Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s (MBTS) trustees have elected Andreas J. Köstenberger to the full-time faculty and announced the renaming/rebranding of Midwestern College, to now be known as Spurgeon College.
Based upon a recommendation from their academic committee, trustees elected Köstenberger as research professor of New Testament and biblical theology during their April 9-10 meeting at the Kansas City, Mo., campus. Köstenberger also will serve as director of a forthcoming Center for Biblical Studies at Midwestern that will reflect his longtime scholarly vision of restoring biblical foundations for the family, the church and society.
Köstenberger currently is senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) in Wake Forest, N.C., where he has been on the faculty since 1996. He also serves as editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.
“We could not be more pleased to announce the election of Andreas Köstenberger to the faculty of Midwestern Seminary,” MBTS President Jason Allen said. “Dr. Köstenberger is among the most accomplished New Testament scholars in the greater evangelical world today. In fact, within our denomination and conservative evangelicalism in general, Dr. Köstenberger is part of a ‘Big Three,’ which includes D.A. Carson and Tom Schreiner.
“In addition to bolstering our already-robust biblical studies department through his research, teaching and writing expertise, Dr. Köstenberger will provide mentorship to our younger faculty members as well,” Allen said. “We welcome the entire Köstenberger family to the Midwestern Seminary community and look forward to the Kingdom impact they will have for many years to come.”
Köstenberger said he is “deeply humbled and honored by the invitation to join the faculty of Midwestern Seminary and to direct the new Center for Biblical Studies. I love President Allen’s commitment to the centrality of the Bible and am confident the seminary will continue to thrive under his dynamic, visionary leadership. I am also looking forward to serving alongside other prolific scholars who love the Lord and love serving His church.”
Jason Duesing, Midwestern’s provost, said he has known Köstenberger “for almost 20 years, having first studied with him at SEBTS. To have him join us at Midwestern in these days is a vital addition to our developing team of faculty-scholars. But even more, it is a joy to have the Köstenberger family join us as they are wonderful and delightful people and will contribute much to our entire community beyond their capable and proven scholarship.”
Köstenberger is a well-established author, having written, edited or translated dozens of books, including The Final Days of Jesus, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, Going Deeper with New Testament Greek and God, Marriage & Family. He also is the editor of several volumes in the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament, Biblical Theology of the New Testament and Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation.
He is the founder of Biblical Foundations, a resource center devoted to encouraging a return to the biblical foundations in the home, the church and society.
Köstenberger holds a Ph.D. in New Testament and biblical studies from the Chicago-area Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; M.Div. in cross-cultural/New Testament/counseling from Columbia Biblical Seminary in South Carolina; and master’s and doctoral degrees in social and economic Sciences from Vienna University in Austria.
He and his wife Margaret have four children.
College renamed for Spurgeon
In other action, Midwestern Baptist College was renamed “Spurgeon College” as trustees approved a recommendation from their executive committee.
“We at Midwestern Seminary are thrilled to announce that Midwestern College is being renamed and relaunched as Spurgeon College,” Allen said. “We believe it portends a new season of great training for young men and young women wanting to impact the world for the cause of Christ.”
Allen noted that the undergraduate arm of MBTS has been known as Midwestern College for the past decade. The school’s administrators have undertaken a season of review and reflection over the past several years for how to best position the undergraduate program to impact and to advance the Kingdom of Christ.
As a result, Allen added, Spurgeon College was born. The name isn’t just derived from the fact that Midwestern Seminary owns the Spurgeon Library of 6,000-plus books and artifacts from his personal collection; rather, Allen said it focuses more on the person, Charles H. Spurgeon, and his character.
“More than the books and the artifacts of the Charles Spurgeon Library, we share his passions, his convictions, his commitment to ministry, to serving the local church and to reaching the community and the world with the Lord Jesus Christ,” Allen said. “Certainly, Spurgeon was great in the pulpit, but also he founded some 66 different ministries and different points of social and cultural impact.”
Among those was an affinity for education, and Allen said the mission of Spurgeon College will be to educate the next generation of leaders to impact the world in the workforce.
“Through our college, we will maintain a Bible-based, ministry-focused curriculum, but also alongside that will be degree options for those who are not only called to serve the local church but to also be prepared to make a thousand different touch-points of light for the cause of Christ stateside and around the world.
“Just like Midwestern Seminary is known emphatically as being ‘For the Church,’” Allen said, “Spurgeon College will be known emphatically as ‘For the Kingdom.’ It speaks to the breadth of the ministry, and it also speaks to our hopefulness that from this place, indeed, the Kingdom will be shaped and expanded.”
Sam Bierig, who was named dean of the college in February, will lead Spurgeon College into this new season. Bierig noted that the college will maintain its focus on biblically-based degrees as well as providing students with disciplines that can train them to work in the marketplace.
“Spurgeon College is hard at work to expand degree offerings in the fields of Bible, business and education,” Bierig said. “It is our desire at Spurgeon College to raise up Kingdom-minded leaders for the church, marketplace and educational institutions throughout the United States and abroad.”
Duesing echoed Allen’s views about the college’s namesake, saying, “The naming of our college for C.H. Spurgeon brings a smile and reflects our joyful mission. For, in the name Spurgeon, we are not only upholding the legacy and core theological commitments of this Baptist theologian and preacher, but we are pointing to what Spurgeon spent his every breath pointing [to] – namely Jesus Christ.”
To learn more about Spurgeon College, visit spurgeoncollege.com.
During his presidential report, Allen announced record enrollment for the spring semester, both in headcount and hours sold.
“We are grateful to the Lord that He continues to allow us to be in a season of incredible enrollment growth,” Allen said. “If all trends continue, we are on course to have 3,300 students enrolled this academic year. This is up from 1,107 students in 2010-11. Our continued focus is the residential M.Div., but our online, master’s and doctoral degree programs continue to flourish as well.”
Allen presented the coming year’s budget of more than $22 million to trustees, noting that the aim of the institution’s business model is to properly steward the finances supplied by God as provided through the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program, tuition and other revenue streams.
He also relayed an update on the progress of construction on the Mathena Student Center and Trustee Building renovation, which included tours of both spaces.
In faculty recommendations from the trustees’ academic committee, Rustin Umstattd was re-elected to a three-year term as assistant professor of theology and ministry as were Stephen Andrews as professor of Hebrew and Old Testament; Alan Branch as professor of Christian ethics; and Michael McMullen as professor of church history. Trustees also promoted Umstattd to associate professor of theology and ministry; John Lee to associate professor of New Testament; and Sung Jin Park to associate professor of biblical studies.
With nominations from their governance committee, trustees elected their 2018-19 officers: John Mathena, a businessman from Edmond, Okla., as chairman; Lee Roberson, a businessman from Hobbs, N.M., first vice chairman; Chad McDonald, a pastor from Lenexa, Kan., second vice chairman; and Bryan Pain, a pastor from Duncan, Okla., secretary.
Outgoing trustee chairman Ken Parker welcomed one new board member, Billy Van Devender, a member of First Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss.
MBTS’s 35-member trustee board meets biannually in October and April.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – T. Patrick Hudson is executive assistant to the president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.)