Louisville—Veteran preaching professor Robert Vogel enters retirement after 12 years of faithful service to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and 37 years of teaching in the classroom.
Faculty and administrators gathered to celebrate Vogel’s retirement from Southern Seminary on May 12. Attendees included Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr., Vogel’s fellow members at Highview Baptist Church, colleagues, friends and family.
Mohler recalled when he first heard about Vogel: “The more I looked at what Bob Vogel had already done and already accomplished, and what I came to know that Bob Vogel believed and taught, that’s was exactly what we needed.”
The first book Vogel ever read on preaching was John Broadus’ “A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons,” and he later completed a master’s-level thesis on the Southern Seminary co-founder. In honor of his historical mentor, the seminary presented Vogel with a portrait of Broadus at the retirement luncheon.
He also received from his wife a replica of the Abstract of Principles—the seminary’s confession of faith which all elected faculty sign—including his signature.
“Looking back on these 12 years God has given us here, it was absolutely the right decision,” his wife, Kathy, explained at the retirement luncheon. “It has been a very big honor for us to be here and I know that Bob has tremendously appreciated being able to serve students, to fellowship with his colleagues and most of all to serve under Dr. Mohler.”
Vogel has cultivated a love for preaching for more than 60 years. He cannot remember a time when he did not know God had called him into ministry.
“As a first grader, I can remember coming home from church and I would go in my bedroom and I would preach my heart out,” he said. “It probably wasn’t too substantive, but it was passionate.”
Vogel taught preaching at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, teaching Southern Seminary professors Thomas Schreiner and Michael Pohlman during his time there, in addition to working alongside Bruce Ware and Gregg Allison, who now teach at Southern.
“Dr. Vogel not only models great competency in the craft of preaching, but the highest level of character,” said Pohlman, assistant professor of Christian preaching. “His godliness combined with his gifting make him an extraordinary preacher and teacher. (He is) the man God has used perhaps more than anyone in my life to nurture in me a love for preaching and the Christ we proclaim.”
After 25 years at Western, Vogel was offered a full-time teaching position at Southern and his family moved to Louisville, where he has served as the Carl E. Bates Professor of Christian Preaching since 2003.
Vogel says he desires to continue serving as long as he has the capability: “To preach is to proclaim Christ,” he said, referencing Colossians 1:28, “admonishing every man and teaching them with all wisdom that all would be presented complete in him.” (SBTS)