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Towers interview with Boyce dean Jimmy Scroggins
February 09, 2004
By Bryan Cribb
The recent appointment of James H. Scroggins IV as dean of Boyce College marks a new day for Southern Seminaryís undergraduate institution. The following interview highlights Scrogginsí vision for the growing school.
Towers: I know this last month has been a whirlwind for you. What went into your decision-making process?
Scroggins: Of course, Iíve always loved our school. I love our president. And Iím so grateful for the role that this school and the people here have played in my life. ...
Honestly, the position as a dean or even as a professor full-time has never crossed my mind. ... It was not something I was coveting or had any ambition of doing.
So, when the president called me ... I was literally speechless. And that never happens. ... So I was honored and humbled, but initially I just said to him, ďDr. Mohler, Iím so honored, but Iím just not inclined to do this.Ē As I began to think about it and pray about it, I just did not feel that I wanted to leave local church ministry. I didnít think that I was suited for this kind of post.
Actually, God used Dr. Mohler and Dr. Kevin Ezell, my pastor at Highview Baptist Church. Dr. Ezell came back and said, ďLook, I think you ought to think about this. We ought find a way for you stay in the local church and still be the dean at Boyce College.Ē
... And we did figure out a way that I could stay in the local church, where my family is grounded and rooted and where weíve had seven years of wonderful ministry.
Towers: With your responsibilities at Highview, how will you balance everything?
Scroggins: Dr. Johnson has done a great job as dean, and Dr. Cabal before him. Itís not like this place is a wreck. This place is in great shape. Iím coming into an awesome situation. The only thing that the president wants me to do and what the Lord wants me to do is ... to build on the successes that have already been achieved and go to another level.
Towers: Describe your role as dean.
Scroggins: My role as dean obviously is to set the direction for the school under the leadership of [Dean] Moore and [President] Mohler. I want to make sure what happens at Boyce is in keeping with the vision of the larger institution. ... What we want to become is the greatest training ground for ministers for the churches of the world. ...
I have three key components of what I want to describe Boyce College and what I want people to know about us. One, we are going to be focused on the Great Commission. ... We want to keep that the forefront of everything we do. ... Second, we want to be rooted in the local church. ...
Third, we are going to be committed to our training process. We believe that a call to ministry is a call to prepare. ... We are focused on training, which means the highest level of academic training that anyone can get. We have the best faculty at this institution; we have the best library; we have all the tools in place for someone to get the very best academic education they can get.
Towers: What do you think is the biggest challenge Boyce will face?
Scroggins: I think our biggest challenge is a stewardship issue. ... How do we take the resources that God gives us here and do the very best thing with those resources?
Towers: Many students have not had the opportunity to meet you personally. What would you like the students to know about you?
Scroggins: Number one ... I really do love Jesus. I really try to walk with the Lord. I really believe this stuff. ... Second, I love my family. I love my wife. Weíve been married for nine years with five children. ... And Iím as committed as I could be to having a family that honors the Lord. ...
Third, I am a churchman. I love the local church. I believe in the local church. I hope to never leave ministry in the local church.
Fourth, I believe in the power and the potential and the priority of training. I believe in those things. So this is not just a career move for me. ... This is my calling and it is important. Iím thrilled to be a part of it because I believe in it.