UPDATE — This story has been adjusted to reflect Adam Greenway’s announcement earlier Wednesday (Sept. 28) that he has decided not to accept a position at the International Mission Board. See Greenway’s full statement below.
Acknowledging “serious financial issues” at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, O.S. Hawkins and David S. Dockery have agreed to provide joint leadership for SWBTS during the interim period. This latest update follows Adam Greenway’s Sept. 22 resignation as president.
Following a special-called meeting of the board of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chairman Danny Roberts announced Tuesday (Sept. 27) that Dockery will serve as interim president, while Hawkins will serve as senior adviser and ambassador-at-large, SWBTS reported in a news release.
The actions of the board come within five days of them accepting Greenway’s resignation and inviting Hawkins to serve as acting president. The board met in executive session on Sept. 27 via video conference, the seminary said.
Seeking a ‘more strategic option’
Following the initial announcement, Hawkins asked the board to consider a “more strategic option” in order to address the “combination of external and internal challenges facing the seminary” at this time.
“While I am honored and humbled at the invitation of the trustees to become the interim president of Southwestern, I feel my best efforts in piloting and positioning the seminary on its conservative course for the future are better served by giving attention to matters of general oversight, vision and direction, and also shoring up our various and valuable outside constituencies,” he said.
As interim president, SWBTS reported, Dockery will oversee the daily aspects of leading the faculty, staff and students. As senior adviser and ambassador-at-large, Hawkins will provide general oversight of the institution. Hawkins noted he and Dockery will “work together in tandem as important decisions present themselves in the future.”
“This will free me to use my best gifts to help guide the direction of the seminary,” he noted, “and allow me to focus on donor relations, student recruitment, church and denominational relationships, and overall help to steer the seminary on a solid conservative course for the future.”
Hawkins added, “It is no secret that the seminary has serious financial challenges and going forward we will be giving oversight to aggressively manage costs and implementing best business practices with the intent to move our school to a more solid financial footing.”
Dockery currently serves as distinguished professor of theology at Southwestern. He will bring to this interim role nearly four decades of experience in Christian higher education, including nearly half of that time as president at Union University.
Both Dockery and Hawkins are graduates of Southwestern and both are the recipients of distinguished alumni recognitions from the seminary.
Change of plans
Meanwhile, Greenway shared earlier Wednesday (Sept. 28) on social media that he has decided not to accept the IMB’s offer to bring him on staff, which was announced the same day as his resignation:
“Carla and I are grateful for the many expressions of care and concern that have come our way since our transition from service at SWBTS was first announced. While we initially thought our path would take us to [IMB] we have not been able to find the Lord’s peace to move forward in that direction. We covet your prayers for ourselves and for our children as we seek the Lord’s direction regarding His next vocational assignment for us.”