Yesterday, the trustees at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary elected my friend and colleague, Dr. Jamie Dew, as their ninth president. We will miss him at Southeastern Seminary, but I’m incredibly excited for Dr. Dew, his family, and the NOBTS family. Here’s why:
- Jamie loves the Lord. I’ve had the privilege of watching him grow as a dean and academician over the last seven years, but it’s been his increasingly deep walk with the Lord that has most caught my attention. He understands that we’re privileged to do what we do only by the grace of God.
- He’s a great family man. He and his wife Tara are doing a phenomenal job raising their kids. They will not only bring life and love to their new campus, but they’ll also serve as role models for students raising their own children.
- He’s a brilliant scholar. I don’t know many leaders (seminarians included) who have two earned PhD degrees. Jamie has worked hard to learn his discipline, and his several published works show his intellect.
- He wants to make an eternal difference. The Great Commission matters to him. Titles and recognition don’t. He humbly wants to lead NOBTS to continue to make a difference in their city, their state, North America, and the world.
- He’s fun. Jamie is the unique combination of scholarship and joy. He’ll make you think in one moment and have you laughing aloud in the next. I’m convinced one reason the Lord brought me to SEBTS was to have Jamie teach me how to relax while we did our work together.
There’s one more reason, though, that I’m excited about this move—and that is that Southeastern gets to send Jamie and his family out to this new work. All of our seminaries are called to train and send out our graduates, but we don’t always rejoice when our best administrators and faculty members depart for other institutions. It’s just hard to release our best.
On the other hand, we call our students to be willing to sacrifice much to go to the nations—and we challenge parents and grandparents to send out their own with ongoing prayer and committed support. We encourage pastors to send out their best interns, their best leaders, their best students, and even their best givers to plant healthy churches around our continent. We must stand by that same commitment even when the Lord calls our friends and faculty away.
At Southeastern, “I am going” is a theme for all that we do in a seminary whose motto is “Every classroom a Great Commission classroom.” If we can’t genuinely rejoice when God calls our best to lead another institution in His work, our supposed commitment to the Great Commission is in name only.
So, go with our deep gratitude and full support, Dr. Dew. Help us reach our neighbors and the nations through NOBTS!