Buies Creek, N.C.—The Campbell Divinity School celebrated the installation of Dean Andrew Wakefield at the commissioning service for new students on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Wakefield is only the second dean to lead the Divinity School since its founding in 1996. At that time there were 35 students enrolled in the founding class. Today, a total of 220 students attend the Campbell Divinity School, 50 of which committed their lives to ministry and service at the commissioning service on Tuesday.
Representatives of Baptist organizations from around the state, including the Baptist State Convention and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, were present to participate in the installation/commissioning ceremonies.
“The Divinity School and the North Carolina Baptist Fellowship have grown up together,” said Dr.Larry Hovis, Executive Coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina. “We’ve been close partners since the beginning, nurturing students, serving congregations and being the presence of Christ throughout the state. I’m confident that under Dr. Wakefield’s leadership our partnership will continue to grow and flourish.”
In his inaugural remarks, Campbell President Jerry M. Wallace praised the performance of Dr. Michael Cogdill, the Divinity School’s first dean, saying that Cogdill, Campbell founder Archibald Campbell and Professor of Theology Dr. Charles Howard were three “wonderful men of God who wrote large on Campbell’s tradition of excellence.”
“Dr. Wakefield, I want to affirm to you and everyone here that you are qualified to lead this Divinity school and that the same qualities of these three great leaders reside in you,” Wallace said. “Everyone who has ever sat in Andy’s class has been inspired by his passion for teaching and Christian leadership. I know you will provide outstanding guidance and vision for the Divinity School, and you will have the support of all who love Campbell University.”
Dr. Andrew Wakefield has served on the Divinity School faculty since 1997, most recently as Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek. In 2008, he was appointed the holder of the Lewis Edward and Martha Barnes Tyner Chair of Bible and was recognized with the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003. He is the author of numerous publications and has served on the board and as the Associate Editor for the Review & Expositor, a consortium Baptist theological journal. Wakefield grew up in Southeast Asia, the son of missionaries. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University and a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Wakefield continued his theological studies at Duke University, earning a Ph.D. in New Testament. He has served as the interim pastor of eight churches and is a frequent preacher, Bible study teacher and retreat leader in churches across North Carolina.
A total of 41 Master of Divinity and nine Doctor of Divinity candidates received their commissions at the ceremony.
One of those students, Alicia Turner of Boiling Springs, N.C., said she received her undergraduate degree from Campbell and wants to be a children’s minister or a missionary when she graduates. She chose the Divinity School’s MDiv program because, “I wanted to continue on with great things,” she said.
Photo Copy: Dr. Andrew Wakefield, right, is installed as the new dean of the Campbell Divinity School by President Jerry M. Wallace. (Photo by Bennett Scarborough)