Tim Gilbert, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean
B.A., Oklahoma Baptist University; M.Div. and Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Gilbert started his term as Dean in 2013. In March 2015, he was named Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Ethics, and formerly taught at Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, Texas. In his nearly thirty years at Tarrant, Dean Gilbert served in a variety of capacities including Divisional Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. He co-authored Christian Ethics—A Primer and contributed a chapter on Christian ethics in Has Our Theology Changed? Southern Baptist Thought Since 1845.
Dr. Gilbert is married to the Rev. Karen Grubb Gilbert. They have two daughters: Rev. Katie Gilbert is Minister to College and Career at First United Methodist Church, in Birmingham, Alabama. She is married to Rev. Matt Lacey, pastor of The Church of the Reconciler in Birmingham, AL, a church devoted to the homeless in downtown Birmingham. Rev. Mary Beth Foust, Ministry Coordinator at CBF Virginia, is a graduate of BTSR. She is married to Rev. Caleb Foust, who is Associate Pastor for Youth at Gayton Baptist Church in Richmond and also a BTSR grad. Dr. Gilbert and Karen recently welcomed their first grandchild and anxiously await their second in the coming months.
Get to know Dean Gilbert!
Why do you teach? As Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, most of my duties are administrative, but I still love to teach. I have been a Sunday School teacher for as long as I can remember and that has fueled my love of teaching as a career. The choice to be a teacher probably was solidified during my days as a PhD student at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth. I love helping students come into contact with new knowledge and ideas and to be part of their integrating those things into their own world views.
Who’s your favorite theologian? That is a difficult list to narrow, but here are a few: T. B. Maston, who spent his career teaching Christian Ethics at Southwestern Seminary, deeply influenced me and guided me into the study of Christian Ethics. C.S. Lewis has influenced me throughout my life. He helped me to realize that one could be an intellectual and a Christian. Thomas Merton and Evelyn Underhill helped with my development of spiritual formation, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer has also been significant in my faith development.
If not teaching, then what? My whole life has been spent in higher education. I can’t foresee doing anything else. My wife has said that if I ever retire I should get a job at a bookstore to feed my love of knowledge and reading. I can also see myself being involved full-time in social justice issues should I ever give up teaching and theological education.
Where will we find you on Sunday mornings? Karen and I are members at Derbyshire Baptist Church here in Richmond, where Karen serves on staff. You can usually find us both teaching Sunday School classes and singing in the choir during worship.
What do you like to do for fun? I love to read a wide range of literature but am fond of science fiction and philosophy. I am an amateur bird watcher. I am also involved with the issue of climate change and was trained as a presenter for Al Gore’s organization, the Climate Project.