R. Albert Mohler: 1993-Present

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Southern’s ninth president, was born on October 19, 1959 in Lakeland, Florida. Converted at a young age, Mohler experienced a call to Christian ministry in his youth and received his license for ministry in 1978. Mohler matriculated at Samford University in 1977 and there courted Mary Ann Kahler, who would become his wife. They have two children, Katie and Christopher.

Mohler graduated magna cum laude from Samford in 1981 and was ordained in 1982. He then attended Southern, where he obtained an M.Div. and a Ph.D. in systematic and historical theology. During his time as a student, Mohler worked as assistant to President Honeycutt and as director of capital funding. After graduation, Mohler became the editor of the Christian Index, the state Baptist paper of Georgia and the oldest of all SBC state periodicals. When President Honeycutt retired in 1993, Mohler was only thirty-three years old, but he possessed the biblical commitment, vision, and gifts that the process of institutional transformation required. After meeting with the trustees for candid discussions about Southern’s future, the trustees elected Mohler on March 26, 1993 to serve as the seminary’s ninth president. He officially assumed the office on August 1, 1993, and his inauguration service, held October 14-15, featured honored guests Billy Graham and Carl F. H. Henry.

During Dr. Mohler’s tenure, the face of Southern has changed dramatically. Southern now draws roughly four thousand students to study in a variety of programs. The seminary endowment has rapidly grown under Mohler. Boyce College, restructured as a four-year undergraduate school in 1997, now draws over a thousand students each year.

Dr. Mohler addresses issues relevant to the church and the broader culture through his daily blog and commentary posted on his website, albertmohler.com and previously hosted a nationally syndicated radio program from 2004 to 2010. Frequently asked to speak as a representative of the evangelical worldview on such programs as Larry King Live, Dr. Mohler has contributed material to Time, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today. In 1995, Time named Mohler one of its “Top 40 Leaders under 40.” Soon after, Christianity Today listed Dr. Mohler as One of the 50 most influential Christians under 40.

Dr. Mohler has presided over a remarkable transformation of Southern Seminary. At the tenth anniversary of his presidency, he reflected on this experience, stating “We had a tradition to reclaim. That’s a very important gift God gave Southern Seminary. We wanted to claim that tradition of orthodox, classical Christian scholarship so deeply embedded in the Baptist tradition. Without apology, we believe that our students must know the Word of God and in order, as the apostle Paul said to Timothy, that they would rightly divide the Word of truth and be workmen who need not be ashamed.” (1) Upon the occasion of his twentieth anniversary, he asserted that Southern Seminary aspire to be “the obvious answer to the question, ‘Where are people going to find the kinds of pastors and teachers, ministers and missionaries and leaders they’re lookin for in their churches?'” with special attention to ethnic and minority development. (2)

Dr. Mohler powerfully carries on the legacy of courage and faithfulness that James P. Boyce initiated.

(1) The Tie, “President Mohler Speaks About 10 Years With Southern Seminary”, Spring 2003, page 11. (2) Towers, “Twenty Years and Counting: Mohler Reflects on His Presidency of Southern Seminary”, October 2013, page 13.
Sources: Albert Mohler’s Bio, available from http://www.albertmohler.com/bio.php, The Tie, Summer 2003, Towers, October 2013

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