of the finest seminaries on the planet.” More specifically toward Midwestern’s future, Smith noted that the school is ripe with possibility and promise. “Situated in the highly strategic area of Kansas City, the state of Missouri and the United States, Midwestern is positioned to play a crucial role in the future of the Southern Baptist Convention. In fact, the Gallup organization recently published a study entitled: ‘Where to live in 2032,’ and listed Missouri and the broader Midwest as having America’s ‘brightest future.’” The Smiths have been married for five years and will be joined in Kansas City by their daughters Ellie, who is 2-years old, and Annie, who is 4-months old. MW Fall 2012 The Midwestern 13


Former Midwestern administrator inaugurated as president at Hannibal-LaGrange University


annibal-LaGrange University’s 17th president, a chief administrative officer. He became senior vice president for former Midwestern Seminary administrator, officially institutional advancement in 2007. In 2012, Allen returned to his assumed his leadership role there after an previous job title as senior V.P. for administration and chief inauguration ceremony on Oct. 25. administrative officer. Anthony W. Allen, who had served as senior vice president of Anthony Allen said the experiences at Midwestern, in administration and chief administrative officer at Midwestern addition to his previous 17 years in seminary work, prepared him Seminary since 2007, was elected by HLGU’s Board of Trustees in for his new role at HLGU. “God used my time at Midwestern as a a specially-called business meeting on May 4. The trustees had real training and proving ground personally and professionally,” searched for seven-months to find the successor to Woody Burt, he said. “It enabled me an opportunity to gain a variety of who retired as president on Aug. 31. experiences in higher education like institutional advancement, Allen, 44, who also taught Christian education courses at business services, teaching, and a number of other areas. The MBTS, moved to the Hannibal, Mo., campus on June 25 to experience was invaluable, in terms of my preparation to serve in assume his new responsibilities. this new capacity.” “It’s not often that a Southern Baptist seminary gets to send He added that leading a Christian educational institution out one of its own to lead an affiliate institution,” said Jason K. has been a long-term goal that has come to fruition. “For the last Allen, Midwestern’s new president. “It brings the Midwestern 20 years it’s been in my heart to one day be at a Christian Seminary community great honor and joy for Anthony Allen to university,” he said. “Most of my ministry now has been in assume the presidency of Hannibal-LaGrange University.” theological education, but my ultimate goal was to be at a Midwestern’s president added that he has known Anthony Christian university with an opportunity not only to teach and Allen as “A man of impeccable character, a love for Christian story continued on page 20 higher education, and as a man with a track record of proven experience. “All members of the Midwestern Kabance Photo family are proud of Dr. Anthony Allen, and Stacy, on this new crucial leadership role he is assuming at Hannibal-LaGrange,” he added. The new HLGU president, a North Carolina native, was raised in a Christian home. He played football four years at Duke University where he was a defensive tackle and graduated with a degree in history and religion. He earned both the master of divinity with biblical languages and the master of theology in Christian ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He completed his doctorate in higher education administration at North Carolina State University in Raleigh in 2011. A member of Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kan., Anthony Allen began at Midwestern Seminary in 2007 as senior Steve Dighton, pastor of Lenexa Baptist in Lenexa, Kan., left, and Lawrence Clapp, senior vice president for administration and the 14 The Midwestern Fall 2012

pastor of South Elm Street Baptist in Greensboro, N.C., right, lay hands on an emotional Anthony Allen during his inauguration at Hannibal-LaGrange University on Oct. 26.

Project completion estimated for Spring ’13 Chapel dedication planned for Fall ’13

To financially support this or other MBTS projects, contact the IA office at (816) 414-3720.

