Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Adam Greenway resigns, joins IMB

Adam W. Greenway is president of Southwestern Seminary and Scarborough College and professor of evangelism and apologetics.
Adam W. Greenway is president of Southwestern Seminary and Scarborough College and professor of evangelism and apologetics. | Facebook/Adam W. Greenway

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has accepted the resignation of Adam Greenway after serving as president of the Fort Worth, Texas-based Southern Baptist academic institution for over three years following the firing of his predecessor, Paige Patterson. 

SWBTS' Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees met Thursday and accepted Greenway's resignation, according to a statement released by the seminary on Friday.

Greenway will move on to a position with the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board. Southern Baptist leader O.S. Hawkins will serve as acting president. Hawkins is the president-emeritus of Guidestone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention and an SWBTS alumnus.

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The board of trustees will appoint a presidential search committee during its next meeting scheduled for Oct. 17-18, according to the announcement.

Executive Committee Chairman Danny Roberts expressed his "deepest appreciation" for Greenway's "more than three and one-half years of service to his alma mater."

"He came to Southwestern Seminary during a difficult time of transition and has worked tirelessly to lead the institution to serve well the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention," Roberts said.

"President Greenway has assembled an impressive faculty of scholar-ministers who are daily impacting the lives of their students. He also provided steady leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, which dramatically altered the delivery of theological education."

In February 2019, the SWBTS trustees elected Greenway as president.

"These days are incredibly challenging in the life of our denomination," Greenway said in a statement. "They are also challenging times for academic institutions, particularly theological seminaries. In February 2019, Carla and I accepted the call to come back 'home' to Southwestern Seminary with an understanding of these challenges, but also with the strong desire to be part of the solution."

"What we failed to appreciate was the enormity of the reputational, legal, and financial realities that would welcome us to the Dome — only to be compounded by a global pandemic unlike anything we have ever experienced before," he added. "We have done our best to serve Southern Baptists by helping position our seminary for the future, but much, much work remains to be done. Nevertheless, in the Providence of God we sense a release from our duties here."

Greenway previously served as dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Greenway said he is thrilled to now have the opportunity to "prepare Southern Baptist missionaries for their work of addressing the world's greatest problem—spiritual lostness—with God's solution, which is the gospel of Christ."

In his first chapel sermon as seminary president in March 2019, Greenway said, "even in the midst of uncertain, changing, transitional times, some things ought never to change."

"I don't come in with some radical new vision and complete discontinuity from the glorious 111-year history of the crown jewel seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention," stated Greenway at the time.

"If anything, I believe the Lord called me here to help reinvigorate and to retell the great legacy of our seminary for a new generation. That is my passion and my desire as a Southwesterner."

The seminary has the full-time equivalent of 1,105 students, according to the Association of Theological Schools. 

Under Greenway's leadership, the seminary cut the decades-old Tandy Institute for Archeology, which served as an "umbrella institute for various centers, museums, and academic programs" that have contributed to archaeology and archaeological research. 

Also, in 2020, Greenway joined other Southern Baptist seminary leaders in approving a resolution denouncing Critical Race Theory as "incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message."

Greenway defended his support for the resolution in an open letter to his seminary, arguing that some of the criticism is "based upon misunderstandings" and that CRT has some merit.

"[CRT] does rightly decry racism and injustice, not unlike Islam's adherence to monotheism, Mormonism's valuing of the family, and inclusivism's emphasis upon Christ's power to save," wrote Greenway at the time.

"I doubt anyone would seriously argue though that Islam, Mormonism, and inclusivism should therefore be embraced in the SBC. Is rejection of these three tantamount to a theological throwing out of the baby with the bathwater? Of course not."  

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