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Newly Endowed Chair, Residence Hall Dedication, and Continued Enrollment Growth the Focus of Fall Trustee Meeting

Posted October 17, 2023 by Brett Fredenberg

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Midwestern Seminary’s Fall Trustee Meeting, which was held on October 16-17, focused on gratitude for continued enrollment growth, the dedication of the newly updated Spurgeon College Residence Hall, the announcement of endowed chairs, and key matters of institutional update.

President’s Report

During his President’s Report, President Jason Allen celebrated God’s continued blessing on Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College.

“We finished this past year with another record enrollment,” Allen shared. “For the first time in the seminary’s history, we had over 5,000 students enrolled at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College. What is more, this Fall is shaping up to be another strong semester. Our total headcount and credit hours for Fall 2023 are each up approximately 4% from last year. This is something for which we are incredibly thankful.”

Allen reflected on the importance of the seminary’s work, sharing his desire from Mark 1 for students to pursue their ministries like Christ.

“In Christ’s ministry, you see a ministry of power,” he said. “Our churches today know so little power. We’re accustomed to a mild-mannered man standing in the pulpit and delivering a mild-mannered message to a group of mild-mannered people. But just as Christ’s ministry was marked by power, I pray our graduates would be men and women of power.”

“At this institution, we want ministries marked by power, graduates marked as lovers of Christ, and our purpose to be continually marked by training pastors and preachers. May God bless us with students and graduates who are hot-hearted, spiritually minded, and pulpit-filling men who in every way reflect the ministry of Jesus.”

Residence Hall Dedication

The Trustee meeting was highlighted by the formal dedication of the newly renovated Spurgeon College Residence Hall.

The seminary and college community celebrated the dedication with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the Residence Hall followed by a BBQ luncheon for students, staff, and families.

“Ten years ago this building was an abandoned building,” Allen said, as he reflected on the significance of the ceremony. “To be able to fully and comprehensively renovate this building is nothing short of God’s blessing on Spurgeon College.”

“We pray that this building would be a place where men and women are trained to honor Christ throughout their lives, where holiness and evangelistic fervor abound, and where one’s love for the church and for the gospel and Jesus Christ grows. We pray that this building will be an incubator of such things for years to come.”

During the ceremony, Allen recognized those individuals and groups who were essential for the completion of the Residence Hall. Amongst his recognitions, Allen named PGAV Architects, Pearce Construction, Senior Vice President of Institutional Administration Jim Kragenbring, Director of Auxiliary Services and Special Projects Brandon Freeman, and the President’s Wife Karen B. Allen.

“To the students, we’re so delighted that you get to live in this Residence Hall. We want you to experience the very best that this institution has for you—in the classroom, on the court, in the cafeteria, around campus, and yes, where you inhabit. We pray that this commitment would be reflected through you for years to come.”

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests were invited to attend a Kansas City BBQ Tour in the Mathena Student Center. Students, staff, and families enjoyed Kansas City barbecue favorites Joe’s, Q39, Arthur Bryant’s, and Hawg Jaw.

Endowed Chair

In the world of higher education, an endowed chair in one’s name is one of the highest honors an institution can bestow on an individual. Due to their generous financial contribution to fund the endowed chair and in light of their ongoing service and support to Midwestern Seminary, Allen announced the establishment of the Rex and Jackie Smith Endowed Chair of Biblical Studies.

Allen shared, “Endowed chairs are a sign of not only a maturing institution, but a God-blessed institution. May the Rex and Jackie Smith Endowed Chair of Biblical Studies be used unto the glory of God by enabling Midwestern Seminary to better fulfill its mission for the Church.”

He went on to share the importance of such an endowment, “I believe an institution will rise no higher than the strength of its biblical studies department, professors teaching Old Testament, New Testament, Hebrew, and Greek. We prioritize this conviction. In recent years, we have secured an endowed chairs in Old Testament studies and New Testament studies. Today, we celebrate that we are building upon this foundation.”

Additionally, Allen announced two professors who the trustees elected to fill endowed chairs at Midwestern Seminary. Thomas S. Kidd, research professor of church history, will fill the John and Sharon Yeats Endowed Chair of Baptist Studies. Joe M. Allen III, assistant professor of missions, will fill the Gary Taylor Chair of Missions and Evangelism

Institutional Updates

Additional trustee business included the reelection of five professors to the faculty, the approval of three sabbaticals, recognizing the faithful work of former Vice President of Auxiliary Services and Operations Jordan K. Wade, and a time of prayer over President Allen.

In recommendations from the Academic Committee, the trustees reelected Geoff Chang as assistant professor of church history and historical theology, Radu Gheorghita as professor of biblical studies, Andrew King as assistant professor of biblical studies, Patrick Schreiner as associate professor of New Testament and biblical theology, and Matthew Swain as associate professor of worship ministries.

Trustees also approved sabbaticals for professors Matthew Barrett, Blake Hearson, and Michael McMullen for 2024-2025.

Midwestern Seminary’s Board of Trustees consists of 35 members and meets biannually in October and April.

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