Union Alum, Dr. Norris Grubbs, Assumes Provost Duties at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

NEW ORLEANS — Norris Grubbs, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s new provost, has stepped into a position is already familiar to him in many ways.

“We have godly men and women serving God here who are experts in their field,” Grubbs said, reflecting on leading his first convocation Sept. 5. “I want to do my very best to help them serve God as best they can. That would be success for me.”

Grubbs, 45, who assumed his new role Aug. 1, has seen the seminary from the vantage point of a master of divinity student; joining the faculty and going through Hurricane Katrina; and associate provost overseeing the extension centers and enrollment management.

Longtime friend Thomas Strong, dean of the seminary’s undergraduate Leavell College, said Grubbs is a “great teacher” and skilled administrator.

“I taught him when he was working toward his M.Div., we were on faculty together in Leavell College, and I was his dean for over 15 years,” Strong said. “Now he is my provost and I couldn’t be happier.”

Grubbs joined the Leavell College faculty in 2000 as an instructor in New Testament and Greek while completing his doctor of philosophy degree at NOBTS. He was elected associate professor of New Testament and Greek after completing his Ph.D. In addition to his M.Div. from NOBTS, he holds a bachelor of arts degree from Union University in Jackson, Tenn. (Read more…)

Abraham Jaquez Named New President of Baptist University of the Americas

Abraham Jaquez was elected president and chief executive officer of the Baptist University of the Américas July 20. He becomes the 8th president in the 70-year history of the school. Jaquez, who begins his duties at BUA Aug. 21, succeeds Réne Maciel, who left the university to serve in a church.

“I am so grateful to the trustees of BUA for placing their trust and confidence in me to lead this great school,” Jaquez said. “BUA stands at a cross-cultural crossroads as a unique Christian university training servant leaders for ministry.

Jaquez, who has served as the ”executive director for Buckner Children and Family Services in Dallas since 2011, brings a broad experience in executive leadership. His skills include development, strategy, general management, personnel and lea dership. While at Buckner, he oversaw all facility business operations, human resources, and oversight of the flagship campus for Buckner International.  He previously worked as a Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) director for 20 years with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Working in cross-cultural environments, he mentored, led, and developed future young Hispanic leaders on the collegiate campus and ministry marketplace. (Read more…)

Alton Lacey Announces Retirement from Missouri Baptist University

After nearly 24 years at the helm of Missouri Baptist University, President. R. Alton Lacey will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year.

Dr. Lacey announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2018, at the quarterly MBU Board of Trustees meeting May 25.

“I do not have the words to adequately express my overwhelming sense of gratitude nor the honor and privilege that is mine for having the opportunity to serve as your president for the past 22 and ½ years,” Lacey said at the Board meeting. “At the end of my tenure, I will greatly miss the MBU students, faculty, staff, trustees and friends who have made up my world for the past third of my life.”

Dr. Lacey is now the longest tenured president in the life of MBU and, for that matter, of any sitting college president in St. Louis. In 1995, he was appointed as president of then-Missouri Baptist College after serving for 18 years as a faculty member and administrator at Louisiana College. Read more…

Union trustees OK academic reorganization creating two new schools

JACKSON, Tenn.April 21, 2017 – Union University trustees at their April 21 meeting approved an academic reorganization for the university that will create the School of Social Work and the School of Adult and Professional Studies, in addition to changing the names of three other schools.

The McAfee School of Business Administration will become the McAfee School of Business, the School of Pharmacy will become the College of Pharmacy and the College of Education and Human Studies will become the College of Education.

The School of Social Work at Union has been a non-degree-granting school under the umbrella of the College of Education and Human Studies. This reorganization makes the School of Social Work its own degree-granting school.

Likewise, the continuing studies department has been a part of the College of Education and Human Studies, but the reorganization separates it from that college.

