Following 18 years of transformational leadership at Union University, Trinity International University’s Board of Regents unanimously selected David S. Dockery to become its 15th president.
“We are overwhelmingly grateful to God for the invitation from the Trinity Board to serve the students, staff, faculty, and various institutional constituencies in the days ahead,” Dockery said. “We are humbled by the confidence that the Board has communicated to us in this call to guide Trinity forward in the days and years to come.”
Robert Kleinschmidt, chairman of the TIU Board of Regents, said he was excited for Dockery and his wife Lanese to join the TIU family.
“Dr. Dockery brings a great wealth of experience and knowledge about higher education from his years at Union University,” Kleinschmidt said. “I know he will be a great leader for Trinity and look forward to the tasks ahead.”
Located in Deerfield, Ill., Trinity International University consists of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, one of the most highly respected evangelical institutions in the country; Trinity College, a liberal-arts based institution; Trinity Graduate School, with programs in such fields as biomedical ethics, leadership, and education; and Trinity Law School, located in Santa Ana, Calif. Total enrollment for the university is about 2,800.
“What a joy it will be to seek to reflect the influence and leadership of 20th century evangelical giants like Kenneth Kantzer and Carl Henry, who invested so much at Trinity,” Dockery said.
“Their emphasis on serious and rigorous academics shaped and informed by the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the full truthfulness of Holy Scripture, international missions, cultural renewal and engagement, transdenominational and transcontinental evangelical cooperation and service to the global church will, we trust, continue to characterize all aspects of Trinity’s life and work.”
During Dockery’s 18-year tenure as Union University president, the institution saw 16 straight years of increasing enrollment and more than doubled in size, growing from a fall enrollment of 1,972 to 4,288 in 2013. Donors increased from 1,600 to 6,000 annually. The budget expanded from $18 million to more than $90 million per year, and the university’s net assets grew from less than $40 million to $120 million.
Judy Bradish, co-chair of the TIU presidential search committee, said Dockery has “demonstrated Christ-centered, excellent, effective and visionary leadership that we believe he will bring to Trinity.”
“We as a committee feel confident that Dr. Dockery is the leader TIU needs at this point in our history,” added Paul Mang, also co-chair of the search committee.
EFCA President, Bill Hamel, served on the Search Committee and sits on TIU’s Board of Regents. “I look forward to presenting Dr. Dockery to the EFCA Board of Directors and the Conference for final affirmation. His proven leadership and mainstream evangelical positions will make him a great partner with the EFCA in preparing students for service in the gospel.”
Prior to his administration at Union, Dockery served as the chief academic officer at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., where he also was professor of theology and New Testament.
He completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Texas system and holds master’s degrees from Texas Christian University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Grace Seminary, as well as a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Dockery is the author or editor of 35 books, including such titles as Renewing Minds, Faith and Learning, Theologians of the Baptist Tradition, New Testament Interpretation and Criticism, and Biblical Interpretation Then and Now.
He serves as the New Testament editor for the New American Commentary series, as general editor for Crossway’s series on Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition, and as general editor for the forthcoming Holman Worldview Study Bible.
Dockery served as the chairman of the board for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and was a board member for Christianity Today International and Prison Fellowship. He has spoken at major conferences and lectureships at dozens of churches, state conventions, colleges, churches and seminaries.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Dockery and his wife Lanese have been married for 38 years. They have three married sons and six grandchildren.
“David Dockery is truly an evangelical statesperson,” said John D. Woodbridge, research professor of church history and the history of Christian thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. “He is one of the most respected Christian educators, authors, theologians, and biblical scholars in the United States. Members of the community at TIU look forward to giving Dr. Dockery their full and enthusiastic support as he leads them in creating an education for students that integrates the gospel of Jesus Christ with a first-class education.”
TIU formed a presidential search committee in July 2013 to find a successor to former president Craig Williford. Neil Nyberg is serving as TIU’s interim president for the 2013-2014 academic year.
“We are indeed grateful to be given the privilege to provide leadership for an institution with a strong commitment to the preparation of leaders for the global church, an opportunity that we find both exciting and daunting, inviting and intimidating,” Dockery said. “To be granted such a key leadership role for the larger evangelical community in this country and around the world for the coming years of the 21st century is certainly a great blessing and a joyful opportunity to contemplate.”
Dockery will begin serving as Acting President on June 1. He will officially assume the TIU presidency when affirmed by the conference of the Evangelical Free Church of America.
