Midwestern Seminary’s Fall Trustee Meeting on Oct. 14-15 was highlighted by the election of Jason DeRouchie to the full-time faculty, the announcement of record enrollment, and the finalization of plans for renovation of the institution’s library.
The lone remaining space in the heart of Midwestern Seminary’s campus to be renovated—since his arrival in 2012—is the campus library, said President Jason Allen. As such, beginning within the month, the facility will undergo a significant overhaul.
Allen noted that in the digital age, and with access to books from other libraries, only about 15-percent of the Midwestern Seminary library’s hard-copy books are used regularly. As such, the square footage of the library will be reallocated for other use.
“We’ll have the books that are frequently used by students available within reach. The rest will be stored in another off-campus facility which can be accessed quickly and conveniently,” Allen explained.
This opens space for library staff offices, faculty offices, conference rooms, and significantly more study space for students. Additionally, the building’s second floor will host more faculty office space and doctoral study carrels. Lastly, the third floor will subsequently be used to house Midwestern Seminary’s archives, which are currently housed in multiple places around campus.
“We want this remodeling project in our library to be one that is student-friendly,” Allen said. “Our goal is to make this space one that students are proud to use, functional for their research and study needs, and a hub for individuals and groups alike to accomplish all of their academic goals in preparing for ministry.”
The estimated $3 million project is slated to be completed by the start of the 2020/21 academic year. It is being paid for through the seminary’s capital budget.
DeRouchie elected to Faculty
Based upon a recommendation from the Academic Committee, Jason DeRouchie was elected by the Trustees to Midwestern Seminary’s faculty as research professor of Old Testament and biblical theology.
“I cannot be more pleased to announce the election of Dr. Jason DeRouchie to the faculty of Midwestern Seminary,” Allen said. “As an established author and teacher, Dr. DeRouchie is widely respected as an accomplished Old Testament scholar; yet he’s young enough to be numbered among a rising generation of scholars here in Kansas City. By God’s grace, we hope Dr. DeRouchie will be used to serve the church and reach the nations for decades to come.”
Of being elected as Midwestern Seminary’s newest faculty member, DeRouchie said, “My heart beats ‘for the Church’ of Jesus, both near and far, and I’m thrilled to have joined Midwestern Seminary’s strong, God-dependent faculty in helping to mobilize biblically faithful, Christ-exalting, globally-minded Christian leaders who will seek the obedience of faith for the sake of Christ’s name among the nations.”
DeRouchie came to Midwestern Seminary in the summer of 2019 after serving at Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis as professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology since 2009. Before his tenure at Bethlehem, he was an instructor of biblical Greek and Hebrew at Gordon College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an associate pastor in a Southern Baptist church in Indiana, and assistant professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Northwestern College in Saint Paul, Minn.
A well-recognized author, DeRouchie has published a number of books, including How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament: Twelve Steps from Exegesis to Theology; For Our Good Always: Studies on the Message and Influence of Deuteronomy; What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible; A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew; A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew: Workbook; and A Call to Covenant Love: Text Grammar and Literary Structure in Deuteronomy 5–11. He also has several forthcoming books.
DeRouchie is a graduate of Taylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies. He earned a M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Old Testament Literature from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
He has been married to Teresa since 1994, and they have six children, three of whom have been adopted from Ethiopia.
Trustee Meeting Business
During his President’s Report, Allen reminded trustees of the current state of higher education and reported record enrollment gains.
In presenting the school’s fall semester enrollment, Allen explained that both headcount and hours sold had reached record levels.
“We are grateful to the Lord that he continues to allow us to be in a season of incredible enrollment growth,” Allen said. “Over the past academic year, we enrolled 4,000 students. This continues our recent trend of significant enrollment growth. Our continued focus is the residential M.Div., but Spurgeon College as well as our online, master’s, and doctoral degree programs continue to flourish as well.”
Allen also explained that the current state of higher education institutions in America is dire, with ever-increasing operations costs, facilities maintenance, decreasing student population base, and declining enrollment. Estimates from credible sources, he said, show hundreds of the nation’s colleges could shut their doors within 15 years. He noted that faith-based institutions were not exempt from these facts.
He shared that Midwestern Seminary continues to be an anomaly saying, “When it comes to our situation versus other institutions in American higher education, we continue to buck the trend. We’re grateful to God, but we also realize we’re not immune. We must continue to make wise decisions, be forward thinking, and steward appropriately all the Lord has given us to oversee.”
In other business, during the plenary session the trustees welcomed four new members as well as promoted a faculty member.
In recommendations coming from the Academic Committee, the trustees—in addition to DeRouchie—John Mark Yeats was promoted to professor of church history, and Andreas Kostenberger was approved for sabbatical for 2020-21.
Additionally, four new trustees were welcomed to the Board by Chairman John Mathena, including: Jeff Dial of Little Rock, Ark., Jason Gentry of Hallsville, Mo., Darrow Perkins of Poway, Calif., and Doug Rule of Jackson, Miss.
Midwestern Seminary’s Board of Trustees consists of 35 members and meets biannually in October and April.