KANSAS CITY, Mo. (MBTS) – Noting the need for Midwestern Seminary and College to have the right people serving in optimal positions for personal and institutional success, President Jason Allen announced changes in the school’s organizational structure.
In doing so, Allen named John Mark Yeats to the position of Dean of Students, Sam Bierig to Dean of Midwestern College, and Rustin Umstattd to director of the Doctor of Educational Ministry program.
“God’s favor on Midwestern Seminary and the substantial enrollment growth he’s given us has prompted a season of institutional evaluation related to our organizational structure,” Allen said. “Our conversations have been both thorough and healthy, clarifying the seminary’s current needs and opportunities, and how best to support those.”
As such, Yeats, who has served in his current role as Dean of Midwestern College since arriving in Kansas City four years ago, will transition and become Dean of Students effective immediately.
Allen noted that the new role will benefit Yeats’ skill set well saying, “Dr. Yeats is an organizational polymath. He’s demonstrated an ability to wear many different institutional hats, all with excellence. As he enters office as Dean of Students, our goal is to not only recruit and retain students but to see them flourish while at Midwestern Seminary and College.”
As Dean of Students, Yeats will oversee an expansion of this role to advance a program of student success. As such, he will work within Academic Services alongside the school’s other deans and faculty, as well as working closely with the Institutional Relations Division in seeking ways to support their efforts toward an overall program of student success.
Allen filled the open position of Dean of Midwestern College from within the institution’s ranks, naming Bierig to the position. Bierig previously served as Midwestern Seminary’s director of Student Life for the past 4 years.
“Over the past four years Dr. Yeats has laid a great foundation for Midwestern College,” Allen said. “I’m delighted for Sam Bierig to lead it into a new season of growth.
“Over the past few years, Sam has distinguished himself at Midwestern Seminary. Though a young man, he’s a proven leader. His track record with student life, campus events, and student recruitment well position him to lead Midwestern College. Students gravitate to him, for all the right reasons. It’s particularly gratifying to me that Midwestern Seminary has matured to the point where we can look internal for such a strategic hire.”
Allen further explained that exciting happenings are on the horizon for Midwestern College saying, “With the opening of the Mathena Student Center this coming summer and the many other amenity additions and upgrades to our campus in recent years, we believe we’re in a position for our undergraduate program to enter a new phase of growth. We look forward to announcing new initiatives in this regard in the season ahead.”
Of his new responsibilities at Midwestern College, Bierig said, “This is a great and sobering stewardship, and I look forward to building upon the already strong foundation Dr. Yeats has laid. By God’s grace, we will seek to train as many God-called men and women from the next generation for the church as God will give us. I am thankful for Dr. Allen’s leadership, and I am eager to get to work.”
In addition to being named Dean of Midwestern College, Bierig was also appointed as assistant professor of Christian Studies.
In faculty moves, Allen announced that Umstattd will now oversee the school’s Doctor of Educational Ministry degree program.
“Dr. Umstattd’s extensive experience with our doctoral programs, the way he’s handled administrative roles in matters related to accreditation and assessment, and his balance between the academy and the local church, make him a natural person to oversee our D.Ed.Min. program,” Allen said.
“He will strengthen this program by shepherding the growing number of D.Ed.Min. students, by building partnerships with Christian Education societies and fellowships, and by providing valued input and support to the overall doctoral studies programs. Dr. Umstattd will continue to serve us in the classroom, while he brings renewed focus on this often-overlooked degree.”
Umstattd has served as assistant professor of theology at Midwestern Seminary since 2008, and he currently co-pastors Northland Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo.
Midwestern Seminary Provost, Jason Duesing, who will directly supervise each of these men, said, “I am grateful for these men and the way God has uniquely crafted their skills to aid in the work of Midwestern for the church. It is a sign of institutional health to make these kinds of moves internally and to have a net result of an overall strengthening of our programs. That, and the fact that they all first love students and love to serve students, makes working with them in these new roles an even greater joy.”
Allen added, “Jim Collins famously referred to leadership as the exercise of getting ‘the right people in the right seats on the bus.’ We’re delighted to have these three gifted men on the Midwestern Seminary bus and believe they are now in seats to be even more fruitful for Midwestern Seminary and College, and for the churches we serve.”