A New Ministry

Please forgive the personal note. But I thought I might mention a transition that I will be going through in the very near future. On August 1, I will begin as the new dean of Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky. Boyce College is the undergraduate arm of my alma mater, Southern Seminary. If you are interested, you can read about the appointment here and here.

A word about where I’m going

James P. Boyce once said, ‘We hold the education of the ministry a matter of the first importance to the churches of Christ.’  Boyce’s declaration does not represent merely the parochial interests of a 19th century Baptist, but rather the enduring concern of every Christian seriously committed to our Lord’s command to ‘make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:19-20). In agreement with Boyce, I regard theological education as a matter of ‘first importance’ because it is a necessary implication of the Great Commission given to us by Christ.

Serving local churches by training their ministers is why leading a school like Boyce College is such an exciting prospect to me. I have been grateful for the conservative resurgence which has led to a reformation of institutions in the Southern Baptist Convention over the last 29 years. My passion is that we might also see a reformation in Southern Baptist pulpits. In my view, theological educators have a crucial role to play in that reform. I aim for Boyce College to become known as the premier training center for ministers who want to know the word of God and to make it known. Pastoral ministry, student ministry, missions, evangelism, and every other kind of ministry should be rooted in and built upon the Scriptures, and I want Boyce College to be the leader in this kind of ministry preparation.

I couldn’t be happier about the prospect of moving back to Louisville to lead Boyce College. Boyce is poised to be a leading evangelical institution for training undergraduates for Christian ministry, and I can’t imagine a more exciting time to be joining the team at Southern Seminary.

A word about where I’m leaving

As I reflect on my years at Criswell College, I am reminded of the lines from the old hymn, “count your many blessings, name them one by one.” The blessings at Criswell College have indeed been abundant, and I could hardly list them all. It has been a blessing to teach God’s word and to prepare students for their future ministries. It has been a blessing to forge some lifelong friendships with the faculty and staff at the college. It has been a blessing to serve with such a collegial faculty and to learn from and to be sharpened by them. Among other things, I will miss our regular lunches together in the faculty lounge where we were often chewing the theological fat. It is difficult to imagine a happier place to serve the Lord in academic ministry.

It has been a great blessing to serve under the current President of Criswell College, Dr. Jerry Johnson. In an academic career, the hardest job to get is the first one. Dr. Johnson took a chance in hiring me when he did, and for that I will always be grateful. Moreover, Dr. Johnson has led the College well and has an outstanding vision for its future. I pray the Lord to bless Criswell College and Dr. Johnson’s vision for it in the coming years.

42 Responses to A New Ministry

  1. Jeff Mooney July 8, 2008 at 1:30 am #

    Congratulations Denny!! I don’t think that Boyce could have possibly made a wiser choice. I hope that your new tenure brings you great joy and satisfaction.

    Mooney

  2. MatthewS July 8, 2008 at 6:52 am #

    Denny,

    Congratulations and best wishes.

  3. mark July 8, 2008 at 7:09 am #

    Praying for you as you transition into this very cool and challenging opportunity. Congrats!

    I will miss seeing you at Criswell.

    Mark

  4. Adam Omelianchuk July 8, 2008 at 7:30 am #

    Good news!

  5. Ted July 8, 2008 at 7:32 am #

    God’s richest blessings to you!

    Speaking for everyone who reads this blog, we hope we don’t read less of you, now that you have this new responsibility 🙂

  6. Michael Metts July 8, 2008 at 7:46 am #

    Congratulations Dr. Burk 🙂

  7. Jim Samra July 8, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    Wow, I know the dean of a school!!!

    Congratulations, Denny. May God bless you in this new endeavor and may Barry not give you any trouble as you order him around.

  8. Denny Burk July 8, 2008 at 8:28 am #

    Jim,

    You stole my line! Great to hear from you and thanks for the encouraging word.

    In awe of your mega-church-church-pastorship,
    Denny

  9. Mark Tucker July 8, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    Wow! Congratulations!

  10. Ed Stetzer July 8, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    Denny,

    Congratulations. I pray God will continue to use you in great ways.

    Come see us in Nashville one of these days.

    Ed Stetzer

  11. Celucien Joseph July 8, 2008 at 8:55 am #

    My congratulations to you Denny and your family. Southern is a good place to be.

  12. Barry July 8, 2008 at 8:57 am #

    It will be great serving alongside my partner in crime! Wahoo!

    Samra – the first thing Denny told me that he is going to do is cancel Friday classes and have Friday “picnics with the dean” instead, as well as double everyone’s salary that teaches NT, and mandate that all new hires be able to skateboard.

    Ambitious plans indeed!

    Barry

  13. Lucas Knisely July 8, 2008 at 9:04 am #

    Students who used to skateboard are automatically given A’s when they mention this in class.

