BSIR Leadership

Fellows are senior scholars of the Baptist academy engaging with and shaping the work of the Scholars. Fellows serve three-year terms, leading the group to connect within the larger Baptist academy. They review and select papers, lead in worship and academic sessions, and promote the work of the BSIR. 

Dr. T. Laine ScalesT. Laine Scales, Roundtable Co-Director and Fellow, Professor of Social Work, Baylor University, Waco Texas, USA received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, her MSW from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Kentucky. After teaching at Palm Beach Atlantic University and Stephen F. Austin State University, she began her Baylor career in 1999 as a faculty member in the School of Social Work. From 2004-2018 she served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professional Development in Baylor’s Graduate School and from 2008-2018 she served the School of Education as Professor of Higher Education. Since 2011 Dr. Scales has co-directed the Baylor in Oxford summer study abroad program. In 2016, Baylor honored Dr. Scales with its highest teaching award, Baylor Master Teacher.

Dr. Scales has authored, co-authored, or co-edited ten books and over forty articles and chapters in the areas of faculty development, Christianity and social work (with an emphasis on early Baptist social workers and Woman’s Missionary Union) and history of Baptist women in higher education, including All That Fits a Woman: Training Southern Baptist Women for Charity and Mission, 1907-1926 (Mercer University Press, 2000) and Doing the Word: Southern Baptists’ Carver School of Church Social Work and its Predecessors, 1907-1997 (with Melody Maxwell, University of Tennessee Press, 2019).

Dr. Chaves João B. Chaves, Roundtable Co-Director and Fellow, Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Mission at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Associate Director for Programming, Hispanic Theological Initiative at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, USA,  received his undergraduate degree from Baptist University of the Américas, his MTS from Truett Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. in Religion from Baylor University. João taught at the Baptist University of the Américas from 2012-2018 and joined the Hispanic Theological Initiative’s staff in 2020. He has served as chair of the Latinx Religions section, AAR-Southwest since 2018 and is a member of the Commission on Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice of the Baptist World Alliance, 2020-2025 Quinquennium. João also serves as co-editor for Perspectivas, the Journal of the Hispanic Theological Initiative, since 2018.

João’s research focuses primarily on the history of World Christianity, with a particular interest on the influence of US Protestantism on the Global South. He has presented and published his research broadly both in English and Portuguese and his academic articles were published by peer-reviewed journals such as The International Journal of Latin American Religions, The Journal of Reformed Theology, Perspectives in Religious Studies, and Baptist History and Heritage Journal. He is the author of the books Evangelicals and Liberation Revisited (Wipf and Stock, 2013), O Racismo na História Batista Brasileira (Novos Diálogos, 2020), and Migrational Religion: Context and Creativity in the Latinx Diaspora (Baylor University Press, 2021). João is also finalizing two additional manuscripts, The Global Mission of the Jim Crow South: Southern Baptist Missionaries, Theocultural Domination, and the Shaping of Baptist Identities in Latin America (Mercer University Press, forthcoming 2022) and Southern Missions, Christian Education, and Violence Across Borders (under consideration with University of Tennessee Press).

Roger WardRoger Ward, Roundtable Director Emeritus and Fellow Professor and Chair of Philosophy, Georgetown College, KY, USA is a professor and chair of philosophy at Georgetown College. A graduate of Southwestern Seminary (MDiv 90), Baylor (MA 91), and Penn State (PhD 96), Dr. Ward combines an interest in the church and theology in conversation with philosophy, primarily the American tradition including Edwards, Peirce, James, Dewey, and Addams.

Dr. Ward is the author of four books, most recently Peirce and Religion: Knowledge, Transformation, and the Reality of God (Lexington, 2018). He is the founding director of Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy and co-editor of two books from that program, The Scholarly Vocation and the Baptist Academy (Mercer, 2008) and Tradition and the Baptist Academy (Paternoster, 2011), along with several journal issues of collected papers.  He is very pleased to be able to continue and extend this work as Director Emeritus of the International Baptist Scholars Roundtable.

Paul FiddesPaul Fiddes, Roundtable Fellow, Director of Research, Regent's Park College of the University of Oxford, UK has been described as “one of the leading contemporary Baptist Theologians” and “one of Christianity’s most distinguished scholars”.  Dr. Fiddes has degrees from Oxford in English Language and Literature (BA Hons, 1968) and Theology (MA, 1972 and DPhil, 1975) and a DD (2004).  He has taught at Regent’s Park College since 1972, successively as a Research Fellow, Tutorial Fellow in Christian Doctrine, Principal, and Director of Research.  He is also Director of the Project for the Study of Love in Religion, and research supervisor in systematic theology, ecclesiology, and Baptist studies.  Dr. Fiddes has been Chairman of the Board of Faculty of Theology and Religions as well as an Honorary Fellow of St. Peter’s College, Oxford.  As an ordained Baptist Minister, he has been concerned to foster ecumenical relations, acting as co-chair of conversations between the Baptist World Alliance and both the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, and serving as an ecumenical representative on the General Synod of the Church of England.  Dr. Fiddes is an Ecumenical Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and Ecumenical Prebendary of St. Endellion, North Cornwall.