Fall 2012 The Midwestern 15


Midwestern Seminary Chapel

FEATURE STORY by T. Patrick Hudson

Midwestern alum named SBRF “Researcher of the Year” Leo Endel


aving had his dissertation project submitted by the seminary’s doctoral committee, a recent Midwestern graduate has earned a significant Southern Baptist research award. Leo Endel, executive director of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention and a May 2012 Doctor of Ministry graduate from MBTS, was named “Researcher of the Year” by the Southern Baptist Research Fellowship on Sept. 20. According to SBRF Awards Officer, James Slack, the award is presented for Endel’s research effort in producing “the doctoral document entitled Increasing Missions Funding for the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention and Cooperating Associations” and “the promotion of God’s work within the Southern Baptist Convention.” Criteria used by the SBRF in selecting the winner includes: Canvassing the SBC seminaries for recent doctoral graduates and receiving recommendations of doctoral dissertations or projects with significant quantitative research worthy of receiving the award; attaining a copy of the nominee’s Abstract and dissertation/project; narrowing the field of nominees and rating each one against the others in light of the detailed guidelines established by SBRF in 1972; and lastly, the Awards Officer submitting the finalists to the SBRF officers for final selection of the winner. Of receiving the recognition, Endel said, “I was surprised and grateful for the award. When one begins a project of this magnitude you fear that you will spend a great deal of time and effort working on a project that, while valuable to you and to your ministry, will quickly find its way to a dusty shelf never to be looked at again. This has certainly not been the case. I have been amazed at the number of individuals who have been interested in my work.” Additionally, as part of his reaction to winning the award, Endel said his first thoughts were to share the honor with and thank his Midwestern Seminary doctoral committee members Michael McMullen (chairman), Gus Suarez (reader), and encouragers/supporters like Rodney Harrison, Robin Hadaway, and Tony Preston. “I wanted you to share in this honor,” Endel said in an email note to them. “Each of you has been a special 16 The Midwestern Fall 2012

encouragement to me in this work, and I am grateful for you all. I am delighted to be able to receive this award as a student of Midwestern Seminary! Thank you!” The idea for his dissertation project, according to Endel, originated from the concept of “needs precipitate action.” He added that it grew from two juxtaposing necessities: the need for more evangelical churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the declining financial resources available to plant these churches. The main crux of the work as stated within the dissertation was: “The project has revealed that when M-W [MinnesotaWisconsin] Baptists know the biblical rationale and the strategy behind the CP [Cooperative Program], they strongly affirm the process and personally recommit themselves to missions giving through the CP. The challenge for the candidate, and for others promoting missions through the CP, is to connect with Southern Baptists and communicate this information. In a sound-bite culture, it is difficult to obtain enough time with an audience to build a convincing biblical and strategic argument.” Endel said that the impact of the research has been multifaceted. As taken directly from his dissertation, the results show significant progress in changing the convention’s mindset toward CP giving. They include: “The candidate's project has resulted in the CP and church planting taking the center stage in MWBC life;” “At least nine churches have increased their CP giving percentage this year;” “The project has produced training material that will be used in MWBC life;” and “three presentations have been made to churches and a number of other pastors have indicated they would like the candidate to give a presentation to their churches based on the biblical rationale and strategy of the CP.” The research topic was already placed in his heart by the Holy Spirit, Endel said, but several other factors enabled him to turn it from ideology into a finished project. “The Midwestern faculty greatly enhanced the value of this project by preparing me through the D.Min. curriculum, and then providing outstanding guidance in the dissertation methodology,” he said. “Every seminar, every professor, and story continued on page 20

Fall 2012 The Midwestern 17

MIDWESTERN NEWS by Mitch Shiffer

MBTS student returns to the streets with hope

From left, front: Jeff Neal; Tiger Pennington; Spencer Stith; Brad Foster; Katrina Foster; Nancy Clemens; and Mike Parrett. From left, back: Emma Stith; Carson Foster; Ethan Foster; and Loni Sojack.


