The Jim Henry Leadership Institute exists to strengthen ministry leaders for the next generation of Kingdom service.
Christian Leadership engages a unique discussion in the context of congregations, denominations, and ministry organizations. It is easy to recognize yet essential to define and prescribe as an emerging academic discipline. From a biblical and spiritual perspective, leadership centers upon influence – moving people from where they are to where God wants them to be.
The Institute will offer Research Fellowships utilizing NOBTS doctoral students (PhD and DMin) to explore and research identifiable leadership topics. The Research Fellowships would include most or all tuition and fees for a doctoral student up to four years as long as the student remains in good standing in their respective program after an annual review. Initially, five research topics under consideration include pastoral tenure, ministerial wellness, burnout prevention, pastoral transition, and strategic leadership proficiencies.
The Jim Henry Leadership Institute will design an annual Leadership Conference (the Prepare Here Conference) at NOBTS, built around a specific topic of leadership interest. The Institute would seek conference sponsors from State Conventions, Associations, Churches, and other Organizations or Entities. The NOBTS President must approve all keynote speakers and breakout leaders.
The Jim Henry Leadership Institute will host Leadership Summits in-between the annual Leadership Conference, which could include leadership roundtable discussions, peer groups/networks, and mentoring sessions. The immediate target group for the Summits would be NOBTS Professional Doctoral graduates (Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry degrees). These summits would serve as a strategic catalyst for professional development, peer-group collaboration, leadership problem-solving, and intentional mentoring.
The Institute would design and host a podcast to encourage pastors and ministry leaders and engage challenging issues in congregational contexts. In addition, the Institute would sponsor book projects involving NOBTS faculty and NOBTS alumni as authors and editors.
The Institute will work with researchers, state conventions, local associations, and other ministry organizations to provide consultants with appropriate ministry experience. Drawing upon the ministry experience and network of NOBTS professors, Dr. Jim Henry, the Leavell Center for Church Health, and other ministry leaders, the Institute will provide expert consultations for churches or other ministries on a variety of topics.
Director, Jim Henry Leadership Institute, Professor of Leadership and pastoral Ministry, and Associate Dean of Professional Doctoral Programs
The institute honors the ministry of Jim Henry, an NOBTS graduate and longtime pastor who served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1994 and 1995. Under Henry's leadership from 1977 until 2006, First Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida, grew to a congregation of 10,000 plus members. The church consistently gave sacrificially to the shared work of Southern Baptist through the Cooperative Program. A few years after his retirement from Orlando First, Henry began pastoring again. According to Henry, he was "redeployed” as pastor of Downtown Baptist Church in Orlando from 2015 until 2019.
During his time at NOBTS, Henry pastored churches in Alabama and Mississippi. After his graduation, Henry pastored Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, before accepting the call to FBC Orlando.