Jamie Dew said two words come to his mind when he thinks of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary — hope and favor.
“I entered into this job three years ago and one week,” said Dew, NOBTS president, during his report to the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting June 15. “And when I came into this job, I was excited, I was passionate, but most of all I felt in my heart a great and deep sense of hope because of what I saw on our campus and in our city.”
He said he saw a school “perfectly positioned and situated to train up ministers of the gospel for this particular moment.”
Three years in, Dew still has that hope “only in greater measures today.”
Grateful for ‘favor’
“When I think about the work God has done over the past three years, I don’t know how else to explain it or to describe it to you other than to say I sense God’s favor upon us,” he said.
In the past six months, NOBTS has on-ramped more missionaries to the International Mission Board than in the last five years combined, Dew said.
He said he’s grateful for that, and he’s also grateful for the seminary’s friends.
“This year has been the greatest year in fundraising that we have ever had,” he said. “Donors have come from far and near to catch the vision of what God is doing at NOBTS and join us in that work to help fund what we are doing.”
The staff has also been “expanded and amplified” in recent years. More than half of the faculty serve in vocational ministry in local churches, and more than 100 serve in church plants in the city, Dew said.
Sharing the gospel
And the seminary’s students are a group of people who “love Christ and want to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “This year, our students that we know of have shared the gospel 11,724 times. They’ve led 1,120 people to faith in Jesus Christ.”
Since 2014 when NOBTS started new initiatives, students have led 10,323 people to faith.
“One day I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren not of moments we saw programs fixed or buildings renovated but I will be able to tell them about those times when God Himself showed up and did a work in our hearts and in our midst,” he said.
Following the morning session in which Dew gave his report, NOBTS held its Alumni & Friends Luncheon, during which Dew gave a state of the seminary address. Those in attendance also heard from Greg Wilton, the new dean of Leavell College, and Greg Mathias, director of the new Global Mission Center.
They also honored Steve Lemke, longtime provost and vice president of institutional assessment, as he retires.
For more stories from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, visit thebaptistpaper.org/sbc2022.