As part of the creation of the two new schools, trustees approved the appointment of Mary Anne Poe as the founding dean of the School of Social Work and Beverly Absher as the founding dean of the School of Adult and Professional Studies. Read more…

Dr. Jeff Iorg, President of Gateway Seminary, Delivers Talk on Priority of Prayers to Oklahoma Baptist University Students

Campbell UniversityMed School Launches Curriculum Aimed at Fighting Nation’s Opioid Epidemic

Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine launched its Opioid Abuse and Drug Abuse Curriculum in January in response to the nation’s epidemic that kills an average of 78 Americans each day.

North Carolina is home to four of the Top 20 cities in the United States for highest rate of opioid abuse — No. 1 Wilmington, No. 5 Hickory, No. 12 Jacksonville and No. 18 Fayetteville — according to a 2016 study by Castlight Health Inc., a nonprofit health care information company. In 2015 alone, prescription opioids like hydrocodone (used by doctors to treat pain) and illicit drugs like heroin and illegally manufactured pills claimed more than 1,200 lives in North Carolina — a 400-percent increase from 15 years earlier. Read more…

Dr. Linda Livingstone Set to Become Baylor University’s First Female President

Livingstone previously served as Dean and Professor of Management at George Washington University. She will become the first female president in Baylor’s history when she assumes her roles on June 1st.

Livingstone does have time logged in Waco. She served as a professor and associate dean of grad programs for the business school from 1991-2002. The Baylor statement gives much more excellent detail on her experience. Read more…

Louisiana College Faculty Study Importance of Integrating Faith and Learning

PINEVILLE La. (LCNews)–For the third year running, Louisiana College faculty will study and discuss another book that underscores the importance of integrating faith and learning.

Evangelical author Mark Noll’s book “Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind” follows the previous two: “Conceiving the Christian College” by Duane Litfin and “Renewing Minds” by David Dockery. (affiliate links)

Once a month, faculty gather in small, interdisciplinary groups to discuss Noll’s book with a view to gather information and inspiration regarding the integration of the Christian faith into the liberal arts courses they teach.

“We are first grateful for our president, Dr. Rick Brewer, who initiated the study groups when he arrived in 2015,” said Dr. Phil Caples, vice president for the Integration of Faith and Learning. “The books and subsequent discussions have enriched our pedagogy and informed our content as we teach from a Christian worldview.”

Caples believes Noll’s book is another building block for LC’s faculty.

Noll observes:

it has become conventional to think that belief in the Christian story opposes serious commitment to intellectual explorations of the world. There are no good reasons for this opinion. It rests on misreadings of the Christian story and misapprehensions of the intellectual life. That Jesus Christ who saves sinners is the same Christ who beckons his followers to serious use of their minds for serious explorations of the world. It is part of the deepest foundation of Christian reality — it is an important part of understandings of who Jesus is and what he accomplishes — to study the world, the human structures found in the world, the human experiences of the world, and the humans who experience the world. Nothing intrinsic in that study should drive a person away from Jesus Christ. Much that is intrinsic in Jesus Christ should drive a person to that study (p. 41).

Under President Brewer’s leadership, LC faculty have produced two editions of “Faith Matters,” a collection of essays regarding the importance of integrating the Christian faith and a liberal arts education. Their third edition will be published later this fall.

“In addition to enhancing our approach to faith integration, these books and study groups have engendered an even stronger sense of community and camaraderie among our faculty,” Brewer said. “I deeply appreciate all of our faculty, who regard Christian higher education as a calling and not merely a career.  Their commitment to our vision of Preparing Graduate & Transforming Lives continues to make the vision a reality.”

Williams Baptist College Gains New Status and New Name

There is a new U coming to Arkansas.  Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge announced Wednesday that, starting next fall, it will be known as Williams Baptist University.

“This is a monumental day in the history of this institution, reflecting a major step forward.  Williams has provided an outstanding, Christian higher education for the past 76 years, and being known as Williams Baptist University will help us to advance our programs even further,” said WBC President Dr. Tom Jones.

