The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College trustees elected Greg Mathias to the faculty, approved curriculum adjustments, and welcomed 12 new trustees during their fall meeting Oct. 12 and 13.
In addition, NOBTS and Leavell College President Jamie Dew gave the trustees a tour of campus housing to share his vision for updates and improvements as funds become available.
The board elected Greg Mathias to the faculty as associate professor of global missions. He came to NOBTS from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary during the summer. He has served at NOBTS this fall via presidential appointment.
At Southeastern, Mathias served in various missions-related capacities from 2008 until 2021. He served as the associate director at the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies since 2009 and as assistant professor of global studies at Southeastern since 2014. Before his election to the SEBTS faculty, Mathias served as an adjunct professor at SEBTS for six years.
After his undergraduate study at Virginia Tech, Mathias earned the master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees at SEBTS. His ministry experience includes a three-year term as a strategy leader apprentice with the International Mission Board (Middle East), and three years as a campus minister with Campus Crusade at Penn State. Mathias recently concluded a two-year stint as pastor to young professionals at Richland Creek Community Church in Wake Forest, N.C.
Mathias and his wife, Page, have four daughters.
In addition to his work as a professor, Mathias has been tasked with relaunching the school’s Global Missions Center. The relaunch of and reinvestment in the global missions center will include dedicated office space on the first floor of the Hardin Student Center (HSC). Previously housed in a faculty office, the center will now be located in the hub of campus activity near the North American Mission Board’s new Church Planting Center. Through his work on the faculty and as director of the center, Mathias will help students explore career mission callings and lead overseas student mission experiences.
“The new Global Missions Center space will place this important initiative in the heart of our campus and student life,” Dew said. “As students prepare here, they will be better equipped to serve anywhere.”
Earlier in the fall, Dew began prioritizing missions at every chapel service. Dew said Mathias and George Ross (director of the NAMB center) will lead the charge to reinvigorate the missions focus on campus.
The trustees approved curriculum adjustments in the doctor of education and master of divinity programs. The changes will be implemented in the Fall 2022 semester.
The board approved a change to the summative writing component that doctor of education (EdD) candidates complete at the end of their program. Previously students completed a traditional dissertation to fulfill this requirement. The trustees approved a "dissertation in professional practice" as the new summative writing component for EdD candidates. The dissertation in professional practice retains the research component of the traditional dissertation but adds in practical, contextual elements related to a student’s ministry assignment. The change to the dissertation in professional practice necessitated other minor changes to the degree plan.
The board also approved changes to the master of divinity curriculum designed to streamline the program and provide better course alignment between the master of divinity program and the ministry-focused master of arts degrees.
Acknowledging the great sacrifice made by Adam Harwood, professor of theology, during his recent, year-long deployment as a military chaplain, the board approved a plan to count his deployment time toward future sabbatical leave eligibility. Harwood spent a year away from campus ministering to members of the Louisiana National Guard in Iraq.
The trustees also approved the seminary’s annual audit report. The outside auditing firm conducted found no problems with the school's accounting procedures and issued a “clean” report.
The fall meeting was the first for 12 new board members; two additional new board members could not attend. At the end of the meeting, each new member signed the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, agreeing to serve in accordance with the Southern Baptist Convention's statement of faith.