Abilene Christian University announces the opening of The Center for Baptist Studies as part of the Graduate School of Theology (GST). Dr. Myles Werntz, presently the T. B. Maston Chair of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology at Logsdon School of Theology, will be named the first Director of the Center for Baptist Studies. Dr. Werntz has nearly ten years of experience teaching in Baptist seminaries, as well as long-standing relationships with Baptist organizations and churches regionally and nationally. He is a tenured Associate Professor at Hardin-Simmons University and the author and editor of five books in theology and ethics. In addition to courses in Baptist theology, ethics, and ecclesiology, he will serve as a professor in the GST and will teach general classes in theology and ethics.
The Center for Baptist Studies will offer a concentration in Baptist Studies that includes two courses—Baptist History, and Baptist Theology and Polity. Additionally, the Center will provide vocational discernment and mentoring to Baptist students. Working closely with Baptist ministry partners, the Center will also facilitate field education placements.
The GST is deeply grateful for this opportunity to partner with and serve west Texas Baptist churches that have a longstanding relationship with a regional seminary. The mission of the GST is to equip men and women for effective missional leadership for ministry in all its forms and to provide strong academic foundations for theological inquiry. The Center for Baptist Studies will both participate in the GST’s mission and complement its services for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Given the well-established cordial relationship between ACU’s Graduate School of Theology and HSU’s Logsdon School of Theology, the opening of the new Center can provide a natural transition for current Logsdon students looking for a regional seminary in west Texas after its closing.
The Baptist Studies Center will serve not only to help students prepare for ministry, but will serve as a resource for churches throughout the region and beyond. The Center is available to help churches locate resources for ministry, to work through issues of church life. As our mission increases, we hope to also provide workshops and other educational opportunities for ministers.
In an age of fewer resources and more need, it is more and more essential for ministers to learn how to join together across denominational lines for the sake of the Kingdom of God. The Baptist Studies Center offers the opportunity to not only recover the specific gifts of Baptist history and theology, but to do so in the company of other members of Christ’s body.