New PhD Director announced at Southeastern

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Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary recently announced that Dr. Andreas Köstenberger has accepted the position of Southeastern’s first Research Professor. 

Köstenberger received his Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and currently serves as Senior Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern. He also serves as editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is the author, editor or translator of over 25 books and numerous other scholarly publications.

Dr. Köstenberger joined the faculty of Southeastern in the fall of 1996, the year after the Ph.D. program was established. In the fall of 2000, Köstenberger was appointed Associate Director of Ph.D./Th.M. Studies. In January 2001, President Paige Patterson appointed him Director of Ph.D./Th.M. Studies. In 2006, a separate Director was appointed for the Th.M. Program, and Köstenberger remained as Director of Ph.D. Studies.

Although his teaching responsibilities will continue, this newly established position will give him more time for research and writing, editing responsibilities, the opportunity to mentor doctoral students and more flexibility to represent Southeastern Seminary in a number of other venues.  

One of Dr. Köstenberger’s most lasting contributions to the Ph.D. program has come in the establishment of several modified residency Ph.Ds. In 2008, the Ph.D. in Applied Theology with a concentration in Missions was launched using a delivery format that allows IMB personnel and others serving overseas to earn a Ph.D. while serving on the field. Due to this concentration and a few others, the Ph.D. program has grown from approximately ninety students in 2008 to the current level of about 140 students.

Today, Southeastern’s Ph.D. degree is sought after by many pursuing their calling in academia, in the local church and in cross-cultural ministry. Together with the other doctoral programs at Southeastern, the Ph.D. program, with its fifteen different concentrations and its four modified residency options, offers rigorous academic training for those who aspire to leadership positions in biblical, theological and applied fields. 

Because of Dr. Köstenberger’s new position as Research Professor, Southeastern is also happy to announce that Dr. Heath Thomas will assume the position of Director of the Ph.D. program. Since 2007, Thomas has been a very popular Old Testament and Hebrew professor at Southeastern. 

Thomas received his M.A. in Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Old Testament from the University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK. He has established himself as a teacher and scholar. His publications and scholarly conference participation are outstanding. He has written books and articles on Lamentations and Habakkuk and has edited books and written chapters and articles in a vast array of subjects drawing on his background of the Hebrew Scriptures. He is active in his local church and in mission outreach, and lives a life that exemplifies his commitment to Christ and to the Great Commission. 

With these new changes at Southeastern, the institution will continue to aim to fulfill the Great Commission by equipping men and women to engage in scholarship at the highest level, seeking to serve the church by ensuring doctrinal integrity and equipping the next generation of church leaders.

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