By Art Toalston
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Timothy George, founding dean of the interdenominational Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, has announced he will step down as dean by the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.
George, 68, who also is professor of divinity at Beeson, said in his May 16 announcement he will remain on the faculty, where he teaches church history and doctrine.
The divinity school, which describes itself as interdenominational and evangelical, is now marking its 30th year with 200 students. Beeson opened with 31 students in 1988. In its 30 years, it has sent out nearly 1,300 alumni.
In a Facebook post, George voiced gratitude to the school’s founding benefactor, the late Ralph Waldo Beeson, and other donors; “wise and supportive university administrators,” including two Samford presidents and five provosts; a “superb faculty and faithful staff”; “the host of students who have been formed for a lifetime of ministry in this good community of faith and learning”; and “churches and mission movements who partner with us to advance the work of the Gospel in our time.”
George used the word “eucharist” to describe his sentiments, which in addition to the last meal Jesus shared with His disciples “also means thanksgiving.”
Prior to founding the divinity school, George had taught church history at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., from 1977-1988. Southern’s president, R. Albert Mohler Jr., was among his students. George also has served churches in Georgia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Alabama.
He holds a Th.D. from Harvard University; an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School; and an undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
George is the general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture, a 28-volume series of 16th-century exegetical comment and author or coauthor of 20-plus books, including “Reading Scripture with the Reformers,” “The Great Tradition of Christian Thinking: A Student’s Guide” with David Dockery, “Amazing Grace: God’s Pursuit, Our Response” and “Theology of the Reformers,” a textbook on Reformation theology widely used in seminaries and schools, which has been translated into multiple languages.
George is a life advisory trustee of Wheaton College; is active in evangelical–Roman Catholic dialogue; and serves as senior theological adviser for Christianity Today and is on the editorial advisory boards of First Things and Books & Culture. He also has chaired the Baptist World Alliance’s Doctrine and Christian Unity Commission and served as a trustee for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
George and his wife Denise, author of more than 30 books whose most recent works have focused on the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement, have two adult child