Read on for a more detailed biography of David S. Dockery.
To see Dockery’s acceptance speech go to stream.tiu.edu and click on the “On Demand” tab.
Trinity International University is a private, Christian university comprising four schools: Trinity College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Trinity Graduate School, and Trinity Law School, as well as three academic centers: the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding, the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, and the Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS. An educational ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of America, TIU is located on the north shore of Chicago, with regional centers in South Chicago, Florida, and California, and extension sites throughout the Midwest. TIU exists to educate men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. Visit the University online at tiu.edu.
Christianity Today and Leadership Journal are dedicating two years and six cities to the topics of vocation and calling in their first-ever series of live events. Titled LJ Live: Redeeming Work, the series’ inaugural gathering is March 13, 2014, in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, with Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, among others, providing sponsorship of the event. Kingdom Calling author Amy Sherman is Chicago’s featured speaker and Futureville author and Leadership Journal executive editor Skye Jethani (MDiv ’01) will serve as host.
Register now to receive the best value, and in the “enter promotional code” link enter the word “trinity.”
The live events are a result of a nationwide listening tour in 2013. Editors met face-to-face with those in ministry to learn about their joys, challenges, and needs. A top trend was the emerging struggle to address young adults disengaging from the church. Jethani states, “Young adults do have an increased focus on vocation for a sense of identity—yet receive little guidance from the church to live their careers as callings. We hope to start a conversation that’ll resonate with those in ministry and result in more churches communicating that one’s work can be a vital part of discipleship.”
LJ Live: Redeeming Work will gather presenters and ministry leaders deeply invested in vocational discipleship. Chicago’s event will also feature a diverse panel of younger leaders and pastors from different neighborhoods in the city.
Unlike some performance-oriented conferences, LJ Live will be a personal, conversation-based setting where seminarians and pastors can explore with ministry peers how to mobilize Christ’s people to live out their callings.
Future LJ Live cities include Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, and two more cities yet to be named. For more information about Redeeming Work, visit LeadershipJournal.net/Live.
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School has received a $250,000 grant as part of Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Issues Facing Future Ministers. It is one of 67 theological schools across the country to receive this funding.
Personal financial pressures are severely limiting the ability of seminary graduates to accept calls to Christian ministry and undermining the effectiveness of too many pastoral leaders. To help address this issue, Lilly Endowment created the Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Issues Facing Future Ministers. The initiative’s aim is to encourage theological schools to examine and strengthen their financial and educational practices to improve the economic well-being of future pastors.
All theological schools fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada were invited to submit grant proposals. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) will use its funding to: (1) conduct research among students and alumni regarding the financial challenges they face; (2) collaborate with church and ministry partners to develop innovative solutions based on this research; (3) develop new education for the financial literacy of students and alumni; and (4) increase distance education capacity by implementing new “live” (synchronous) distance education courses.
Dr. H. Wayne Johnson, director of the MDiv program and the Lilly project at TEDS explains, “Trinity has always been concerned for the financial well-being of our students because it has a direct impact on their ministry opportunities and long-term fruitfulness for the sake of the gospel. Since 2008 we have responded to these challenges by dramatically limiting (and sometimes freezing) tuition increases as well as increasing the number of scholarships for masters programs.”
Noting that the challenge is systemic and requires creative thinking and institutional cooperation, Johnson said that with the grant TEDS will be able to better understand the issues and develop new collaborative solutions with church partners, particularly the Evangelical Free Church of America.
“That is why we are so grateful for this grant,” he said. “I believe it will result in some new models for financing and educating the pastors of tomorrow.”
“Pastors are indispensable spiritual leaders and guides, and the quality of pastoral leadership is critical to the health and vitality of congregations,” said Christopher L. Coble, vice president for religion at the Endowment.
“Theological schools play a critical role in preparing pastors and are uniquely positioned to address some of the economic challenges they face,” Coble said. “The Endowment hopes that these grants will support broad efforts to improve the financial circumstances facing pastoral leaders so that pastors can serve their congregations more joyfully and effectively,” said Coble.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family—J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli—through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. More information can be found at www.lillyendowment.org.
If you’re interested in mentoring, counseling and simply incarnating the love of Christ to others, then think about ministering to refugees. One defining feature of the Christian life is hospitality, and almost nothing portrays hospitality more clearly than engaging the lives of strangers in a strange land.
