Twenty years ago today—March 26, 1993-R. Albert Mohler Jr. (age 33) was elected president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Younger readers may not realize this represented and resulted in an unprecedented transformation of a school from  deep theological liberalism to a bastion of orthodox fidelity. George Marsden says the institutional shift is unprecedented in denominational history.

To hear the vision expressed as it was happening,  you can read Dr. Mohler’s inaugural convocation address, “Don’t Just Do Something: Stand There | Southern Seminary and the Abstract of Principles.”

You can hear Dr. Mohler tell a portion of the story here in his own words (about 15 minutes, record in the year 2000). You can also listen to these two talks from Dr. Mohler (recorded in 2003) where he goes into more detail and sets the story in its wider context.

For more historical details, see Nathan Finn’s annotated bibliography of the conservative resurgence and Greg Wills’ Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009 (Oxford University Press, 2009).

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5 thoughts on “20 Years Ago Today: Mohler Elected as President of Southern Seminary”

  1. Matthew says:

    Always rejoice that Southern has come far away from the liberalism that haunted the place back then, yet to call it a “bastion of orthodox fidelity” is a massive stretch.

    Knowing many who study and have studied there; the battle for orthodoxy is not over…

  2. Todd says:

    So…. I think that the convocation address was called “Don’t Just Stand There: Do Something”, not “Don’t Just Do Something: Stand There” as the post states. :) Blessings!

    1. Todd says:

      Or… I’m confused. The PDF file has both of those titles, one on the cover page and the other on the first page. Interesting!

  3. DK says:

    Wow, nice glasses. :)

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow thanks for letting us know about that book by Wills on Southern Seminary! I’m going to read this!

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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