Todd Still named Truett Seminary dean

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WACO—New Testament scholar Todd Still has been named dean of Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary, effective June 1.

Still, 49, will become the fifth dean of Truett Seminary, where he has served on the faculty since 2003. 

todd still200Todd Still has been named dean of Truett Theological Seminary.He succeeds David Garland, who stepped down from the dean’s post last June when he became Baylor’s interim provost. Garland plans to return to Truett as professor of Christian Scriptures when the university’s new provost, Edwin Trevathan, takes office this summer.

Baylor President Ken Starr announced Still’s appointment after a six-month national search for a seminary dean.

“As a brilliant scholar of the New Testament, Dr. Still is widely recognized in the academy for the quality of his research and writing,” Starr said.

“At the same time, Dr. Still has maintained a strong commitment to educating ministers to lead the church in Texas and beyond while he has personally served Baptist churches in transition as a preaching pastor. He is a forward-thinking leader who cares deeply about Texas Baptists and Texas Baptist life.”

Still has served as interim preaching pastor at First Baptist Church in Midland since early January. Previous interim pastorates include First Baptist in College Station and First Baptist in Marlin.

‘Deep commitment to scripture’

Starr expressed confidence Still “will continue to build upon Truett Seminary’s outstanding reputation for its deep commitment to Scripture, excellence, leadership and service.” 

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Still, the William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett, said he felt “both humbled and honored” to be chosen as the seminary’s dean.

“As dean, I look forward to joining hands with colleagues and churches in preparing students for ministry in Christ’s name both within and beyond Texas,” he said. “I am deeply committed to the vital work of theological education and ministerial formation that takes place at Truett and am convinced that there are great things in store for our seminary community as we lean into God’s good future.”

Larry Lyon, vice provost and dean of the graduate school at Baylor University, chaired the eight-member search committee that recommended Still. 

“Todd was already well known and highly regarded by all of us on the search committee,” Lyon said. “His strong letters of support and his outstanding performance throughout the interview process reinforced our perception that he could lead Truett ably and effectively.”

In an email to alumni and supporters of Truett Seminary, Lyon hailed Still as “a trusted colleague and strong advocate for Truett for many years.”

“I am thrilled that he will now bring his considerable experience and skills to the role of dean, leading the seminary toward even greater heights,” Lyon wrote.

Support from pastors

Several Texas Baptist pastors with strong ties to Baylor University voiced support for Still.

“Todd Still is an impeccable scholar who will only solidify Truett Seminary’s already fine reputation in the academic community,” said Dennis Wiles, pastor of First Baptist Church of Arlington and a BGCT-elected member of the Baylor board of regents. 

“As a Texas Baptist, I could not be more pleased with his selection as the new dean. He is not just a scholar, but a true churchman who loves our churches. As a lifelong Texas Baptist, he feels called to help prepare men and women to serve our churches. Texas Baptists in particular and the greater Baptist family will benefit from his leadership at the helm of our flagship seminary.” 

Still possesses the combination of “a keen intellect and tremendous people skills,” said Howard Batson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Amarillo and former Baylor regent chair.

“Todd Still understands that Truett exists to serve the church, to train leaders for local churches and to partner with Texas Baptists for the cause of Christ,” Batson said. 

“Dr. Still is gifted with a keen intellect and tremendous people skills. Working with Truett’s outstanding faculty, Dean Still will guide Truett with a new vision and yet honor Truett’s heritage and history.” 

Still works well both in church and academic settings, said Duane Brooks, pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and a former Baylor regent.

“He ministers so well to students at Truett and then advocates for them mightily as candidates for ministry throughout our state. I believe Todd is well-placed to lead our great faculty at Truett to train the pastors who will shepherd the churches in the state of Texas,” Brooks said.

Preparation and service

Still earned his undergraduate degree in Greek and sociology from Baylor in 1988, graduating summa cum laude. He earned a master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He completed additional graduate study at Cambridge University and the University of St. Andrews, and he served as an honorary university fellow at the University of Exeter in England in 2008.

Before joining the Truett faculty, he taught at Dallas Baptist University from 1995 to 2000 and at Gardner-Webb University’s School of Divinity in Boiling Springs, N.C., from 2000 to 2003. He has written three biblical commentaries—and been commissioned to write two more—along with multiple articles both for scholarly and popular publications. 

He served three terms as faculty regent on the Baylor board and was chair of the Baylor Faculty Senate in 2012-2013. 

He and his wife, Carolyn, have two sons—Samuel, a freshman at Baylor, and Andrew, a high school sophomore. They are members of First Baptist Church in Waco.

With reporting by Lori Fogleman of Baylor University 

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