Baylor President Ken Starr Announces Appointment of Dr. Todd Still as Dean of Truett SeminaryFeb. 25, 2015
WACO, Texas (Feb. 25, 2015) – Following a six-month search that drew interest throughout the country from nationally known biblical scholars, seasoned administrators and prominent Texas Baptists, Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr has announced the appointment of New Testament scholar Todd D. Still, Ph.D., as the fifth dean of Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
Dr. Still is currently professor of Christian Scriptures and The William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett Seminary, where he has been a faculty member since 2003. He will begin his service as dean on June 1, succeeding Dr. David E. Garland, who will return to full-time teaching after an eight-year tenure as dean of the seminary.
“In Dr. Todd Still, Baylor University, and our dear friends in the Texas Baptist family, found a visionary leader to guide into a bright future our beloved Truett Seminary,” President Starr said. “As a brilliant scholar of the New Testament, Dr. Still is widely recognized in the academy for the quality of his research and writing. At the same time, Dr. Still has maintained a strong commitment to educating ministers to lead the church in Texas and beyond while he has personally served Baptist churches in transition as a preaching pastor. He is a forward-thinking leader who cares deeply about Texas Baptists and Texas Baptist life. Dr. Still will continue to build upon Truett Seminary’s outstanding reputation for its deep commitment to Scripture, excellence, leadership and service.”
As dean of Truett Seminary, Dr. Still will provide academic and administrative leadership of the seminary’s faculty, staff and students, work closely with the other academic deans in shaping Baylor’s future and participate regionally with the Council of Southwestern Theological Schools, the Baptist General Convention of Texas and nationally with The Association of Theological Schools.
As a well-known New Testament scholar, Dr. Still also will bring visionary leadership that fosters the highest levels of research, teaching and mentoring in a school committed to the formation of future ministry leaders.
“I am both humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as the fifth dean of Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary,” Dr. Still said. “As dean, I look forward to joining hands with colleagues and churches in preparing students for ministry in Christ’s name both within and beyond Texas. I am deeply committed to the vital work of theological education and ministerial formation that takes place at Truett and am convinced that there are great things in store for our seminary community as we lean into God’s good future.”
An eight-member search committee, chaired by Larry Lyon, Ph.D., vice provost and dean of the Graduate School, began its work in August 2014 before eventually recommending Dr. Still to the president.
“Todd was already well known and highly regarded by all of us on the search committee,” Lyon said. “His strong letters of support and his outstanding performance throughout the interview process reinforced our perception that he could lead Truett ably and effectively.”
Several prominent Texas Baptist pastors shared their support of Dr. Still’s appointment, noting his excellent scholarship and teaching as well as his unwavering commitment to the church.
“Todd Still is an impeccable scholar who will only solidify Truett Seminary’s already fine reputation in the academic community,” said Dr. Dennis Wiles, pastor of First Baptist Church of Arlington and a BGCT-elected member of the Baylor Board of Regents. “As a Texas Baptist, I could not be more pleased with his selection as the new dean. He is not just a scholar, but a true churchman who loves our churches. As a lifelong Texas Baptist, he feels called to help prepare men and women to serve our churches. Texas Baptists in particular and the greater Baptist family will benefit from his leadership at the helm of our flagship seminary.”
“Todd Still understands that Truett exists to serve the church, to train leaders for local churches and to partner with Texas Baptists for the cause of Christ,” said Dr. Howard K. Batson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Amarillo and a former BGCT-elected member and chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “Dr. Still is gifted with a keen intellect and tremendous people skills. Working with Truett’s outstanding faculty, Dean Still will guide Truett with a new vision and yet honor Truett’s heritage and history.”
“With great appreciation for the marvelous history of George W. Truett Theological Seminary from the beginning, I rejoice in the decision of our President and search committee to bring forward Dr. Todd Still as our new dean,” said Dr. Duane Brooks, pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and a former BGCT-elected member of the Baylor Board of Regents. “Dr. Still resides and presides comfortably in both the church and academic settings. He is greatly regarded at Tallowood as an exceptional Bible teacher and preacher. I watched God use him greatly as he spoke to an appreciative congregation at Paisano Baptist Encampment. He ministers so well to students at Truett and then advocates for them mightily as candidates for ministry throughout our state. I believe Todd is well placed to lead our great faculty at Truett to train the pastors who will shepherd the churches in the state of Texas.”
At Truett Seminary, Dr. Still teaches courses in New Testament Studies and Greek. His academic focus is on Paul, 1 Peter, the history of early Christianity, social-scientific hermeneutics and English theologian and Bishop of Durham J.B. Lightfoot.
Before coming to Truett, Dr. Still taught at Dallas Baptist University, where he served from 1995-2000, and at Gardner-Webb University’s School of Divinity in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, from 2000-2003, where he held The Bob D. Shepherd Chair of New Testament Interpretation.
He earned his B.A. in Greek and sociology summa cum laude from Baylor in 1988, a M.Div. with Biblical languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1991 and a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1996. In 1993, he completed additional graduate study at Cambridge University and the University of St. Andrews. He also served as an Honorary University Fellow at the University of Exeter in England in 2008.
Dr. Still is the author of one technical monograph, three commentaries and numerous articles, reviews and Bible study materials. He also has co-authored a textbook and edited five volumes. Presently, he is under contract to write a reading of 1-2 Corinthians (SPCK), a guide to the Thessalonian Letters (T&T Clark) and a companion to Pauline interpretation (T&T Clark). He also has been commissioned to write commentaries on 1-2 Thessalonians (Baker Academic) and 1 Peter (Eerdmans). Along with his Truett colleague David Wilhite, he is editing a five-volume collection, “Paul Among the Fathers” (T&T Clark), and is working with Ben Witherington of Asbury Seminary on a three-volume project, “The Lightfoot Legacy” (InterVarsity Press).
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Still is committed to and involved in local churches. A licensed and ordained Baptist minister, he has had the opportunity to preach and teach in many congregational and conference settings and has served in a variety of ministry capacities, including church custodian, music minister, youth minister, college minister, education minister, pastor and interim pastor. Presently, he is serving as interim preacher at First Baptist Church of Midland, Texas.
Dr. Still has served three terms as Faculty Regent on the Baylor Board of Regents and chair of the Baylor Faculty Senate from 2012-2013. He is a member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, Society of Biblical Literature and National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion.
He and his wife, Carolyn, a 1990 Baylor graduate, have two sons, Samuel, a Baylor freshman, and Andrew, a high school sophomore. They live in Waco and are members of First Baptist Church of Waco.
As the search process commenced, W. Dennis Tucker Jr., Ph.D., who has served as associate professor of Christian Scriptures and associate dean of Truett Seminary since 2007, provided leadership as interim dean.
“I want to thank Dr. Dennis Tucker for the outstanding leadership he has provided to the seminary as interim dean during this period of transition,” President Starr said. “During Dennis’s tenure, the seminary has continued its powerful forward momentum in scholarship, fundraising and support of Baptist churches in Texas and beyond. We are deeply indebted to Dennis for his willingness to serve in an interim role and for his dedication to Truett Seminary and to Baylor.”
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 16,000 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 12 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 that are 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 four Dual Degree programs – an M.Div./MSW and MTS/MSW through a partnership with Baylor’s School of Social Work, an M.Div./Master of Music through a partnership with the Baylor’s School of Music, an M.Div./MBA through a partnership with Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, and an M.Div./J.D. degree through a partnership with Baylor’s School of Law. Visit www.baylor.edu/truett to learn more.