David S. Dockery was officially installed as the 10th president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary during an investiture ceremony that was part of the institution’s Aug. 22 convocation service.
Board of Trustees Chairman Jonathan Richard asked Dockery — who was elected president by the seminary’s board of trustees in April — to serve Southern Baptists and the evangelical community by “prioritizing the equipping of pastors, missionaries, worship leaders, teachers and educators, counselors and evangelists, as well as age group ministers.”
In his convocation address following the ceremony, Dockery spoke about “the basics of theological education with particular reference to our work here at Southwestern.”
“I believe our focus today needs to be on the renewal of our understanding of and commitment to our primary mission of providing theological education, which encourages the Great Commandment and the fulfillment of the Great Commission,” he said.
Reclaiming the work
Dockery, who also serves as distinguished professor of theology, noted “Southwestern exists to serve the churches and we carry out this work primarily as the church’s teaching arm.”
Theological educators, Dockery said, “must seek to reclaim the work of doing theology as an aspect of our overall purpose for the mission of the church, for the role of the pattern of Christian truth has served such a shaping role since the church’s earliest generations.”
Dockery, a 1981 master of divinity graduate of Southwestern, was the 2002 recipient of the seminary’s distinguished alumni award.
He has served at Southwestern since 2019. A distinguished Baptist theologian and author, Dockery is the president emeritus of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, where he served as president from 1996–2014.
Dockery also served as the president of Trinity International University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (2014–2019).
Dockery previously served churches in his native Alabama, Texas, and New York. He and his wife of 48 years, Lanese, have three grown sons and eight grandchildren.
Dockery’s entire message can be viewed here.
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