Reports came out this morning that Billy Graham School Dean, Adam Greenway, will be nominated to serve as the next president of Southwestern Seminary to be elected at a special meeting of the SWBTS board, Feb 26-27. You can read the press release here. I affirm the work of the search committee and I believe Dr. Greenway will make an excellent president at Southwestern.
The Baptist Press article notes several qualities about Dr. Greenway that led the committee in selecting him. The search committee describes Greenway as “a man of impeccable character who demonstrates kindness and humility in his dealings with others, a leader who surrounds himself with talented people and allows them to work within their giftedness, a bridge builder in the Southern Baptist Convention, and a true scholar with a heart for missions and evangelism.” He is likewise described as “a committed evangelist, serious scholar, and proven administrator.” In my own experience with Dr. Greenway, I would agree with these assessments.
Greenway has been a friend of Indiana where I serve, encouraging both large and small churches through his preaching and teaching ministry. As a fellow student and colleague, he has always been encouraging to me, challenging me both to trust the Lord and to pursue His mission. I have known him to be both a scholar of the highest caliber, a faithful minister, and a godly man.
What really excites me about Greenway leading Southwestern is his view of theological education and its place in advancing the mission of Christ. Dr. Greenway has a philosophy of higher education that upholds both the values of academic rigor and excellence with the practical ministry and mission of the church. His desire is to see the gospel of Jesus proclaimed and Great Commission fulfilled. Theological education is not an end in itself but a servant of that mission. Greenway, in my assessment, is a missionary scholar. These qualities fit well into the Southwestern mold.
In addition, if Southwestern is to continue its legacy as a premier institution of theological education, not only in the SBC but in the wider Christian community, it will take the kind of leadership that I believe Adam Greenway will provide. Greenway has an excellent grasp on the current status theological education and its trajectory. Almost every academic institution is facing a decline in the demand for their product, and even healthy organizations are having to adjust in the massive shifts in the higher education “market”. In order to navigate these changes, it will require a visionary leader who not only sees clearly the obstacles ahead, but also can navigate a clear path forward. The trustees are convinced that Dr. Greenway is that leader.
Greenway has prepared himself to lead through these cultural shifts and has demonstrated the ability to do that at SBTS through leading in structural changes there. Anecdotally, in my own conversations with Dr. Greenway, he is always looking forward, always full of hope and optimism, always visionary, and always desiring to please the Lord and advance His mission.
For all these reasons and more, I believe Adam Greenway is an excellent candidate for the next president of Southwestern Seminary.