  14. Mark Gibson July 8, 2008 at 9:04 am #

    Congratulations Denny

  15. Benjamin A July 8, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    Thanks for the update on yourself Denny; and congratulations to you and yours in this new ministry opportunity.

  16. Brian (Another) July 8, 2008 at 10:25 am #

    Congratulations, Denny. You will have many prayers following you out there.

    I hope this doesn’t mean the blog is out now! How will Dr. Ware’s thread get to 2000?

  17. Truth Unites.. and Divides July 8, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    Congratulations Denny for being selected as the new incoming dean of Boyce College!!!

    God bless you and your family in the next step of your exciting journey with Him.

  18. Brady Martin July 8, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    Dr. Burk, I’m a student at Boyce College and am very excited about your new “deanship”. I’ve read your blog for a couple of years now and it has been enlightening and informative. One question though about Dr. Joslin’s comments, do you think he knows how to skateboard?

    Congrats,
    Brady Martin

  19. Paul July 8, 2008 at 11:05 am #

    Congrats Denny!

  20. Jeff Lash July 8, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    Congrats Denny. Southern is great institution. Say hi to my friend Dan Dewitt when you get up there.

  21. Rose July 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    Congrats, Dr. D!! The bonus is we get the Burk girls in Louisville too 🙂 Although, I hope the campus can handle you and Barry together again. I guess if you and Barry can’t be the next US President and VP, I’ll take you both here training theologians…

  22. Josh Mayfield July 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm #

    I will miss you.

    Josh

  23. Judd July 8, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    What a blessing. You will be missed in Dallas.

    Three frineds united. The Dream Team is back.

  24. Hershael York July 8, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    Denny:

    Welcome!!! I am excited for you, brother, and looking forward to seeing God do wonders through your leadership.

  25. mike July 8, 2008 at 4:35 pm #

    You’ll be missed, I promise. I’m just glad I took NTS and GRK and Hermenutics in my first semesters!

  26. stephen July 8, 2008 at 4:59 pm #

    Congrats! Hope to see you around campus. Maybe we can grab some coffee when you are free?

  27. Matt Svoboda July 8, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    Denny,

    As I have said multiple times; Congratulations! Welcome to Boyce College. My friends and I are excited and blessed to have you!

    Matt

  28. Nathan Finn July 8, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    Denny,

    Congrats on your new appointment and your return to Da ‘Ville. I know a good church out there.

    NAF

  29. Brad Crawford July 8, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    Your presence at Criswell will be missed. I admire you for the things that you have done so that you could pass them on to the other Criswellites and me as future ministers. Your Romans sunday school class was pretty awesome when I went to FBD. I will be praying for your transition…

    Brad Crawford

  30. Josh Orr July 9, 2008 at 12:02 am #

    congrats on the move!
    If you are in Denton in the near future please facebook me!
    I really hope you will enjoy Kentucky as much as I think you will.
    Josh

  31. Jacki King July 9, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    Is Susan staying?!?! I hate to see her leave. :o)

    I am happy for you both. You both will be missed!!!

  32. Paul July 9, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    So, Denny, you gonna come see my trio the next time we play in Louisville again?

  33. Mike Bird July 10, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Denny,
    Congratulations mate. I wish you every blessing in your new ministry at Boyce College.

  34. Chris Meirose July 10, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    No need to apologize! Shout it from the rooftops! Congrats on the appointment, I really think it is awesome that you have this opportunity. Make the most of it!

    Chris Meirose
    http://wasecachurch.org

  35. Debbie Mosley July 11, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    hate to see yu go. I know Dr Johnson will miss you as well as everyone at FBC Dallas

  36. tiro3 July 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    congratulations, Denny.

    My prayers are that God will do great things with and through you and your family.

  37. Jen Strange July 12, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Congrats, Denny!

  38. Michael Butterworth July 12, 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    Here’s another Boyce student who is glad his school is not dean-less anymore.

    Also, as you are probably well aware, Louisville definitely has a ballin’ skatepark- hope to see you out there sometime.

  39. Mason Beecroft July 13, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    Denny,
    Congratulations and blessings on your ministry there!
    Your friendly Lutheran,
    +Mason

  40. D.J. Williams July 14, 2008 at 7:38 am #

    Denny,

    Congrats and Godspeed as you lead my alma mater. See you around the ‘Ville!

  41. S. M. Hutchens August 30, 2008 at 8:59 pm #

    An excellent choice, I think, for Boyce College. Congratulations, Dr. Burk. May you have a long and fruitful tenure.

  42. Debbie Mosley September 6, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    Well, things have heated up after you left.
    Dr Cooper is interim at Criswell.

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