The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) professor John David Trentham is the new president of the Society of Professors in Christian Education (SPCE), an organization for evangelical academicians in the educational disciplines, which include Christian formation, leadership and discipleship.
John David Trentham
Trentham is assistant professor of leadership and discipleship at SBTS, chair of the department of leadership and discipleship within the seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry and editor of the Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry.
“It is truly humbling to be the youngest to serve in this role,” said Trentham, 35, who will serve a two-year term, according to an SPCE news release Dec. 23.
The SPCE, online at spceonline.org, was established and has been led for generations “by giants in the field of Christian education,” Trentham said. “I am primarily a recipient of wisdom in this field, both from my predecessors and my peers. As such, I view my ascendancy as having been lifted up and supported on the shoulders of others rather than as having accomplished a singular recognition or status on the basis of personal achievement.”
“Alongside the organization’s board members, my primary responsibility and overarching goal as president is to harness the resources and energy of academicians in the field of Christian education in a redemptive way, so that its members are enriched and better equipped to lead with excellence and virtue and mission,” Trentham said.
The field of Christian education, he noted, entails “the organized effort of the church in creating opportunities for people to engage and flourish in an authentic relationship with the God of the Bible.” Within the broad field of Christian education, the society helps connect evangelical scholars with evangelical leaders who are training and discipling in the local church and other Christian organizations. The society encompasses people professionally committed to training those involved in age group ministry, parachurch ministry, administration and higher education.
Trentham added that he hopes to oversee growth in racial, ethnic and cultural diversity in Christian education, with the goal of better serving the global Christian church. He also hopes to inspire a new generation of evangelical scholarship, further expanding evangelicalism’s influence in both the church and the academic world.
Trentham holds master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees from SBTS and an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee.
“John David Trentham is one of the rising leaders in the field of Christian education and discipleship, and his election as president of the Society of Professors of Christian Education is a great honor and worthy recognition,” said Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School. “His important work this year with SPCE will be a natural complement to his teaching and writing ministry as a professor in the Billy Graham School, and Southern Seminary is blessed to have someone like Dr. Trentham working to equip future pastors and disciple-makers for more faithful service.”
Trentham and his wife Brittany, have two children. He is an elder with Christ Fellowship Church in Louisville, Ky.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston from reporting by Andrew J.W. Smith of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.)