on Thursday, May 4, 2023

Outstanding student performance and faculty achievement were marked at the annual Celebration of Excellence service at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College, May 2, in the last chapel service of the spring semester.

Jamie Dew, president, told faculty and students that their work held lasting significance.

“I’m proud of you faculty for the work that you’ve done. I’m proud of you students for the hard work you’ve put in,” Dew said. “One day we will see the kingdom come and every bit of this work and every bit of this effort on that day will be worth every single bit.”  

Faculty contributions to the church and the academy were recognized with the Marvin Jones Awards for Excellence, named for longtime Louisiana minister of education, church planter, and NOBTS alumnus.

Tommy Doughty, assistant professor of theology and worldview, received the Marvin Jones Outstanding Teacher Award in recognition for classroom performance. Charlie Ray III, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, received the Outstanding Faculty Churchman award, and Ethan Jones, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, was selected as the Outstanding Research Professor for his research and publications.  

Four faculty members received Ola Farmer Lenaz Grants in support of continued research. Jeff Audirsch, associate professor of biblical studies, will teach during his sabbatic at the Uganda Baptist Seminary and do research for a book on preaching biblical poetry. Kristyn Carver, professor of counseling, will continue her work in developing training materials in counseling techniques for International Mission Board field workers and will expand her research in trauma care for refugee women and children. Ethan Jones, associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, will study at the University of Cambridge, UK,  for various writing projects. Jeff Riley, professor of ethics, will write on cross-cultural ethics through his research in Oxford, England.  

Faculty publications during the academic year were recognized: 

  • Jeff Audirsch, co-editor, “The Hebrew Scriptures.”
  • Emily Dean, “Women Leading Well: Stewarding the Gift of Ministry Leadership.”
  • Adam Harwood, “Christian Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Systematic.”
  • Robert Stewart: “When Did Jesus Become God?: A Christological Debate”; “Honest Answers to Hard Questions”; and “Honest Answers to Hard Questions about the Bible.”
  • Tyler Wittman, “Biblical Reasoning: Christological and Trinitarian Rules for Exegesis.”

Receiving the Robert S. Magee Doctoral Scholar Award, given in recognition of academic excellence and scholarly potential, were Sarah Minsook Park and Bryan Randal Shuler.

Doctoral fellowships were awarded to two Ph.D. students. Mariane Strube was awarded the J. Duncan Boyd III Memorial Fellowship in Old Testament and Hebrew. The Thomas S. and Mary Wheeler Messer Fellowship in New Testament and Greek was awarded to Jonathan Celoria.

Outstanding Student Award recipients in the degree programs were: Nicholas Cody Roberts, Master of Divinity; Hannah Smith, Master of Divinity in Christian Education; Jerry A. Chenault, Master of Arts in Christian Education; Chessie Beatrice Brittain, Baaccalaureate Program; and Andrew G. Pittman, Associate Program.

Recipients of the Outstanding Student Awards presented by publishing houses were: Chandler Stobbs, Zondervan Hebrew Award; Nicholas Cody Roberts, Zondervan Greek Award; Joseph Thomas Duke, Zondervan Theology Award; Noah Greene, Broadman & Holman Seminarian Award; and R. Jacob Vollm, Lifeway Pastoral Leadership Award.

Other Outstanding Student Award recipients were: Ella Lalonde McGibney, Leavell College Best Senior Thesis; Joshua Brittain, Breazeale-Guidry Award for Excellence in Biblical Studies; Ashley Roberson Miller, Disciple Leaders Network Award; Bobby Green, C.C. Randall Award in Evangelism; David Speed, David and Sue Meacham Award for Outstanding Church Planting Student; Laura Riley, Excellence in Missional Living Award; Tara Leticia Pate, James A. Headrick Award for Excellence in Christian Counseling; Nathan Muldoon, Daniel H. Holcomb Christian History Award; and Nicholas Strube, Outstanding Student Award in Christian Thought.

Staff members with service anniversaries of 10 years included Libby Carver, Beth Terrill, Nancy Whatley and Corey Phillips.