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New Southern Seminary women's director seeks to encourage, affirm students
January 30, 2003
By Jeff Robinson
Heather King, center, seeks to equip women students at Southern Seminary for ministry opportunities through her staff position as director of women's programs. Photo by David Merrifield
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Heather King thought God had called her to overcome her "fear factor" long before the concept of reality television was ever conceived.
As a high schooler in Dallas, the now-32-year-old King knew she was called by God to minister for his Kingdom. Her assumption, however, was that God would require her to relocate to a land far away from civilization.
"I thought God was going to send me to a foreign country as a nurse where I would be required to utilize nursing skills on myself because I would be forced to eat goat eyeballs or some odd concoction I previously would have considered incredible," she said.
That day may come, but King's ministry currently is at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as the new director of women's programs. King began the job on Nov. 1 after replacing former director Sharon Beougher.
She came to Southern Seminary after serving as WMU/women's ministry director for the State Baptist Convention of Indiana for the past six years.
As the seminary's women's director, she plans to create two programs to equip women to minister to other women in the local church. She plans to begin a degree program as well as a certificate program.
The degree program will be a master of arts or master of divinity in Christian education with a 15-credit-hour focus in women's ministry. The second program will be a women's certificate program and will consist of eight non-accredited courses geared toward staff and lay women within the local church.
Above all, King hopes to provide encouragement for female students.
"By virtue of this position going fulltime, it communicates to students that the administration and faculty want to encourage and affirm female students in their studies and ministries," King said. "I, too, desire to be an encouragement to students."
King earned her bachelor's degree in biblical studies from Criswell College in Dallas. She then earned a master's degree in counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. She has applied for the doctoral program at Southern Seminary and plans to begin working toward a doctor of education in leadership degree (Ed.D.) upon acceptance.
She became a Christian while in the third grade after becoming cognizant of her need for salvation while reading and memorizing Scripture verses in Vacation Bible School.
"I can vividly remember several elderly women teaching my Sunday School class," she said. "They taught stories about who Jesus was and what he did for me. I understood my need for salvation due to the memorization of the famous VBS verse John 3:16. And most importantly, I remember seeing my father make his profession of faith public."
After sensing the call to ministry while in high school, King decided she would attend seminary someday, still uncertain of the specific area of ministry to which she was called. Since then, God's guidance has continued to unfold.
"In the area of women's work," King said, "the opportunities are almost limitless. Work within the local church provides [numerous] opportunities. There are many more opportunities [for women] in the area of state work, denominational work and mission fields, along with writing and speaking ministries and para-church organizations."