hat can the homeless find on the streets of Kansas City? Loni Sojack will tell you hurt and hardship, and hope may be difficult to find. For eight years, she was homeless in Kansas City and lived a life of sin until Jesus called her. Now, as the founder of Feed My Sheep (FMS), she spreads hope through ministry by evangelism, relationships, and meals. “I still have respect for the streets; they are a mean place,” she said. “But I don’t fear them anymore because they don’t have power over me. I am no longer a slave to the game but a slave to righteousness and that is a miracle in and of itself. I am not proud of my past, but I see what God has made of it.” Sojack is now in her third semester at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary by the prompting of Mike Parrett, education pastor at First Baptist Church, North Kansas City. She is now learning to understand and apply God’s Word more effectively. She is hoping to one day serve God in Africa. “Africa has been written on my heart for years now, and I am looking forward to serving as a missionary when God would have me go,” she said. Currently God has plans for Sojack in the form of Feed My Sheep – an evangelism outreach ministry of First Baptist Church, North Kansas City. “For now, I am so blessed to be able to serve alongside our team at Feed My Sheep every week, and learn in depth what God would have me do in the future,” Sojack said. Sojack said FMS is about relationships. She said when she was living on the streets she would hear the Gospel often, but what made the difference for her in her walk and ministry is relationships. “What changed me and what has helped shape this ministry is the need for evangelism combined with relationship,” she said. “God does work all things for the good when we follow Him when called.” The week before Thanksgiving of 2011, Midwestern and First North Kansas City partnered to distribute 300 meals and 300 English or Spanish Bibles to Kansas City’s homeless. “As I began to call people whose names popped into my

Pathway photo

mind they began saying yes,” Sojack said. On Holy Week 2012, Feed My Sheep also distributed more than 5,000 snack lunches, or simple paper bags with snacks, to the homeless. Children were a big part of the process. “Several didn’t want to stop when the time came,” FMS Volunteer Katrina Foster said. “While they were working, they asked questions about the people they were making the lunches for, wanting to better understand the challenges they faced.” Response to Feed My Sheep has been positive. People have stopped in traffic and yelled prayer requests, and businesses have donated supplies and space. Members of FMS have seen the difficulties of the homeless. “It has encouraged me to be able to share with people down there, and it has helped me go outside of my comfort zone, even helping me develop better skills at socializing,” said Jeffrey Neal, FMS Volunteer/Team Leader. Along with ministering to the poor, the poor can offer lessons on surviving. “I’ve learned so much through serving with FMS,” Neal said. “I realize now how similar their lives are to mine, to things I’ve experienced myself. I’ve learned a lot from the people on the street. They’ve taught me about perseverance during difficulty and about expressing thankfulness to those who help you.” FMS enters an area of despair with the message of hope. They offer food for the physically hungry, but they also offer the gospel of Jesus Christ, which satisfies the hunger of souls. “Feed My Sheep is a prayer evangelism ministry existing in the Northeast area of Kansas City, a modern day ‘road to Jericho,’” said Tiger Pennington, pastor, First Baptist Church, North Kansas City. “As a ministry, we offer simple food, cold water and hope-filled prayer to those living on the margins; those who are becoming our friends.” Pennington said that FMS goes to the hungry. “We show up on their ‘turf,’” he said. He added this ministry is a testimony to its founder. A former homeless person ministering to the poor, the transformed life of Loni Sojack again shows Christ’s saving power. Now she spreads His name and love on the streets of Kansas City. MW Fall 2012 The Midwestern 19

story continued from page 14

train young people who are surrendering to ministry, but also who could come for some other vocational degree programs that would prepare Christians, in general, for having a caring and compassionate witness for Christ in the workplace. “We have that opportunity in this great university to prepare a generation of young people to be equally equipped, regardless of whether or not they’re going to be in full-time ministry, whatever their vocation is they’ll serve Christ,” he added. During the inauguration ceremony, Allen described his vision for HLGU’s future as a “shared Kabance Photo vision.” Allen said it is “one that is born out of a heart for Christian education that holds high the Terry Buster, right, chairman of the Hannibal-LaGrange University Board of Trustees, places the Word of God and the revelation of the saving presidential medallion around the neck of new President Anthony Allen during the inauguration. Gospel of Jesus Christ. family will always think of our time there fondly, especially “Christian higher education should be the best education because of the wonderful people. We met a wealth of great people because we recognize that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” Allen said. “We believe in divine truth revealed through there who love the Lord and who understand their calling to be engaged in preparing people for Christian ministry. That’s where Scripture, which informs our observations of the material world I’m going to spend my life and my energies as well – in Christian we live in,” he said, citing Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the higher education.” Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and Allen added that his wife, Stacy, and their five children, with all your might.” Bethany, Evan, Leighton, Annaliese and Brinley, are all adjusting Anthony Allen noted that Midwestern has a bright future, well to and enjoying their new home in the Hannibal area. and he’s grateful in many ways for his six years in Kansas City. This article is a compilation of work by T. Patrick Hudson, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve at Midwestern,” he said. Midwestern’s director of Communications; Brian Koonce, staff writer “I believe in its mission. I believe in the school. I believe in the for the Missouri Baptist Convention’s newspaper, The Pathway; and leadership. I am greatly encouraged that Jason Allen has come to Edward Husar, staff writer for the Hannibal, Mo., newspaper, The take this leadership position, and I know he’ll do well and serve Herald-Whig. MW the institution well. I’m excited about Midwestern’s future. My

