Distinguished Theology Professor Among New Truett Faculty

July 16, 2001

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Three new faculty members will join Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary this summer, including longtime Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Bert B. Dominy, Brownwood pastor Ronald L. Cook and missions director Michael W. Stroope.

Dominy, a Baylor graduate who taught theology at Southwestern for more than three decades, will join Truett Seminary as professor of theology. Cook, also a Baylor graduate, has been pastor of First Baptist Church in Brownwood since 1993 and will serve as associate professor of Christian scriptures and director of Truett's doctor of ministry program. Stroope, a Hardin-Simmons University graduate and director of All Peoples, a Dublin, Texas-based church missions organization, will join Truett as associate professor of missions. In the newly created position, Stroope will develop a missions concentration for students in Truett's master of divinity program.

Cook already is on staff at Truett. Dominy and Stroope both will begin in August.

Dr. David Garland, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of Christian scriptures at Truett, said the seminary's newest faculty members have deep roots in Texas Baptist life, a deep commitment to Christ and a calling to train men and women to minister to the needs of the world.

"Dr. Bert Dominy has been for many years a beloved and distinguished professor of theology at Southwestern, and we are honored to have him join the Truett Seminary faculty," Garland said. "Dr. Michael Stroope is one of the most creative mission strategists around, and his coming will bolster our commitment to missions enormously. Dr. Ron Cook brings a wealth of ministerial experience and scholarship to direct the doctor of ministry program.

"This will allow Dr. Terry York to concentrate on facilitating the new master of divinity/master of music degree program with Baylor's School of Music." York, associate professor of Christian ministry, has led the D.Min. program since it began in fall 1999.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in religion and German from Baylor in 1960, Dominy continued his education at Southwestern, earning a bachelor of divinity degree in 1963 and recognition as the outstanding student in the School of Theology. The Houston native received his doctor of theology degree in 1969 and has done additional academic study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the University of Cambridge in England.

Dominy's first teaching position came in 1966 as an instructor in religion and philosophy at Wayland Baptist College. Two years later, he joined the faculty at Southwestern, where he has taught theology, supervised doctorate-level projects and dissertations, and served three terms as chair of the department of theology and for more than 15 years as a member of the Ph.D. Studies committee. The author of several published book reviews and articles, Dominy also was book review editor of The Southwestern Journal of Theology from 1975-78 and managing editor from 1978-81. He belongs to several professional organizations, including the Seminar for the Study of Early Catholic Christianity, the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis.

A frequent supply preacher and Bible teacher, Dominy served as pastor of Forestburg Baptist Church in Forestburg, Texas, from 1963-66, and as interim pastor at more than 20 Texas Baptist churches. He and his wife, Anna Jo, a Texas Tech graduate, are members of University Baptist Church in Fort Worth. They have two children, Steven and Susan.

Cook was born in Dumas, Texas, and grew up in New Mexico and California as the son of public school teachers. He earned his bachelor's degree in religion from Baylor in 1971 and continued his education at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., receiving a master of divinity degree in 1975 and his doctor of philosophy degree in 1980. Additionally, he did graduate study at Hebrew Union College/Jewish Theological Seminary in Cincinnati.

Since 1970, Cook has pastored Baptist churches in California, Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia, as well as First Baptist churches in Hereford, Texas, and Brownwood. He has served on the executive committee, the Christian Education Coordinating Board and the 2000 seminary study committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He has been a board member of the Baptist Center for Ethics in Nashville, Tenn., and an advisory board member for both Truett Seminary and the Baylor Center for Ministry Effectiveness. He has written Sunday School lessons for The Baptist Standard, devotional materials for the Baptist Center for Ethics and several articles for denominational publications.

Cook is married to the former Sara Ashworth, a graduate of both Baylor and Southern Seminary. A teacher, she also served as children's minister at Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco. They have three children: Graham, a sophomore engineering major at Baylor; Jane, a freshman family studies major at Baylor; and Marshall, a student at Brownwood Junior High.

Born in Odessa and reared in Dallas, Stroope earned his bachelor's degree from Hardin-Simmons in 1974, followed by a master of divinity degree in 1977 and his doctor of philosophy degree in 1986, both from Southwestern. From 1974-77, he served as youth minister at North Richland Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth, then spent the next 20 years with the Foreign Mission Board, now the International Mission Board. Stroope served as a field evangelist in Sri Lanka from 1977-86; in the enlistment and orientation office in Richmond, Va., from 1986-89; as a strategy coordinator for the Kurds from 1989-93 in Germany and England; and area director of Cooperative Service International in England and Hong Kong from 1993-97. Since 1997, he has directed All Peoples, an organization that serves the local church in mission efforts at home and throughout the world.

Stroope published a workbook for churches in 1998, God's Renown: The Local Church Ignited for God's Glory Among All Peoples, and "Church at the Center," an article that appeared in The Window in fall 2000. He and his wife, Kay, who is from Abilene, Texas, have three children: Samuel, a student at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in California; Elizabeth, who will be a freshman nursing student at Oklahoma Baptist University in the fall; and Anna, a high school student in Dublin. They are members of Cottonwood Baptist Church near Dublin.

Truett Seminary Dean Paul W. Powell praised Dominy, Cook and Stroope as "well-known and well-respected Texas Baptist leaders" who will join Truett's already outstanding faculty.

"They certainly will help Truett Seminary achieve its vision of being the premier Baptist theological seminary in the world," Powell said. "Our purpose is to train leaders for the local church who see ministry as a calling, are passionate about their ministry, who love and serve their people, have a vision for a changing world and who work hard."

Truett Seminary anticipates a fall 2001 enrollment of about 300 students, who will be among the first to attend classes in the new $17 million, 64,000-square-foot seminary complex under construction on the Baylor campus. The complex can accommodate as many as 1,000 students and is expected to be completed in spring 2002.

Truett Seminary held its first opening convocation service on Aug. 28, 1994, in the worship center of First Baptist Church of Waco. When seminary classes officially began on Aug. 31, 1994, there were 51 students registered. Since then, Truett Seminary's enrollment has quintupled to more than 250 students during the last academic year, with 146 students earning their master of divinity degrees from Truett and serving churches and ministries throughout the world. The seminary also offers a doctor of ministry degree, a joint master of divinity/master of music degree in conjunction with Baylor's School of Music, and a joint master of divinity/master of social work degree in conjunction with the School of Social Work.

For more information, contact Truett Seminary at (254) 710-3755 or online at www.baylor.edu/seminary/.

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