on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

With this week marking the fifth anniversary of his election as president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College, Jamie Dew said serving in the role has been “the honor of a lifetime.” 

During a meeting with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for NOBTS and Leavell College, Dew said he is nothing but grateful to serve as president of the institution.  

“From my seat, what a great marriage,” Dew told EC members on Tuesday, June 4.  

“I have absolutely loved it. I’ve loved you all. I’ve loved this city. I love our students. I really love where we’re at. It’s hard work. It’s challenging work. There are times when it’s heavy. There are times when it’s hard and difficult and dark, and at the same time it really has been the honor of a lifetime to do this job and to work with you all.  

“Despite how hard it can be at times, I have nothing but gratitude to the Lord that he allowed me to get to come here. I told Tara this morning ... I’m five years into this and I am just as dumbfounded today that I’m the president of this school as I was five years ago when you elected me to be the president of this school. I really can’t even believe it.” 

Dew, who was elected to serve as NOBTS President on June 5, 2019, looked back on the start of his ministry with NOBTS and said he is pleased with the progress that has been made with the four strategic initiatives he outlined upon taking the position.  

The four strategic initiatives were an emphasis on Leavell College, enrollment, marketing and communications and denominational engagement. 

“It’s not done, but on all four fronts I can remember the vast amount of work that we all put into this,” Dew said. “All four of those things I look back on it, and again I’m not trying to say that we’ve done it and I’m not trying to say that we still don’t have further work to do, but I’m mindful and I hope that you see it too that the Lord has been kind to us and this should bolster us as we move forward.” 

Eddie Wren, pastor of First Baptist Church in Zachary, La., serves as chairman of the Executive Committee. He said Dew’s humble leadership has “transformed” the culture of the seminary.  

“I am grateful God sent Dr. Dew to NOBTS,” Wren said. “From the moment he stepped on campus he embraced NOBTS, New Orleans, and the mission of the seminary.  

“In five years, God has used Dr. Dew’s humble leadership to transform the culture of the seminary as faculty, students, and alumni have embraced his motto, “No Peacocks.”  As God has worked through Jamie, NOBTS has experienced steady growth academically and spiritually. I cannot imagine anyone more suited to lead our seminary during days like these. I count it a great privilege to serve alongside Dr. Jamie Dew.” 

During the meeting, Executive Committee members took the following action, and heard the following updates and reports.  

New Faculty Appointments  

President Jamie Dew appointed the following three people as new faculty members for the seminary: 

  • Dr. Richard Gambill, Assistant Professor of Expository Preaching  
  • Dr. Rebekah Callahan, Assistant Professor of Counseling and Ministry  
  • Dr. Terry Iles, Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; Director of PhD Program 

New Minor Program  

Executive Committee members approved a proposal to add a Communications Minor to Leavell College starting this fall. 

Retirements and Transitions 

  • Dr. Randy Stone, Professor of Christian Education, retired following this spring semester 
  • Dr. Jody Dean, Professor of Christian Education, now occupies the John T. Sisemore Chair of Christian Education; Director of the Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Educational Ministries (DEdMIN) Programs  

Providence Fund and Miscellaneous updates  

  • Dr. Mike Wetzel, vice president for institutional advancement for NOBTS and Leavell College, reported that the institution’s Providence Fund (a fundraising mechanism for the seminary) exceeded its goal for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.  
  • Various updates were heard regarding enrollment, hours and miscellaneous business.  

Dew closed by stating he plans to keep his optimistic mindset moving forward despite the unknowns of the future. 

“I don’t know what tomorrow holds, I really don’t,” Dew said. “But I feel confident that the Lord has placed us and positioned us well and I want you to know that from my heart there is a lot of gratitude."