Baylor University Theology Professor Roger E. Olson, Ph.D., Named to Newly Endowed Professorship at Truett Seminary

Jan. 17, 2013
Roger E OlsenRoger E. Olsen

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WACO, Texas (Jan. 17, 2013) -- Roger E. Olson, Ph.D., a professor of theology at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, has been named the holder of the Foy Valentine Professorship of Christian Ethics.

The newly endowed professorship was created through a gift in honor of the late Baptist ethicist Foy Valentine. The gift, made by Valentine's family and friends, will help support specialized courses in Christian ethics at Truett.

"Dr. Olson has an incredible publishing record and is highly regarded as a historical theologian whose books have won many awards and are widely used as textbooks," said David E. Garland, Ph.D., professor of Christian Scriptures and The Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran Delancey Chair of the Dean at Truett.

"He has always been concerned about ethical issues, and these concerns surface in all of his teaching," Garland said. "He will continue the legacy of Foy Valentine in helping students to wrestle conscientiously and straightforwardly with the ethical dilemmas of our day from a solid theological foundation."

Olson is the author of 16 books, with areas of research and writing including the history of Christian theology, modern theology, evangelical theology and Christian ethics.

"I'm very honored to be named to the Foy Valentine professorship at Truett Seminary," Olson said. "Foy Valentine is one of my Baptist heroes, a very courageous crusader for ethical living and action by Christians. I hope to live up to his legacy in my life and teaching."

Dennis Tucker, Ph.D., Truett's associate dean for academic affairs and an associate professor of Christian Scriptures, said that Olson's work "exhibits an abiding passion for the life of the church, its theological confession, and its work within the world.

"These continue to be pressing issues for the church in the 21st century, and I am grateful that Dr. Olson will continue to lead in that conversation," Tucker said. "Like Foy Valentine before him, Dr. Olson represents well critical reflection and thoughtful engagement from the Baptist tradition."

Olson came to Truett Theological Seminary in 1999 from Bethel University, a Baptist institution in Minnesota, where he taught for 15 years. He is a graduate of North American Baptist Seminary and Rice University (Ph.D., 1984) and carried out research under theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg at the University of Munich as part of his Ph.D. studies. His latest book -- The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction -- will be published by InterVarsity Press this year.

Olson has taught a course in Christianity and Social Ethics every semester he has been at Truett Seminary and has been a leading thinker in this area. He is in demand as a speaker across the country.

Valentine, who died in 2006 at age 82, graduated from Baylor in 1944 and earned master of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

During his ministry, Valentine worked for racial justice and religious liberty through leadership roles in the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention. He was chair of the Commission on Christian Ethics of the Baptist World Alliance and served for more than 30 years as trustee of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Valentine authored 13 books on applied Christianity and was the founder and editor of the journal Christian Ethics Today.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT GEORGE W. TRUETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary provides theological education leading to the Master of Divinity, the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, the Master of Theological Studies, or the Doctor of Ministry degrees centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ and consistent with historic Baptist commitments to prepare persons to carry this gospel to the churches and the world. Within the M.Div. degree program, students can choose concentrations in Biblical Studies and Theology, Christian Education, Ministry Leadership, Missions and World Christianity, Worship Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Sports Ministry, and Youth/Family/Student Ministry. Truett Seminary also offers three Dual Degree programs - a M.Div./MSW and MTS/MSW through a partnership with Baylor's School of Social Work, a M.Div./Master of Music through a partnership with Baylor's School of Music, and a M.Div./MBA through a partnership with Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. Visit www.baylor.edu/truett to learn more.

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