Truett Seminary Dean Brad Creed to Return to Classroom

May 5, 2000

by Larry D. Brumley

Dr. J. Bradley Creed, professor of Christian history and dean of Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary since January 1996, will step down from his administrative post effective June 1. Creed, one of the first professors hired before the seminary opened in the fall of 1994, will remain on the faculty and return to the classroom next January following a sabbatical.

Dr. Randall O'Brien, professor of religion at Baylor and executive assistant to the president, will serve as Truett's acting dean. Baylor Provost Donald D. Schmeltekopf will appoint a search committee in the next few weeks.

"Brad Creed has led Truett Seminary through an outstanding period of growth, and I am grateful for his tremendous work," said President Robert B. Sloan Jr., who served as Truett's founding dean before being elected Baylor's 12th president in 1995. "He has been with the seminary since its inception and helped shape its distinctive vision as associate dean and most recently as dean. The Seminary has seen strong growth in its student enrollment and in the size of its faculty, and a number of new degree programs have been established under his leadership. Brad has a deep commitment to the Lord and to Truett Seminary, and I am grateful that he will devote his energies full-time to exercising his great gift for teaching and nurturing students."

Truett's enrollment has more than doubled from 92 students to 194 since Creed was named dean, and the faculty has expanded from four to 12 full-time members. The Seminary has gone from offering the master of divinity with one concentration to offering five M.Div. concentrations, as well as the joint M.Div./master of music and M.Div./master of social work and the doctor of ministry degrees. Creed was presiding dean at the Seminary's first graduation in May 1997. Truett has 114 graduates in the field, almost half of whom are pastors. The Seminary is currently a candidate for accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools and three endowed lectureships have been established in recent months. On Feb. 2 Truett held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new $17 million facility on the Baylor campus.

"I am grateful to have served as dean of the Seminary during its formative days of development and growth," Creed said. "It has been a great privilege working in this capacity with our faculty, staff and students. Confident of Truett Seminary's future progress and believing whole-heartedly in its mission, I am looking forward to full-time teaching and serving the Seminary in the classroom."

Prior to joining the Truett faculty in 1993, Creed served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Natchitoches, La., for five years. He also has served as a church planter and as interim pastor at churches in Texas and Oklahoma. A church historian, he is currently editing a book titled Against the Grain: Prophetic Voices in Baptist Life. Creed has been a contributor to other books, including the Holman Bible Dictionary, Has Our Theology Changed? Southern Baptist Thought Since 1845, and Proclaiming the Baptist Vision: The Church. He holds degrees from Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and in June 1996 he completed a management development program at Harvard University.

O'Brien earned his bachelor's degree from Mississippi College and his master's in sacred theology from Yale Divinity School. He also holds master of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. A decorated Vietnam War veteran, O'Brien has served as pastor of churches in Arkansas and Louisiana. He has written two books and numerous articles for professional and scholarly journals. Prior to joining the Baylor faculty, he taught at Ouachita Baptist University and was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark.

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