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Scarborough College name honors evangelistic zeal of SWBTS' 2nd president

Southwestern Seminary renames college, announces center for global theological innovation. Trustees elect officers, elect/promote faculty, and approve balanced budget.

April 17th, 2017 / By: Keith Collier | Managing Editor / comments

Scarborough College name honors evangelistic zeal of SWBTS' 2nd president

SWBTS Vice President Charles Patrick announces the naming of the Patterson Center for Global Theological Innovation to trustees during their April meeting. Photo by Matt Miller/SWBTS.

FORT WORTH—Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary unveiled a new name for its undergraduate program during its spring trustee board meeting, April 12, announcing the The College at Southwestern will now be called L.R. Scarborough College at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The name honors Southwestern’s first evangelism professor and second president Lee Rutland Scarborough.

“[Scarborough] made an indelible mark [at Southwestern],” Charles Patrick, vice president for strategic initiatives and communications, told trustees. “He was a pastor, evangelist, theologian, academic scholar and leader in the SBC.”

Southwestern President Paige Patterson praised the decision to name the college after Scarborough, whom he said epitomized a strong work ethic and a passion for sharing the gospel. Patterson admitted initial hesitancy to naming the school after a person somewhat forgotten by many Southern Baptists today, but “the faithfulness and the example” Scarborough left made it the perfect decision.

Scarborough, who grew up as a cowboy in West Texas, served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Abilene before joining the faculty of the then-fledgling Southwestern Seminary in 1908 as the first-ever chair of evangelism in a seminary. He was named the second president of the institution in 1914 and retired in 1942.

Through his 34 years at Southwestern, his ambitious leadership and evangelistic zeal stabilized the seminary during the Great Depression and secured its future as a premier school for training preachers, evangelists and missionaries. Additionally, he led the Southern Baptist Convention’s “75 Million Campaign,” a convention-wide fundraising initiative that served as the forerunner to the Cooperative Program.

“Lee Rutland Scarborough was a signpost and a beacon on the horizon of Texas. A rough cowhand who risked all to guide his herd, he brought to the presidency of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and eventually to the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention, the remarkable confluence of grit and grace that only a West Texas cowboy could model,” Patterson told the TEXAN.

“Scarborough's name for the College at Southwestern focuses the school on the West, on missions, on evangelism, on splendid educational preparation in the early Yale tradition, and on the importance of faithfulness to Baptist principles. The man who served as Southwestern's president longer than any other is justly acknowledged and honored.”

Patterson noted that the renaming comes at the appropriate time, as the school is near completion on the construction of Mathena Hall, which expects to open in the fall and will house offices and classrooms for Scarborough College as well as Southwestern’s Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions.

As part of the announcement, trustees were introduced to Scarborough College’s new logo, featuring an “S” that looks like a flame in the school’s colors of navy and gold, as well as the college’s mascot—the lion, which represents strength and courage. The new website scarboroughcollege.com was launched the same day.

The college, which was established in 2005, will continue to offer programs in the humanities, biblical studies and music. Patterson explained the reasons for the founding of the college, saying they wanted to produce an academically tested student who can “read and write” as well as “stand on his feet and defend his position.”

Patterson Center for Global Theological Innovation

In addition to renaming the college, the school announced the naming of its initiative for restoring and strengthening Baptist seminaries  and conventions around the world—the Patterson Center for Global Theological Innovation. The program, which launched in 2012 and currently encompasses 137 partnerships in 58 nations, sprang from President Paige Patterson’s desire to see conservative theological education preserved through connecting “champion churches” in the states with Baptist seminaries in other countries for the purpose of encouragement, support, leadership development and faculty training. For more information, visit swbts.edu/gti.

Election of Officers

Trustees elected new officers, including Kevin Ueckert, pastor of First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Texas, as chairman; David Maron, an attorney and member of First Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss., as vice chairman; and Ronny Cooksey, pastor of Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore., as secretary. All nominations were unopposed and approved unanimously.

Faculty Elections & Promotions

Trustees elected the following to faculty:

  • Nathan Holsteen, professor of systematic theology in the School of Theology
  • Andrew Street, associate professor of biblical studies in the School of Theology
  • Matthew Harrison, assistant professor of foundations of education in the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries
  • Brad Heller, assistant professor of English in the J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies in Houston
  • Justin Hiester, assistant professor of missions in the College at Southwestern
  • Ethan Jones. assistant professor of Old Testament in the College at Southwestern
  • Brandon Kiesling, assistant professor of evangelism in the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions

Trustees approved the following faculty promotions:

  • Scott Aniol from assistant professor to associate professor of church music
  • Dongsun Cho from assistant professor to associate professor of systematic and historical theology
  • Paul Gould from assistant professor to associate professor of philosophy and Christian apologetics
  • Madison Grace from assistant professor to associate professor of Baptist history and theology
  • Dean Sieberhagen from assistant professor to associate professor of Islamic studies
  • John Laing from associate professor to professor of systematic theology and philosophy
  • Tom Keumsup Song from associate professor to professor of church music
  • Douglas A. Wood from associate professor to professor of education and worship

Other Business

  • Trustees approved a balanced budget of $36,833,962, which represents a 2 percent reduction from last year’s budget.
  • Trustees approved graduates for spring and summer graduation ceremonies.
  • Current vice chairman Kevin Ueckert reported on the executive board’s annual evaluation of the president, saying they “continue to affirm our support in the faithful leadership that Dr. Patterson is giving our seminary. … We are thankful God has given us a leader like Dr. Patterson as we consider this great calling the seminary is taking on to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • Trustees heard a report from the business administration committee that the Southwestern Seminary Foundation, which manages approximately half of the school’s endowment, has seen an 11.7 percent increase over the past 12 months, an improvement of about $7.6 million.
  • Trustees authorized the vice president of business administration to sell five properties—one in Sherman, Texas, and four properties on Wayside Ave. in Fort Worth near the campus. The total value from the sale of the properties will be about $850,000.
  • Trustees heard a report from Vice President Charles Patrick on several new campaigns for marketing the school to prospective students, increased activity on the school’s social media channels, and a new website designed to help former students who did not complete their degree to return and graduate. The website is http://finishseminary.today, and scholarships are available.