His research focuses on the doctrine of the Triune God, wisdom literature, the relations between theology, literature and late-modern philosophy, and ecumenical ecclesiology.  Dr. Fiddes has authored eleven books and more than 115 articles and book chapters.  His book The Creative Suffering of God is considered one of the major contributions to theology in the last decades of the 20th century.  Dr. Fiddes recently published his first novel, a mystery exploring the mythology and symbolism of the unicorn: A Unicorn Dies: A Novel of Mystery and Ideas (Firedint: Oxford, 2018).

Brad CreedBrad Creed, Roundtable Fellow, President, Campell University, Buies Creek, NC, USA is an accomplished leader of mission-driven institutions and a scholar and historian of religion. He began his duties as Campbell University’s fifth president in July 2015.  Previously, Dr. Creed was the provost, executive vice president, and professor of religion at Samford University, a private Christian university in Birmingham, Alabama.  Prior to joining Samford, Dr. Creed was a professor of Christian history, associate dean, and dean at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  He has also served as the scholar-in-residence at the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., and visiting professor of church history at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Falls Church, Virginia.  Earlier in his career, he served as pastor of churches in Texas and Louisiana.

A Jacksonville, Texas, native, Brad received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Baylor University. He earned his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He pursued further study in Harvard University’s Management Development Program and in the Spanish language program at Academia Hispano Americano in Mexico.

Caleb OladipoCaleb Oladipo, Roundtable Fellow, Professor Campbell University Divinity School, Buies Creek, NC, USA, originally from Nigeria, holds the inaugural Snellings Chair of Christian Evangelism and Mission at Campbell University Divinity School where he also serves as the Director of Braswell World Religions and Global Cultures Center.

Although he grew up in a Christian home, Dr. Oladipo became a Christian through the Baptist Mission work in Nigeria and that missionary influence remains dominant in his life and work. Dr. Oladipo received his post-secondary education in the United States, starting from Wayland Baptist University with a B.A. degree in Theology.  He attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC for the M.Div. degree, and proceeded immediately for the Master degree in Sacred Theology at Yale University Divinity School, where he was named the first Charles Forman Scholar in 1988.  Dr. Oladipo earned the PhD degree in Theological Studies at Baylor University in 1993.  He has written numerous articles and two books that explore the natural depth and character of Christianity in Africa.  Dr. Oladipo was a member of the delegation to the 5th Parliament of World Religions at Melbourne, Australia in 2009, and he has served as a visiting scholar and professor in five continents.  An active member in many professional organizations, he has received numerous leadership and service awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award at Wayland Baptist University in 2016.  He is fluent in six languages and has three children.

Melody MaxwellMelody Maxwell, Roundtable Fellow, Associate Professor of Christian History at Acadia Divinity College, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, has filled this role since 2018, teaching courses in Christian history and Baptist studies. Dr. Maxwell previously worked at Howard Payne University, East Texas Baptist University, Samford University, and Woman’s Missionary Union. She holds degrees from Union University (BA), Beeson Divinity School at Samford University (MDiv), and the University of Wales (International Baptist Theological Seminary, PhD).

Dr. Maxwell’s research interests include Baptist history, women in ministry, missions history, and global Baptists. She is the author of numerous articles as well as two books: Doing the Word: Southern Baptists’ Carver School of Social Work and Its Predecessors, 1907-1997 (co-authored with Laine Scales; University of Tennessee Press, 2019) and The Woman I Am: Southern Baptist Women’s Writings, 1906–2006 (University of Alabama Press, 2014).

Dr. Maxwell serves as chair of the Baptist World Alliance’s Commission on Baptist Heritage and Identity and as Director of the Acadia Centre of Baptist and Anabaptist Studies, among other leadership roles. In 2020 she received the Acadia Students’ Union Teaching Recognition Award, and she has also received multiple grants for her research. Her current research, funded by a $55,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, focuses on oral histories of ordained Atlantic Baptist women since 1950.

Nora LozanoNora O. Lozano, Roundtable Fellow, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Christian Latina Leadership Institute, teaches at the Doctor of Ministry Program at Central Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. She received her Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Religious and Theological Studies at Drew University, Madison, NJ, her M.Div. at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, now Palmer Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA, and her BA in Social Communications at the Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. In addition, she holds a Doctor of Divinity honoris causa, from the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington, Virginia. 

Mexican born, Dr. Lozano co-founded the Christian Latina Leadership Institute, and organization devoted to the discovery, development, nurturance, and empowerment of women leaders from a Latina perspective to be transformational agents in church and community settings.  

Dr. Lozano has been involved in Christian theological education for more than 25 years. Previously, she served as Professor of Theological Studies at Baptist University of the Américas (2000-2021). Her academic interests are centered in the areas of systematic, Hispanic, Latin American, and women's theologies as well as leadership studies. Her writings include chapters in books, essays in theological dictionaries and encyclopedias, devotionals, and Bible studies. In addition, she writes for digital publications such as Baptist News Global, Baptist Standard, Good Faith Media, and Christianity Today. She is a member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity, and attends Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her family.

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