KANSAS CITY, Mo – Midwestern Seminary’s Fall Trustee Meeting, held on October 17-18, focused on celebrating God’s kind providence to the seminary over the last 10 years, the strategic plan for the next five years, another record enrollment, and the recently announced financial gifts to the institution.
During his President’s Report, Jason Allen reminded trustees of the significance of their task and responsibility of their stewardship.
“Just as we celebrate the great things God has done at Midwestern Seminary,” Allen said, “we must continue to protect ourselves and guard against the rot of the small things. The best way to guard against the rot in the small things is by prioritizing the big things.”
Reading from Matthew 28:18-20, Allen reminded trustees of the marching orders for the Church to make disciples of all nations.
He said, “We want to be able to draw a direct line from our service day-to-day to the fulfilling of the Great Commission. God will be faithful to this institution as we remain faithful to the Great Commission.”
“We rejoice this morning that we can report again, for a tenth consecutive year, a record enrollment this past year with a total headcount of 4,917 and this fall to be up again 5%, and to present financial statements that show financial robustness in God’s ongoing blessing on us and this institution in a broader context of so much challenge.”
He continued, “We also rejoice as a seminary, in a denomination of great need, to be a place that our convention of churches can look to and find stability and health and an appropriate mission focus, and to look to our graduates who have been trained well. We take that not for granted, but we do speak of it with great joy and an appropriate sense of institutional pride.”
“We rejoice in God’s kindness, we rejoice in what He has done in the past 10 years, and we rejoice in what we believe He is going to give us in the next 5 years.”
In further institutional updates, trustees voted on recommendations from the Academic Committee and Executive Committee.
In recommendations from the Academic Committee, the trustees voted to renew Jason DeRouchie’s faculty contract for the next three years and to approve a six-month sabbatical for Geoff Chang in the upcoming year.
Additional trustee business included adopting three recommendations from the Executive Committee, including the formation of the Ad Hoc Legal Affairs Committee and the adoption of an updated Five Year Strategic Priorities Plan.
Finally, the Board completed its meeting by approving a newly drafted resolutions document titled, “Resolution of Thanksgiving and Appreciation for Dr. Jason K. Allen on his Tenth Anniversary at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
Special Chapel Service, “Five Strategic Priorities for Five Consequential Years”
Following the Trustee meeting, Allen shared the approved five-year strategic vision with the broader Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College community in a special chapel service. As he said, “Each of these five priorities is of monumental importance, and they give us a clear sense of the markers to run after for the next five years.”
First, the priority of mission faithfulness. Allen shared, “Our greatest commitment is to the Bible as the Word of God, which is manifested in our commitment to uphold our four confessional statements.” He also shared the institutional commitments to the for the Church and for the Kingdom visions in addition to the commitment to Southern Baptist churches.
Second, the priority of student success. Speaking to the continued need for this priority, Allen said, “Our greatest urgency is to produce graduates in sufficient numbers and of sufficient quality to meet the needs of Southern Baptist churches.”
Third, the priority of faculty strength. Allen stated, “Our accomplished faculty isn’t just an institutional advantage to enjoy, it’s an institutional stewardship to exercise. We thus prioritize the essential marks of a faithful faculty: theological integrity, spiritual maturity, scholarly accomplishment, student devotedness, local-church focus, and Great Commission commitment.”
Fourth, the priority of a flourishing community. “We are not a loose collection of employees and students,” he said. “We are a committed people, joined together in community for spiritual growth, service, and ministry.”
Fifth, the priority of intergenerational stewardship. He concluded by stating, “We continue to prioritize a robust business model that emphasizes financial strength, as marked by our commitment to avoid indebtedness and to grow our endowment.”
Signifying the importance of institutional stewardship, Allen ended the chapel service by announcing a new endowed chair, the Wayne and Berna Dean Lee Endowed Chair of Church Music and Worship Ministries.
As Allen shared, “There is a chance that this institution would not be here today apart from this couple, and this man’s leadership as a trustee at the seminary in the 2000’s. At a very critical stage in the life on this institution, Wayne stepped forward with great courage and conviction as a trustee and chairman of the board of trustees and gave heroic leadership. The Lees have been relentlessly generous with their time and financial resources. Thus, we are, again, thankful to them for funding this endowed chair.”
Allen said to the Lees, “It is an honor to announce this newly endowed chair in your name.” He went on to explain the significance of endowed chairs in the life of an institution and the honor for the individual, stating how the endowment provides a base of financial support for a professor’s salary from funds that have been devoted to a professorship in perpetuity.
The Wayne and Berna Dean Lee Endowed Chair of Church Music and Worship Ministries is the sixth endowed chair established at Midwestern Seminary.
Before concluding the chapel service, Lee Roberson, chairman of the Board of Trustees, presented Allen with a plaque commemorating their approved resolution in support of his leadership and the vision of Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College.
Midwestern Seminary’s Board of Trustees consists of 35 members and meets biannually in October and April.