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 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 Hosting 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).

Terry CarterTerry Carter, Roundtable Fellow, Professor and Associate Dean, Pruett School of Christian Studies, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AK, USA is the Associate Dean of the Pruett School of Christian Studies and Chair of the Departments of Christian Ministry and Missions at Ouachita Baptist University.  Dr. Carter received his undergraduate degree from Howard Payne University and his M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as a Ph.D. in Church History.  After a time as a campus minister at Tarleton State University and seven years on the mission field in Wiesbaden, Germany, he began his Ouachita career in 1991.  Dr. Carter has served as Associate Dean of the Pruett School of Christian Studies for 10 years while also chairing two departments.  In addition, he is the Director of the Horne Center for Biblical Preaching.  Twice Dr. Carter has been awarded the student-voted Lavell Cole Most Inspirational Professor award.  On the university governance level, Dr. Carter has served on numerous committees including the Strategic Planning Committee, Graduate Programs Study Committee and the University Committee as chair.

Dr. Carter has authored, co-authored or edited four books and numerous peer reviewed articles in the areas of Baptist History, Missions History, biblical studies and preaching.  Dr. Carter’s key focus in scholarship has been Baptist history and includes The Journal and Selected Letters of William Carey (Smyth & Helwys, 2000) and chapters in books like Baptists and Revivals: Papers from the Seventh International Conference on Baptist Studies (Mercer University Press, 2018), Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage (Mercer University Press, 2015), and Turning Points in Baptist History (Mercer University Press, 2008).  Dr. Carter has also written outside his specific field of history, co-authoring Telling God’s Story: The Biblical Narrative from Beginning to End, 3rd ed. (B&H Academic, 2021) and Preaching God’s Word: A Hand’s-On Approach to Preparing, Developing, and Delivering the Sermon, 2nd ed. (Zondervan, 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.

Jeanette MathewsJeanette Mathews, Roundtable Fellow, Senior Lecturer, St. Marks National Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia studied a Bachelor of Divinity at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Rüschlikon, Switzerland and a Master of Arts (Religious Studies) at the University of Cape Town before returning to Australia to engage in pastoral ministry from 1991-2006 in Baptist Churches in Melbourne and Canberra. She was amongst the first group of women accredited and ordained by the Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT. Her Ph.D. at Charles Sturt University was in Biblical Studies, translating and reading the book of Habakkuk via the emerging method of Biblical Performance Criticism (BPC). After graduating in 2010, she began teaching Old Testament Studies and Hebrew in the School of Theology of Charles Sturt University, teaching both on campus (St Mark’s NTC, Canberra) and online. She is Senior Lecturer in the School and serves as the Academic Dean of Students.

Many of Dr. Mathews’s publications apply BPC to Old Testament texts. Her Ph.D was published as Performing Habakkuk (Pickwick, 2012). She is currently finalising a manuscript entitled Prophets as Performers, to be published by Cascade Books, and is commencing on a reading of the Megilloth via BPC to be published in the Reading the Old Testament series by Smyth and Helwys. In addition, Dr. Mathews is working on a new edition of a volume she edited entitled God, by Degrees (Barton Books, 2014), a guide for new theological students.

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.

Gerald PillayGerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor and Rector at Liverpool Hope University in Liverpool, UK, is the Chief Academic and Administrative Officer of the University and, amongst many other things, is responsible to University Council for the organization, direction and management of the University and leadership of the staff. Professor Pillay, a citizen of New Zealand, was born in the former British colony of Natal in South Africa. He is widely published and has a distinguished academic career. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Rhodes University and a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Durban. After lecturing at the University of Durban-Westville, Professor Pillay became Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of South Africa in 1988.

In 1997 Professor Pillay became Foundation Professor and Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Otago University, New Zealand’s oldest University, based in Dunedin. In 1998, he was asked to serve as the first Head of Liberal Arts within that University. He has served in senior leadership roles at The University of South Africa and the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria and has lectured in several institutions abroad. Professor Pillay joined Liverpool Hope University College as Rector in 2003 and become Liverpool Hope University’s first Vice-Chancellor in 2005 when the institution was given full university status. Hope is the only university ecumenical foundation in Europe. It works with church communities and colleges around the world and has strong Baptist links, especially at doctoral degree level, with the Baptist ministers in Nigeria. Gerald and his family attended Northeast Valley Baptist Church during their time in Dunedin, New Zealand.

In 2009, Professor Pillay was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside, assisting the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside in carrying out her role as the Queen’s representative on Merseyside. In 2021 he appeared on the Queen’s Honours list when he was awarded an OBE for services to higher education.

Lina TothLina Toth (formerly Andronovienė), Roundtable Fellow,  Assistant Principal and Lecturer in Practical Theology at the Scottish Baptist College in Paisley, Scotland, UK, is a Lithuanian, born in the port of Klaipėda.  Since her early days she has been involved in the life of the Baptist church there (which after the Soviet period meets again in the oldest Baptist church building in use throughout continental Europe). Dr. Toth never thought she would become a theologian, and had focused her energies on English language teaching, literature, and creative writing. However, eventually it became clear to her that theology in fact includes literature and the rest of the humanities, and her two passions became one.

She holds BAs in Theology and in English from Lithuania Christian College (now LCC International University), Klaipėda, and an MTh and a PhD in Applied Theology from the University of Wales, which she earned at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, the Czech Republic. There she served as a course leader, lecturer and later as pro-Rector and Academic Dean. 

A musician and artist as well as a theologian, Dr. Toth writes and speaks on various aspects of ethics, spirituality, history, and theology of culture. Her most recent book is Singleness and Marriage after Christendom: Being and Doing Family (Wipf & Stock, 2021).

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