FORT WORTH (BP)—Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s presidential search committee unanimously selected Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, as their nominee to fill the presidential vacancy.
The search committee will bring Greenway’s nomination to the full trustee board for a vote during a called meeting Feb. 26–27.
If elected, he will succeed Paige Patterson, who served as president until May 2018. The board removed Patterson as president in response to Patterson’s comments about spousal abuse and women but initially named him president emeritus. The board’s executive committee subsequently stripped Patterson of all titles and benefits after new information emerged about how he handled rape allegations at a seminary where he served previously.
Greenway, 41, has served in a variety of denominational leadership roles, including vice chairman of the Evangelism Task Force, president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, trustee and board chairman for LifeWay Christian Resources and current chairman of the SBC Committee on Order of Business.
Greenway, native of Frostproof, Fla., is dean of the Billy Graham School and associate professor of evangelism and apologetics at Southern Seminary. Since becoming dean in 2013, Greenway has led the Billy Graham School to become the largest graduate school at any Southern Baptist seminary with more than 2,100 students currently enrolled.
“We came to know Adam 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,” said Danny Roberts, chairman of the presidential search committee
Appointed in August 2018 by Kevin Ueckert, chairman of Southwestern Seminary’s board of trustees, the nine-member search committee was composed of men and women from diverse racial, cultural and geographic backgrounds. The committee reviewed dozens of recommendations, resumes and questionnaires from a diverse field of candidates.
‘Come home’ to Southwestern
“Carla and I are deeply humbled and honored by the invitation of the presidential search committee to be considered to come home to Southwestern Seminary,” said Greenway, who earned his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Seminary. He earned his undergraduate degree from Samford University and his doctorate in evangelism and apologetics from Southern Seminary.
“From the time I first enrolled as a student there now 20 years ago this year, my life has been indelibly impacted by Southwestern. I was blessed to study under a faculty that included Roy Fish, Malcolm McDow, James Leo Garrett, Bill Tolar, Curtis Vaughn, and more—some of the greatest professors ever to teach at any SBC seminary,” Greenway said.
“Ever since that first moment I was pronounced a ‘Southwesterner,’ I have felt a deep and abiding love for my alma mater. I believe the best days of Southwestern Seminary are ahead of us, and I am committed to training and sending out the next generation of God-called men and women for gospel-service around the world.”
Greenway met his wife, Carla, when they both were students at Southwestern Seminary. They have been married since 2003 and have two children, Wade, 9, and Caroline, 3.
Greenway has co-edited two books—The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Time and Evangelicals Engaging Emergent: A Discussion of the Emergent Church Movement—and has contributed to several others.
Under his leadership, the Billy Graham School has experienced record enrollment. When he was appointed dean in 2013, the school had 1,381 total students, 501 of which were Master of Divinity degree students. Today, there are 2,138 total students and 994 students in the Master of Divinity degree program.
At age 34, Greenway was elected chairman of LifeWay Christian Resources’ board of trustees, becoming the youngest trustee chairman in LifeWay’s history. He also served as an assistant parliamentarian for the SBC since 2016, vice-chairman of the 2017 SBC Committee on Nominations, and is the current chairman of the SBC Committee on Order of Business.
In 2011, he was elected president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, becoming the youngest person ever to serve in that role. He also served as parliamentarian of the KBC since 2010 and was elected to deliver the 2018 convention sermon.
In addition to his denominational service, Greenway has served as pastor and/or interim pastor of a dozen churches across Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and Florida.
“For the past 16 years, I have had the privilege of seeing Adam Greenway’s life and ministry up close. I was his pastor, served under him as a professor, worked closely alongside of him in our roles with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, and drove his son to school every morning in our carpool,” said Paul Chitwood, former Kentucky Baptist Convention executive director-treasurer and newly installed president of the International Mission Board.
“Adam is one of the most intelligent persons I know, preaches with the passion of a frontier evangelist, is thoroughly Southern Baptist, believes in and models Cooperative Program giving, and has a proven track record of success as a leader.”
Based on reporting by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary communications office, with additional reporting by Managing Editor Ken Camp.