Should this be of interest to you, volunteers in Exodus World Service‘s New Neighbor program make a three-month commitment to meet once a week in teams of two for two hours with a newly arrived refugee family. New Neighbor volunteers need a love of people, a desire to help, and a sense of humor. It is not necessary to speak a foreign language or have travel experience. Transportation is provided (the ministry is located in Rogers Park).
Contact Prof. Amit Bhatia (email@example.com), faculty advisor for Trinity’s Refugee Ministry, for further information. There will be a three-hour training session early in the beginning of Spring semester (date TBD) before the ministry begins. This opportunity can also be used toward your Service Learning credit, so stay tuned for further announcements regarding dates and times.
Check out the video on walking this road together:
Peruse Trinity’s most recent annual report below.
Trinity International University annually publishes for its constituents a report that includes a combination of narrative that chronicles TIU’s activities over the past year as well as financial and operational information.
If you have any questions or would like more information about TIU, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 945-8800.
In Reading Genesis 1–2: An Evangelical Conversation, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages Richard Averbeck wrote that his attempt to present an “honest reading of Gen 1 from a literary, exegetical, historical, and theological point of view” is not “a matter of somehow finding more time in Gen 1 to accommodate the vast ages of evolutionary science.” Affirming something like a division of labor, Averbeck noted that as Old Testament scholars “we are not scientists,” even if the “discoveries in physical sciences most certainly cast a long shadow over the conversation.”
Dr. Averbeck picked up that conversation again this past Wednesday (Dec. 4) in the Rodine Café, first by briefly walking through his current interpretative work on Genesis 1–2, and then by fielding a few questions concerning the ramifications of that work.
At the outset, Averbeck noted that exegetical debates on this topic often produce far more heat than light. It seems that no matter how irenic, how careful, one’s interpretation is, it will polarize and offend.
Averbeck then recalled how for many years he had taken a literal day approach to the Genesis 1 creation narrative (and the often-attendant view that creation occurred recently), but the more he came across the various creation accounts throughout Scripture (e.g., Psalm 104), the more he realized these other inspired accounts actually can help us to better work through how we should be reading Genesis 1–2.
Beyond the biblical canon, Averbeck brought his knowledge of ancient Near Eastern texts and culture to bear on the discussion. In answer to the anxiety this may cause some evangelicals, Averbeck argued that knowing the world in which this portion of the Scriptures were written, including its own pagan versions of creation, helps to shed light on the biblical text in ways that both clarifies its context but also challenges many of the common assumptions of that ancient culture (for example, that Israel’s God Yahweh alone is the creator God of the cosmos).
Averbeck likened Genesis 1:1 to a title, a snapshot, a kind-of introductory remark about God’s creative activity, while the rest of the narrative (up to Gen. 2:3) unpacks that fact in terms of the observable world, that is, from a human perspective. It’s driving home the point, in short, that “Yahweh did this.” The days are also better seen as literary constructs, Averbeck said, rather than literal, 24-hour days, in order to bring home the importance of the pattern of 6/7—six days of work and a day of sabbath, both as a reflection of God’s creative work and as a witness of faithfulness to the one, true God of Israel in the surrounding pagan culture.
Another particularly interesting point had to do with Averbeck’s take on where the “image and likeness” of God is located in humankind. Too often we push the image of God into to the realm of metaphysics, or hyper-spiritualize it, Averbeck said. But it’s concrete, rooted in this physical world. To be created in the image of God is to be erected on earth as the creator God’s statue, meant to extend his wise dominion.
Also of crucial importance to Averbeck’s view is his insistence on a historical Adam and Eve, without which significant portions of Scripture would make little sense (for example, Rom. 5). He noted that the “historical markers” in Genesis 2, such as the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, point us in the direction of seeing the first pair as historical figures.
Averbeck then wrapped up with what he deemed to be one of Scripture’s major themes, introduced in Genesis 4:26 (the end of the section beginning at Gen. 2:4): It’s the only solution given in the midst of the plight we see unfolding in these early chapters of Scripture, and it is one that is often highlighted: “Calling upon the name of the LORD.” The rest of Scripture essentially tells the story of those who do and don’t follow that charge, eventually culminating in the one who did so perfectly, even unto the point of death, for the sake of the whole world.
The morning of Nov. 14, a Lockdown Drill was conducted on Trinity’s Bannockburn campus.
Please take a moment to complete this survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TIULockdownDrill2013) and provide Campus Security with your valuable feedback on this important drill.
Thank you for your time.