Text title treatment: Dialogue with the Deans

George W. Truett Theological Seminary

Todd Still, The Eleanor McLerran Delancey Chair of the Dean & The William M. Hinson Chair of Christian Scriptures

Still

What is the greatest challenge or opportunity that students in Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary will face, and how is Baylor preparing them to face/address it?

Since I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet (see Amos 7:14 and smile), who am I to say? One herculean challenge facing those who minister in Christ’s name near the onset of the twenty-first century is rapid and relentless change. What might have been tried and true in the past now frequently seems tired and trite. The faculty and staff of Baylor’s Truett Seminary is doggedly committed to helping the students entrusted to us become faithful, thoughtful, and flexible Christian ministers. To borrow an image that Jesus employed in one of his many memorable parables (note Mark 2:22; Matthew 9:17), we are seeking to teach our students and graduates to place the fine wine of the gospel into wineskins that are suitable for the varied missional contexts in which they will find themselves serving as Christ’s hands and feet.

What do you hope students in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary gain during their time at Baylor?

I hope students will grow in commitment to Christ and his Church and will gain increasing clarity with respect to their vocational callings. I hope that we will be able to help them foster a hunger for Scripture and for spiritual formation through varied disciplines. I hope that we can teach them how to think theologically and to act pastorally with consummate skill and care. I hope they will develop an insatiable curiosity, a commitment to cruciformed ministry and community, and an unquenchable devotion to life-long learning. I also hope they will have such a meaningful, transformative experience at Baylor’s Truett Seminary that they will be eager to support their alma mater throughout the course of their lives and ministries, wherever they may journey.

What is the most significant thing Baylor graduates from the George W. Truett Theological Seminary offer to the world?

The gospel...incarnated and proclaimed.

What is the most exciting/meaningful thing about being dean of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary?

Serving our Lord by serving our students, faculty and staff, our graduates, our churches, our donors, our ministry and educational partners, and--not to be forgotten--our beloved Baylor. Jesus calls his followers, whatever their stations in life, to service, and I desire to be faithful to that joyful, if exacting, end.

Do you have a mentor/memory or experience from your time at Baylor (or elsewhere) that deeply influenced who/where you are today?

There are so many people, indeed too many to mention by name, who have given freely and even sacrificially to me over the years. I am who I am in no small measure because of their care and concern. My time as a Baylor student (1984-'88) was both informative and transformative, not to mention fun. I fell in love with learning (and with my wife, Carolyn, BS '90!) and continue to be profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve an institution that means so much to me and my family (our eldest son Samuel, Class of 2019, is now a Baylor sophomore).

Is there anything you want alumni or parents to know about you or your plans for the George W. Truett Theological Seminary? Please explain.

I want our alumni and friends to know that I am accessible and that their prayers and support are invaluable. Please come and visit us, and invite us to come and visit you. Judge Starr is fond of noting that Baylor's founders envisioned a university "susceptible of enlargement and development." What is true of Baylor writ large is no less true of her seminary. My hope is that Baylor's Truett Seminary will increasingly become a keystone institution for Baptists and a premier destination seminary that is evangelical in ethos and ecumenical in outlook. We truly do covet your prayers and support for your seminary.