story continued from page 16 every student made a contribution to the project. The diversity of the program added international and multi-denominational

Every seminar, every professor, and every student made a contribution to the project. The diversity of the program added international and multi-denominational perspective that challenged me to think beyond the surface of my own assumptions and examine my beliefs more deeply. ~Leo endel perspective that challenged me to think beyond the surface of my own assumptions and examine my beliefs more deeply. This 20 The Midwestern Fall 2012

is why I wanted to share this honor with each of the professors and fellow students that helped me through the process. Each of them made a contribution. “Participating in the D.Min.,” Endel continued, “made me do the project more thoroughly and with greater effectiveness than I would have without the seminars and the demanding methodology of the dissertation project.” According to Slack, the SBRF was established in 1972 by the Southern Baptist Convention to provide a venue for researchers within the SBC to gather in order to share research findings and work on improving research within the Convention. Additionally, through the organization, the group endeavors to rise up researchers within the Convention. To learn more about Endel’s project, visit, where SBC Life published an abbreviated version of the research project’s biblical rationale in its summer edition. Additionally, the SBC’s Stewardship Development Association videotaped Endel presenting the biblical rationale and the strategy behind CP. Be on the lookout, as the DVD will be released in 2013. MW


Ministry in the 21st Century: culture shifts, courage and the task before us


n a matter of weeks, Barak Obama will be inaugurated for his second term as the president of the United States. His inauguration will mark the culmination of one of the most closely watched elections in history, and what is widely considered to be a decisive loss for Evangelicals. But this loss was not limited to the presidential election or marked only by November 2. In September, Americans watched as the Democratic Party fought to remove “God” from its party platform and proudly celebrated government-funded abortion and contraception. In November, Maryland, Maine and Washington passed referendums to support the president’s initiative to legalize gay marriage while voters in Colorado and Washington passed bills legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Both the pace and complexity of these cultural changes are alarming and ought to serve as reminder that the moral compass of America is rapidly changing. As America continues to abandon biblical principles, Christians will be under increasing pressure to winsomely defend the inerrancy of Scripture, the biblical definition of marriage, the sanctity of life and a host of other complex issues. Likewise, pastors who dare to preach the whole counsel of God will face even greater scrutiny as cultural norms shift below their feet. In times like these, I rejoice that Midwestern Seminary is training students that are unquestionably committed to the Gospel and are prepared to respond to these challenges. On our campus you will find students that pulsate with Gospel courage – who are preparing for ministry in what may be prove to be contexts of persecution and peril. Many of these students are training under personal and financial hardships only to be deployed into environments of

even greater hardship. These students have reached far beyond selfish ambitions and vain pursuits to proclaim with Martin Luther: “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God’s Truth abideth still.” Indeed, God has entrusted Midwestern Seminary with a sacred stewardship. This stewardship extends to more than 1,400 students who will serve the church and penetrate mission fields for generations to come. We look to the future with anticipation that the Lord will continue to call out pastors, theologians and various ministers of the Gospel for Kingdom service. Here at Midwestern, we stand ready to receive, train and deploy them for faithful ministry. I am pleased to report that Midwestern Seminary’s enrollment is as strong as ever. Despite the difficult task before them, young men and women are surrendering to the ministry in record numbers. The question, then, is not whether they will come. The question is, “Will we remain faithful to support those whom the Lord has called?” One individual can make a difference and that individual might be you. I ask you to join me in furthering this mission and enabling Midwestern Seminary to maximally train — in both quantity and quality — those whom the Lord is calling to ministry. It is more important than ever for us to keep tuition costs down and aid our students through a strong Annual Fund. Quite literally, every dollar given to Midwestern’s Annual Fund is a dollar we do not have to charge in tuition. Thank you for all that you mean to Midwestern and for your faithfulness to support our students and the Gospel of Christ through this institution. We covet your prayers, cherish your friendship and appreciate your financial contributions. MW

