KANSAS CITY – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Jason Allen announced that Matthew Barrett, H.B. Charles, Jr., Steven Smith and James Kragenbring will join the institution’s faculty and staff in varying capacities for the upcoming academic year. Additionally, James Kragenbring has been appointed as vice president of institutional administration.
Barrett, as associate professor of Christian theology, will undertake the full-time duties of instructing and mentoring the next generation of God-called men and women at Midwestern Seminary. Charles and Smith will serve in the role of senior preaching fellows for the Spurgeon Library, while each maintains his current local church ministry.
Having served since 2015 as lecturer and tutor of systematic theology and church history at Oak Hill Theological College in London, Barrett has previously served in instructional roles at California Baptist University, as assistant professor of Christian studies, and at Biola University, as an adjunct professor in biblical and theological studies.
He has also ministered in the local church setting as senior pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Riverside, Calif., and in various preaching and teaching roles since 2003.
A well-established author, Barrett has written a number of books, including the aforementioned, Reformation Theology; God’s Word Alone; as well as 40 Questions about Salvation; John Owen on the Christian Life; and Four Views on the Historical Adam. He also has six forthcoming books.
He is a graduate of Biola University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, and earned a M.Div. in Biblical Studies & Christian Ministry and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
H.B. Charles and Steven Smith
Allen noted that in recent months, he and the seminary’s leadership began to dream about the next stage of development for the Spurgeon Library. Stemming from that was a desire to add two senior preaching fellows, and both Smith and Charles’ names remained on the top of Allen’s list.
The two senior preaching fellows will serve the seminary community via preaching God’s Word and instructing students in the discipline both in classroom and conference settings.
Charles is the pastor-teacher at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Fla., where he has served since the fall of 2008. His ministry there includes primarily preaching-teaching, vision casting, and leadership development.
Prior to joining the Shiloh Church community, Charles led the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church of Los Angeles for almost 18 years.
Charles regularly speaks at churches, conferences, and conventions around the country, and most recently was named president of the 2018 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference in Dallas. He is also author of seven books and writes regularly for a blog on his church’s website.
Smith has served as pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., since January 2017. Prior to his ministry there, he served in multiple roles at Southwestern Seminary from 2004-2016, including professor of preaching, dean of the College at Southwestern, and vice president for student services. He has also pastored churches in Texas and Virginia.
Smith holds a B.S. in Communication from Liberty University, a M.Div. from Southeastern Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Communication from Regent University.
A regular conference speaker, lecturer and teacher, he is the author of Dying to Preach: Embracing the Cross in the Pulpit and Recapturing the Voice of God: Shaping Sermons Like Scripture and has contributed to several other books on preaching as well as a number of articles for both the academy and the church. He also has three forthcoming books.
As vice president of institional administration, James Kragenbring, formerly president and chief investment officer of Aquifer Capital, LLC, in Phoenix, accepted the position overseeing all business and financial services, human resources, dining services, campus operations, information technology, major seminary projects, and other seminary programs and efforts.
Kragenbring has been active in the investment management industry for more than 20 years, having managed portfolios of some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated endowments, foundations, pension plans, insurance companies, and multinational corporations. In 2008, he founded Aquifer Capital, LLC, and has led the firm since that time.
Kragenbring will begin his responsibilities at Midwestern Seminary Aug. 1, and after a season of transition, will begin leading the division in mid-September.