Jones made the announcement in WBC’s Manley Chapel, before students, faculty and staff.  Standing alongside him were elected officials, denominational leaders and Williams trustees, as well as WBC cheerleaders.

“The name Williams Baptist University captures the academic excellence and diversity that have long been a part of Williams,” Jones commented. (Read more…)

Ouachita Reaches 17.9% Increase in Freshman Class Size

Welcoming 448 first-time freshmen to campus this fall – a 17.9 percent gain over the previous year’s incoming class – Ouachita Baptist University marked one of its largest year-to-year freshman class increases in recent history.

“The significant growth reflects a surge in middle-income families as well as stronger ACT and GPA scores, reflecting our commitments to affordability and excellence,” said President Ben Sells. “Students are attracted to Ouachita’s Christian liberal arts mission, personalized approach and high-impact learning that contribute to exceptional graduate school acceptance and job placement rates.”

Ouachita’s growth is noteworthy since “the current higher education landscape is challenging,” said Wes Butterfield, vice president of Ruffalo Noel Levitz, a leading higher education consulting firm. “Nationally, we are finding that flat enrollment is the new up for many campuses. When an institution like Ouachita has a 17.9 percent increase, there are a number of positive factors at play.”

Ouachita’s total fall enrollment of 1,545 students compares to 1,517 last year. Top majors among incoming freshmen include biology, business administration, communications, kinesiology and psychology as well as Christian studies and elementary education. Two-thirds of incoming students are from Arkansas and 22 percent are from Texas. (Read more…)

Union University’s E.D.G.E. Program for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Graduates Its First Class With A 100% Employment Rate

From The Jackson Sun

Union University’s E.D.G.E. program for young adults with intellectual disabilities is graduating its first class this month — with a 100 percent employment rate.

E.D.G.E. stands for employment training, daily living skills, godly focus and educational enrichment — the four core values the program is based upon.

The program stems from the Think College Initiative that was started at the University of Massachusetts-Boston in an effort to offer more options in post-secondary education for people with intellectual disabilities, Union E.D.G.E. program director Jennifer Graves said.

Dallas Baptist University Launches Executive MBA Program

Dallas, TX – Dallas Baptist University recently announced its new Executive MBA program, an advanced degree designed to develop individuals who have the knowledge and capability to take on leadership roles in multiple settings across a breadth of industries and organizations.

Housed in the College of Professional Studies, DBU’s EMBA provides an environment where working professionals can advance their leadership skills while sharing ideas and experiences with business and academic colleagues. DBU’s EMBA offers one of the most effective and efficient programs designed to meet the needs of working professionals. Our four semester, 32 hour degree utilizes the knowledge already gained from previous leadership experience and integrates executive level critical thinking and skills development over sixteen courses that develop the whole leader.

For more information about the EMBA, please contact Jeremy Vickers, Dean of the College of Professional Studies, at jeremyv@dbu.edu.

Jairy Hunter to Transition to President Emeritus at Charleston-Southern

The Board of Trustees announced today that Dr. Jairy C. Hunter, Jr. will transition from the President of Charleston Southern University to President Emeritus on May 31, 2018 after 34 years of service. Over the past two years, the Board of Trustees and President Hunter have collaborated and developed a Succession Plan to ensure that the University continues to thrive and operate smoothly. Beginning June 1, 2018, as President Emeritus, Dr. Hunter will provide consulting and assistance in key areas such as strategic planning, external relations, resource development, enrollment and financial affairs. Additionally, he will continue to teach in the graduate school School of Business.

Chairman of the Board, Dr. Jerry Williams, expressed appreciation to Dr. Hunter and First Lady, Sissy, for an exemplary job in leading the University for over three decades. “Dr. Hunter’s visionary leadership, tireless dedication and unwavering commitment to Christian higher education literally has transformed CSU into one of the best Christian Universities in the country,” declared Dr. Williams. Read more…