Charles W. Smith, Jr. Vice President for Institutional Advancement (816) 414-3720

Fall 2012 The Midwestern 21


Keeping in Touch Robert F. Keatley (Former Trustee/Friend of Midwestern) Keatley, 93, of St. Joseph, Mo., died on Feb. 12. He served as a Master Sgt. in the Army during WWII. He married Wanda J. Ball on July 16, 1942, and they had three children and 55 wonderful years of marriage. He started RK Trailer Co. in 1946. After it became successful, he ventured into banking. He served on the following boards: Bode Fund, Heartland Hospital, William Jewell College, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Trustee, Varner Foundation, past president of the St. Joseph School Board, City Council member, past Advisory Board of Kansas University School of Business, Honorary Doctorate from Southwest Baptist Seminary, a founder of Young Life in St. Joseph, through the Pie Club. After Wanda passed away, he was blessed to be wedded to Helen Parker. They blended their two families and spent 13 wonderful years together. Keatley was a devoted father and grandfather and a strong role model of a devoted Christian man. He established the Wanda Keatley Award, which is presented at Midwestern’s graduation exercises and goes to an outstanding graduate. The award consists of an all-expense paid trip to the Holy Land for the graduate and a guest. For more, go to: Calvin Miller, M.Div. (’71), D.Min. (’75) Seminary professor, theologian and bestselling Christian author Calvin A. Miller died on Aug. 19 of complications following open heart surgery. He was 75. A former Southern Baptist pastor and professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Miller had served from 1999-2007 at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity Calvin Miller School, most recently as professor of preaching and pastoral ministry. The author of more than 40 books, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, he was described as a writer of love letters to the Lord. Miller, in his most recent book “Letters to Heaven,” wrote letters of love to Christians who died before him, including C.S. Lewis, whose writing style was said to be similar to Miller’s. “Life is Mostly Edges,” Miller’s memoir, was published in 1998. He was founding pastor of Westside Baptist Church in Omaha, Neb., in 1966, and led that congregation for 25 years. He pastored Plattsmouth Baptist Church in Nebraska from 1961-66. At Southwestern, he was professor of communication and ministry studies and writer-inresidence from 1991-98 before joining Beeson’s faculty. Miller held a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee and M.Div. degree in May 1971 and D.Min. degree in May 1975 from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more information, go to:

Ron Mann, A.Div. (’87) Mann, 82, of Columbus, Ohio, passed away peacefully on June 4. A U.S. Army veteran, Mann was born Dec. 25, 1929, in Columbus, the son of the late William H. and Elizabeth Mann. He was a graduate of East High School and The Ohio State University, where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration. In May 1987, he graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an A.Div. degree. Mann had a long and fulfilling career with IBM, where he began as a business analyst and then advanced to manager of personnel and finally retired from a position in world trade technical support. He served on the Human Rights Commission in New Rochelle, N.Y., and was an active supporter of Directions for Youth in Columbus where he had served on the board of directors. In the words of Aaron Stinson, Mann personified strength, honor, character and compassion. For more, please see: estory&pid=157955774#fbLoggedOut. Bill Carter, M.Div. (’71) Since November 2011, Bill Carter has been serving as interim pastor of First Baptist Church in Benton, Ill. Previously, Carter was interim pastor of Second Baptist Church in Thompsonville, Ill. He was ordained by his home church, North Benton Missionary Baptist Church, in 1957. In May 1971, Carter received an M.Div. degree from Midwestern Baptist Bill Carter Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Ruth Ann, are active members of the Benton community. For more, please go to: Curtis and Erika Riley, B.A.B.S. (’11) Riley and his wife, Erika, began a new church, The Porch, in Louisburg, Kan., in February. Curtis has been in ministry since 2005. Louisburg has Curtis and Erika Riley always held significance for him, as it is where he grew up. Though Curtis and Erika graduated with degrees from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies, they both took music classes and have been active in leading worship during their years of ministry. For details, go to: e2.html

