Truett Seminary: 2021 Year in Review

December 22, 2021
Truett Campus Sillhouette

Even amid an ongoing pandemic, 2021 proved to be a year full of noteworthy and impactful developments for Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

In no particular order, here are 10 highlights from Truett Seminary's year in review:

  1. Throughout 2021, Truett Seminary welcomed a number of new staff and faculty members. These include:
    • Denisha Akpan, Coordinator of Recruitment
    • Rev. Arbra Bailey, Director of Truett in Houston
    • Rev. Dr. Keith Bruce, Acting Director of Truett in San Antonio
    • Jenn Martinez-Ayala, Office Manager
    • Evan Taddia, Financial Manger (and Business Officer beginning January 1)
    • Melissa Lambeth, Scholarship Coordinator
    • Rev. Dr. Ralph West, Affiliate Faculty
    • Rev. Dr. Charlie Dates, Affiliate Faculty
    • Rev. Dr. Kevin Watson, Affiliate Research Professor and Acting Director of the Wesley House of Studies
    • Dr. Angela Reed, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (While not new to Truett, Dr. Reed assumed the role of Associate Dean following the transition of Dr. W. Dennis Tucker, Jr. from the role.)
  2. Following 10 years of progress in developing leaders in sports ministry, the Faith & Sports Institute launched in March 2021. Led by Dr. John B. White and Cindy White, the Faith & Sports Institute fosters the thoughtful integration of faith and sports through four primary initiatives: a graduate degree program, an online certificate program, a high school retreat and conducting research and developing resources.

  3. Just a few months later, the Program for the Future Church launched under the direction of Dr. Angela Gorrell and Dr. Dustin Benac. A hub for collaborative development at the intersection of practical theology, the Program for the Future Church engages scholars from a wide variety of disciplines tasked with examining and constructively engaging the challenges that confront people of faith, those who lead them, and those who educate ministry leaders. Not long thereafter, Baylor University received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the project.

  4. In Fall 2021, Truett welcomed the Seminary's largest entering class in the school's 27-year history with 105 new students, including 85 new Master's students, 15 Doctor of Ministry students, and five new PhD in Preaching students.

  5. This exceptional fall class coincided with the launch of Truett in San Antonio, a new initiative bringing a Truett-quality theological education to South Texas.

  6. The Wesley House of Studies at Truett Seminary is deeply grateful for the leadership and impact of Dr. William "Billy" J. Abraham before his sudden passing in October. The Seminary is also thankful for the anonymous donor who established the William J. Abraham Endowed Chair and to Jeff and Debbie Wooley for their $1 million student scholarship gift, both of which will help to continue the good work of Dr. Abraham through Truett's Wesley House of Studies.

  7. During the Baylor University Board of Regents November meeting, three new Truett Seminary degree programs were approved: the Master of Arts in Theology and Sports Studies, the Master of Arts in Contextual Witness and Innovation, and the Master of Arts in Theology, Ecology, and Food Justice. These new degrees, pending review by the Association for Theological Schools, will welcome their first students in Fall 2022.

  8. Also during their November meeting, the Baylor Board of Regents approved and announced a significant decrease in tuition for master's-level degree programs at Truett Seminary and extended this reduced rate to all seminary doctoral programs. Thus, the "sticker price" of a Truett education for the 2022-2023 academic year has been drastically reduced (37%!) from $1,071 per credit hour to $690 per credit hour. Following last year's removal of the student services fee, this historic tuition reduction demonstrates Baylor University and Truett Seminary's continued commitment to making theological education affordable and accessible.

  9. Always looking for opportunities to support churches while equipping seminary students for gospel work and witness, in 2021 the Truett Church Network established the Ministry Resident Program. Part mentorship opportunity, part ministry internship, the Ministry Resident Program is designed to connect some of Truett's most gifted and motivated students with ministry opportunities in leading partner church's within the Truett Church Network.

  10. In May 2014, Baylor University began fundraising toward a $1.1 billion comprehensive campaign to undergird the University’s academic strategic plan, Illuminate. Entitled "Give Light," the campaign is designed to impact every aspect of campus life—from academics and athletics to student life and service learning—while also bolstering financial support for students, faculty, and the campus community. For its part, Truett Seminary was tasked with raising $50 million toward the $1.1 billion University goal. This past May, as the 2020-2021 fiscal year drew to a close, Truett both met and exceeded this lofty goal, becoming the first academic unit at Baylor to do so.

In addition to these noteworthy events, Truett Seminary also celebrates the numerous accomplishments and developments of Baylor University this past year, including the University's Research 1 designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Keep up to date with Truett Seminary and Baylor University throughout the year on our official social media accounts.

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