“Decades ago, Mark Dever and I were fellow students at Southern Seminary,” R. Albert Mohler Jr. noted in a news release Sept. 6 about Dever’s appointment as the inaugural Duke K. McCall Professor of Pastoral Leadership.
Capital Hill Baptist Church photo
“Our friendship was born out of prayer, common conviction, common vision and a common hope for a scriptural reformation within our churches, the Southern Baptist Convention and, most urgently, Southern Seminary,” Mohler said.
“Imagine my joy, so many years later, to see how God has answered our prayers. That joy is so powerfully evident in the announcement that Mark Dever will assume this new responsibility as the Duke K. McCall Professor of Pastoral Leadership. This great and influential pastor-scholar is exactly what we need as the first incumbent of the McCall Chair.”
Mohler, who has led The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary since 1993, announced Dever’s appointment during the Aug. 27 convocation at the Louisville, Ky., campus.
Dever will continue as senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C., where he has served since 1994. He also is president of the 9Marks leadership and church health ministry.
A leading pastor and theologian in Southern Baptist and broader evangelical life, Dever is the author of nearly 20 books on topics ranging from theology to church life, including Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus and The Church: The Gospel Made Visible.
Dever holds a master of divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a master of theology from Southern Seminary and a doctor of philosophy from Cambridge University.
The faculty chair is endowed by the family of Duke K. McCall, the seventh and longest-serving president of Southern Seminary. McCall is an essential part of the Southern Seminary story, Mohler said, and the establishment of a chair in his honor reflects his legacy nearly 40 years after his presidency.
“Dr. McCall, the seventh president of Southern Seminary, had already been president for almost 30 years when I arrived as a student. You cannot tell the story of Southern Seminary without him. In this announcement, the past, present and future of Southern Seminary combine.”
Matthew J. Hall, provost of Southern Seminary, described McCall as a “transformational leader” for both Southern Seminary and the Southern Baptist Convention. His influence continues to this day, both with the annual McCall Lectures and now the endowed faculty chair.
“In the years prior to Dr. McCall’s death in 2013, his family went to great efforts to endow both a lectureship and a faculty chair to bear his name,” Hall said. “The McCall Lectures have proven to be an invaluable and enriching addition to Southern Seminary. And it is with great pride that we are able to announce the final stage in the fruition of the McCall family’s generous investment.”
Dever, in a statement about his hiring, said his interest in the new role stemmed from his personal history with Southern and his full agreement with the seminary’s Abstract of Principles founding charter.
“I’m very thankful for the honor and the trust that Dr. Mohler and the trustees have shown me and I look forward to having this opportunity to try to train pastors,” Dever said.
He added that he was present for McCall’s final lecture in seminary chapel and that he looks forward to teaching faithful pastoral leadership to future pastors and ministers in his new role.
“I’m thankful for the way Dr. Mohler has helped to shepherd the relationship of the institution with the McCall family, and I am happy to try and present a biblical vision of pastoral leadership sponsored by such longtime friends of the seminary,” Dever said.
Hall said Dever is the ideal person to train the next generation of church leaders, thanks to his extensive experience in pastoral leadership and ministry.
“I’ve known Mark Dever for many years now and have been the direct beneficiary of so much of his ministry,” Hall said. “As a trusted pastor and leader, his impact on a generation of pastors is evident throughout Southern Baptist life and the broader evangelical world. His appointment to the faculty at Southern Seminary is so encouraging to me personally and will present students with a remarkable opportunity to learn from a pastor-theologian of the highest caliber.”
Hershael W. York, dean of Southern Seminary’s school of theology, said Dever is “so singularly gifted, so uniquely passionate to teach pastors through personal example, as well as expansive publication, that he has already marked a generation for service to Christ. I am grateful that God has used him, amazingly, from the pastorate of a local church. He embodies the pastor-theologian like no one else.”
Dever and his wife Connie have two adult children, both married, and one grandchild.