>The Brits Are Coming


Picture: Northern Baptist Seminary’s New President

The Board of Trustees of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary has released the following press release:

On March 7, 2008, in a meeting characterized by a profound sense of God’s leading, the Board of Trustees of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously elected the Rev Dr. Alistair Brown the Seminary’s tenth President.

Dr. Brown currently serves as the General Director of the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) with its World Mission headquarters in Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK. The General Director is the CEO. BMS is responsible for 160 mid and long term mission workers and 200 plus supported partner workers (indigenous personnel). The Society has a staff of 70 with an annual budget of 14.4 million dollars.

After a short career in journalism, Dr Brown sensed a call to ministry and studied at the University of Edinburgh, gaining a BA with Merit, a BD Honours degree in New Testament Language, Literature and Theology, and a PhD with a thesis that examined metaphors of baptism in the Pauline literature. Later, while serving with BMS, he gained an MBA from The Open University.

Dr. Brown has told friends for years that the only thing that could ever pull him away from his current role is preparing people for ministry. As he pondered the possibility of becoming Northern’s president he wrote, “Walking by faith never ends, so exploring this role is part of my faith journey. Christ is more real and more precious now than ever before, and my determination to know and do his will controls all my decisions. … With every breath and every act I seek to serve Jesus and always will.” In responding to Northern’s call he quoted the language of Northern’s prospectus seeking a new president, “The next leader of Northern will come because following Jesus offers no other choice.”

The Chair of Northern’s Board and chair of the search, Ted Rodgers, stated, “We are profoundly grateful to God for guiding us to Alistair Brown. Dr. Brown is a proven effective and visionary leader with the skills and breadth and depth of experience necessary to lead Northern as she approaches her second century of preparing congregational leaders.”

In his letter to the Board of Trustees of March 7, 2008 Dr. Brown stated, “It’s said that nothing ever takes God by surprise. I agree. But God certainly takes us by surprise. God holds me, as he holds Northern in his firm grasp, and that’s all we need. … Right now we may be a little surprised at what God is doing. I look forward to the surprise turning into wonder and gratitude as we see God accomplish far more than we can imagine.”

I welcome the new president to Northern Baptist Seminary. May his tenure with us be a blessing to our institution.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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4 Responses to >The Brits Are Coming

  1. Peter Kirk says:

    >I’m sure my fellow Brit will be a great blessing to you all.But the image of him you apparently intended to post is not appearing, using Firefox on Windows.


  2. >Peter,Thank you for these nice words. When Dr. Adams arrives this summer, he will join another British Baptist who teaches preaching here at Northern Seminary.I like this British invasion. If you send me your vita you may be the next Brit to join us here in Chicago.I had problems posting the picture. I tried three times, but now the picture is up.As you know, I am on sabbatical, so, I better return to my reading.Claude Mariottini


  3. Anonymous says:

    >A posting by David Neff on the Christianity Today blog states that The right Reverend Doctor Brown has inherited a monumental task. Since he is not only entering a new country, but has to familiarize himself with a new educational system in a Baptist denomination that is struggling, how do you rate his chance to succeed? I know that with God, all things are possible. Yet is success probable?


  4. >Dear Friend,Northern Seminary is going through a time of transition. Many decisions will need to be made soon and these decision will affect the future of the seminary for years to come. The seminary needs a visionary and dynamic leader, one who can take charge, establish a vision, and set goals to guide the institution in its mission to prepare men and women for the task of the ministry.The Board of Trustees believes that Dr. Brown is that kind of a person. He has the support of the Board and the prayers of the faculty, staff, and students of Northern Baptist Seminary. Most of us know very little about Dr. Brown but we trust the wisdom of the Board of Trustees. We also trust the leading of the Holy Spirit in sending to us the right leader. The faculty and staff of the seminary are ready to work hard to ensure that Dr. Brown’s presidency will be a blessing to the seminary and to all of us who are related to the seminary.Thank you for visiting my blog.Claude Mariottini


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