BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Adam W. Greenway delivered the report for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for the first time as its ninth person, using the opportunity to present his "big-tent" vision for the seminary.
Before doing so, however, Greenway first took time to say a special "thank you" to the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention.
"Thank you for what you have done for so many years through the generous and sacrificial giving through your local, visible, New Testament churches through the Cooperative Program.... Every dollar that comes to our seminaries is a dollar we do not have to charge our students in tuition," he said.
"And I want you to know my prayer is that we will continue to see a strengthening of our Cooperative Program giving and our partnership together, because in every one of our seminaries, including our seminary in Fort Worth, if Jesus tarries, we are training your grandchildren's pastors, and we want those pastors to be debt-free; we want them to have every opportunity to succeed, wherever God may call them."
Greenway then laid out his "big-tent" vision, which consists of four pillars – that is, four commitments and convictions that characterize the seminary: a high view of Scripture; confessional fidelity to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000; the Great Commission; and cooperation.
Greenway clarified this is not a new vision but rather a reinvigoration of the vision of B.H. Carroll, Southwestern's founder. Greenway noted, for example, that Carroll started the first chair of evangelism in any seminary, "the Chair of Fire," originally occupied by L.R. Scarborough, later the seminary's second president.
"Our seminary has had a passion from the very beginning not just to know the Word of God, but to help people encounter Jesus in a saving way," Greenway said. "Because at the end of the day, what matters is our efforts and labors to do everything we can to take as many sons and daughters to glory as we possibly can, and if we fail in the area of evangelism, then we fail everywhere. Our passion, our joy is seeing people come to Christ, beginning right in Tarrant County, Texas, and going to the nations."
Greenway concluded his report by acknowledging that Southwestern Seminary, like other institutions, has historically fallen short of certain expectations, but that "it is our resolve to do better."
"I have had a longstanding love and gratitude for Southwestern Seminary," Greenway said, noting that he first came to the campus as a student 20 years ago this summer.
"As the first alumnus in 25 years to sit in the president's chair, I am committed to doing everything I can to see our seminary flourish – not for our name's sake; not so people will know Adam Greenway's name or even Southwestern Seminary's name, but so that they will know the life-changing power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and [so that] the glory of God will be seen in Fort Worth, Texas, and to the nations."
Written by Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.