Let us hear from you! Send updated information on your family and current ministry to, or go online to and click on Alumni and Friends, Keeping in Touch. 22 The Midwestern Fall 2012

ALUMNI NEWS Rev. Larry Carter, M.Div. (’78) Rev. Larry Carter and his wife, Cheryl, are currently serving in Greenville, S.C. For the last few years, Carter has been serving as “intentional interim,” leading churches through a process of self-discovery during times of transition. He now serves as lead pastor of Hampton Heights Baptist Church in Greenville. His desire is to help people (both in the church and without) Larry Carter to discover their need for an intimate, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. For more, please see: 310170040/A-way-relate-Life-experiences-help-HamptonHeights-Carter-his-ministry?nclick_check=1 Dr. John Tolbert, M.Div. (’82) and D.Min. (’88) John Tolbert, 55, died on Friday, Oct. 12, in Oxford, Miss., after suffering a massive stroke. He was serving as pastor of Pine Grove Baptist Church in Water Valley, Miss., following a heart transplant in 2011. He was also a licensed counselor.

John Elder, M.Div. (’73) Since January 2010, John Elder has been teaching online courses at Grand Canyon University. In an interview online, he said, “I have studied under wonderful, caring teachers who have filled me with information and inspiration. I have discovered that part of my purpose is to be that kind of caring, informative professor I have experienced from John Elder others.” He also serves as pastor at Love Baptist Church in Phoenix, Ariz. Currently, he and his wife live in Surprise, Ariz., and recently celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. Elder received his M.Div. from Midwestern in July 1973. For details, please go to:

Michael L. Thomas, M.Div. (’86) The Army promoted Col. Michael Thomas from lieutenant colonel on Oct. 4 in a ceremony at First Army Headquarters on Rock Island (Ill.) Arsenal. Thomas serves as the 1st Army chaplain, after having been the unit’s deputy chaplain for two years. Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, First Army commander, hosted the ceremony. Thomas has been in the Army for 21 years. He is married to the former Sandra Martin of Pleasant Hill, Ill., and they have two children, Ashley and Curtis. He graduated from Hannibal-LaGrange College in 1982; earned a M.Div. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1986, and a master’s in leadership and ethics from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark. Before joining the Army, Thomas served as youth minister at First Presbyterian Church in Hannibal, Mo., as associate pastor at Liberty Manor Church in Liberty, Mo., and as pastor at Oskaloosa Baptist Chapel in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

CAMPUS UPGRADES – During Robin D. Hadaway’s tenure as Midwestern’s interim president, he said one of his main goals was to improve areas of campus that needed considerable attention. Projects that were initiated and completed during this time were repaving most of the campus’ streets and parking lots, installing new, more efficient windows and sliding-glass doors in campus family housing, and upgrades to the furniture in common areas such as the student area outside of LifeWay and in the Fireside Room of the Koehn & Myers Center.

Michael Burgett, M.Div., Collegiate Ministries (’11) In January 2012, Burgett began working as the associate director for the Spartanburg, S.C., area Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). There are five colleges and universities in the area, and his main focus is Wofford College and Spartanburg Methodist College. His favorite part about the ministry is he’s able to spend time with Michael Burgett students and disciple them. He says, “It’s a great time for them to take ownership of their faith and, in turn, be missionaries on their campuses and reach their classmates with the Gospel.” Burgett currently resides in Spartanburg. Fall 2012 The Midwestern 23


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The Midwestern - Fall 2012  
The Midwestern - Fall 2012  

Newsmagazine for Alumni and Friends of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College, SBC