FORT WORTH, Texas—Adam W. Greenway, the newly elected president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, says his passion and priority as president is “to serve pastors and to serve churches, to equip the next generation of pastors and missionaries and evangelists and church staff members, to see a more faithful ministry everywhere.”
Following his election by Southwestern’s board of trustees during a special called meeting, Feb. 27, Greenway answered questions via a press conference with various media outlets, who inquired about his vision for Southwestern and its distinctives among the Southern Baptist seminaries.
“Southwestern Seminary is not just a president or an administrative team, but a faculty, a staff, an alumni base—a community of people working together to push back the darkness of lostness so that the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may shine for all people,” Greenway said. “That is who we are, that is what we are about.
“Southwestern was the original Great Commission seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our heritage and our roots run so deep. And as somebody who is an heir of that heritage and desires to be a perpetuator of that legacy, it is my hope and my commitment that we will do everything we can to help see our seminary flourish.”
Greenway also asked that prayers be lifted up for himself, his wife Carla, and for the seminary itself. “We desire nothing less than to see a movement of God beginning right here on Seminary Hill,” he said. “And it will begin as everything begins: with prayerfulness, with an utter sense of dependence upon the Lord, with a confession of our inadequacy for the task, and with the desire that the hand of God’s favor would fall upon us afresh and anew, as has happened so many times in this rich and vibrant history of Southwestern Seminary.”
Greenway, a Southwestern graduate (Master of Divinity, 2002), returns to the Fort Worth campus from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where he served as dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry and as William Walker Brookes Associate Professor of Evangelism and Apologetics. Other denominational leadership roles include vice chairman of the Evangelism Task Force (2018), president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention (2011-2012), trustee and board chairman for LifeWay Christian Resources (2005-2015), and current chairman of the SBC Committee on Order of Business.
During the special called trustee meeting, at the recommendation of the seminary’s Presidential Search Committee, Greenway was elected as Southwestern’s ninth president, as well as professor of evangelism and apologetics.
“God has provided all of us a unique blessing to be part of a moment like this, and it’s our belief that this is the beginning of many more moments of sensing the Lord’s work, His presence, and His purpose,” said trustee chair Kevin Ueckert. “… I could not have been more blessed walking through the process with the search committee with Dr. Greenway and Carla. And having grown to know both of them in this recent past, I have grown to love Dr. Greenway and am so excited about what he is going to bring to our seminary family and his leadership of trusting the Lord in leading us to great days ahead.”
J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, echoes this sentiment. “It encourages me to hear that my friend, and current Committee on Order of Business chairman, Adam Greenway is elected as Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s new president,” Greear says. “Greenway describes his vision as ‘scholarship on fire.’ That combination will serve Southwestern well—as will Greenway, who is, above all, a servant.”
Greenway first came to Southwestern following his 1998 graduation from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. Here, he met his wife Carla, whom he married in 2003, the year after both graduated from the seminary (Carla completed a Master of Arts in Christian education in 2002). They now have two children, Wade (9) and Caroline (3). Greenway later earned his Ph.D. from Southern Seminary, as well as a Master of Nonprofit Administration degree at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.
Greenway became widely known in Southern Baptist circles as a committed evangelist, serious scholar, and proven administrator. He has co-edited two books—The Great Commission Resurgence: Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Time and Evangelicals Engaging Emergent: A Discussion of the Emergent Church Movement—and has contributed to several others.
Under his leadership, the Billy Graham School experienced record enrollment. When he was appointed dean in 2013, the school had 1,381 total students, 501 of which were M.Div. students. Today, there are 2,138 total students and 994 M.Div. students.
Before his time as dean of the Billy Graham School, Greenway served in other administrative roles at Southern Seminary, providing him with a unique set of experiences in academic administration from which he will be able to draw in his new role. In his interviews with Southwestern’s search committee, Greenway demonstrated an unparalleled grasp of the complexities involved in running an academic institution, the committee noted.
“The search for the ninth president of Southwestern Seminary from its inception was bathed in prayer,” says Danny Roberts, chairman of the Presidential Search Committee. “We crafted a profile with input from our committee, the full board of trustees, and the professors, students and staff of Southwestern Seminary.
“We came to know Adam Greenway as a man of impeccable character who demonstrates kindness and humility in his dealings with others, a leader who surrounds himself with talented people and allows them to work within their giftedness, a bridge builder in the Southern Baptist Convention, and a true scholar with a heart for missions and evangelism.”
“Ever since that first moment I was pronounced a ‘Southwesterner,’ I have felt a deep and abiding love for my alma mater,” Greenway says. “I believe the best days of Southwestern Seminary are ahead of us, and I am committed to training and sending out the next generation of God-called men and women for Gospel service around the world.” (SWBTS)