The faculty of BTSR hold degrees from educational institutions around the globe, are leading scholars in their respective fields, and demonstrate a lifelong commitment of service and ministry to and with local congregations.


Daniel G. Bagby
Theodore F. Adams Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Care

B.A., M.S., Baylor University; M.Div., Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Additional study: University of Edinburgh

Professor Bagby has pastored for almost thirty years, served in two pastoral counseling centers, and as chaplain to a juvenile detention center and a women’s prison. He is a frequent national speaker on pastoral care issues and has authored numerous articles and seven books including, Crisis Ministry: A Handbookand Beyond The Myths: The Journey To Adulthood(2007).

He has taught at Baylor University, Purdue University, and Southern Seminary, as well as for the International Mission Board’s Journeyman Training Program. He is the 2005 recipient of the Wayne Oates Award.


Mark E. Biddle
Russell T. Cherry Professor of Old Testament

B.A., Samford University; M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Th.M., Rüschlikon Baptist Theological Seminary; Dr.Theol., University of Zürich 

Professor Biddle is author of several books including Missing the Mark: Sin and Its Consequences in Biblical Theology (Abingdon, 2005), and Deuteronomy in the Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary Series (for which he is also the Old Testament Area Editor), Reading Judges (2013), and A Time to Laugh (2014). He has written numerous articles and more than 100 book reviews.

Dr. Biddle is the Managing Editor of Review and Expositor and is the general editor of the commentary series “Reading the Old Testament” (Smyth & Helwys). He has lectured throughout the U.S. and at the Polish Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as pastor and interim pastor in Indiana, Germany, Switzerland, and Tennessee.



B.A., Meredith College; M.Div., Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.B.A., Wake Forest University.

Dr. McKinnish Bridges was a founding professor of Biblical Interpretation, Ancient Greek and New Testament Interpretation at BTSR from 1991-2001. From 2001-2014 she served Wake Forest University as Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Associate Dean of International Admissions, as well as faculty and administrator in the School of Divinity. McKinnish Bridges recently served as Managing Director of The International University Alliance, Shorelight

Education, helping international students and U.S. universities reach international education goals. Author of The Church’s Portraits of Jesus (1997) and 1&2 Thessalonians: Smyth and Helwys Bible Commentary (2008) and a strong social media presence, Bridges comingles her passions of research, writing, and administration. At the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year, Dr. McKinnish Bridges returned to BTSR as the third president, shaping the future of the seminary with her innovative and visionary leadership.

Watch the inaugural of Dr. Bridges


Ronald W. Crawford
President EMERITUS, Professor of Pastoral Ministry

B.A., North Carolina State University; M.Div. and D.Min., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, M.P.A., Virginia Commonwealth University

Dr. Crawford became President of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond July 1, 2007 and retired on June 30, 2017. Prior to becoming BTSR’s second president, he served as pastor for 27 years, including two congregations in Virginia (Vandola Baptist near Danville, and Lakeside Baptist in Richmond), First Baptist Church of Asheville, North Carolina, and his most recent pastorate at College Park Baptist, Orlando, FL. While in Virginia, Dr. Crawford served as president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia and as president of the Virginia Baptist General Board.


Tim Gilbert

B.A., Oklahoma Baptist University; M.Div. and Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Effective July 2017, Dr. Gilbert will begin his post as Affiliate Professor of Philosophy of Religion. Dr. Gilbert began his career at BTSR 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 County College, 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 and Rev. Mary Beth Foust, both married to ministers as well. Dr. Gilbert and Karen recently welcomed their first two grandchildren.


Tom GRaves
President Emeritus

B.A., Vanderbilt University; M.Div., Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; S.T.M., Yale Divinity School.
Additional study: School of Theology at Claremont.

Professor Graves came to the seminary from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church and served as the first president of BTSR until his retirement in June 2006. He was previously Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has taught at Palm Beach Atlantic College and Bellarmine College, and adjunctively at Barton College and the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zimbabwe. He has pastored churches in Kentucky and Florida.


B.A., Carson-Newman College; M.Div., Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond; Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education

Dr. Hartman began her work as Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean on June 1, 2017. Hartman was a member of the first class of M. Div. students at BTSR and won the Miller Award for Academic Achievement upon her graduation in 1995. Her graduate work at Union included ground-breaking research into the relationship between parish setting and preaching style for women pastors.

Dr. Hartman teaches courses in preaching and practical theology, and previously served as director of the seminary’s Supervised Ministry and Doctor of Ministry programs.   She is the author of Letting the Other Speak: Proclaiming the Stories of Biblical Women and co-author of New Proclamation Commentary.  She also contributed to the Feasting on the Word and Feasting on the Gospels commentary series.

Dr. Hartman served as preacher and preaching instructor for the First Annual Pastor’s Conference  and as preacher and lecturer for the First Annual Lay Women’s Conference at Baptist Theological Seminary at Zimbabwe. She was recently elected president of the Association of Theological Field Educators at their 2017 Biennium Consultation in St. Paul, MN. ATFE, an affiliate of ATS, connects and bridges theory and practice, academy and church, and local and global contexts. She is active in Baptist life and has served as staff member and interim pastor to several Virginia churches. She enjoys preaching throughout the region.


Elizabeth Newman
Eula Mae and John Baugh Professor of Theology and Ethics
Director, Master of Theological Studies program

B.A., Wake Forest University; M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Duke University

Professor Newman joined the faculty of BTSR in 2002 after serving on the faculty at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN for twelve years. She is the author of Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers (Brazos Press, 2007), and Attending the Wounds on Christ’s Body: Teresa’s Scriptural Vision (Cascade Books, 2012) and Divine Abundance: Leisure, the Basis of Academic Culture (forthcoming).

She currently serves as co-chair for the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity and as a representative in Baptist World Alliance Conversations with the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity (2017-2022). She is also on the leadership team for Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy.

She is active as youth leader, VBS Director and pianist at Epworth UMC, where her husband pastors. Biking and hiking are favorite pastimes.


F. Scott Spencer

Professor of New Testament and Biblical Interpretation

B.A., University of Texas at San Antonio; M.Div., Southwestern Theological Seminary; Th.M., Westminster Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Department of Theology, University of Durham, England

Professor Spencer has published several books and articles related to his major interests in Jesus, the Gospels, Luke and Acts, and the role of women in the Bible, including Song of Songs (Wisdom Commentary Series, Liturgical Press, 2017) and Salty Wives, Spirited Mothers, and Savvy Widows: Capable Women of Persistence and Purpose in Luke’s Gospel (Eerdmans, 2012).

Dr. Spencer currently serves as co-chair of “The Bible and Emotion” group of the Society of Biblical Literature and is editing a collection of essays on this topic for SBL Press. He is also completing a major commentary on Luke (Two Horizon Series, Eerdmans). He regularly teaches and preaches in area churches and has served interim pastorates in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas.

He has also enjoyed acting in university, seminary and community theater, including recent roles in Shadowlands, God’s Favorite, Godspell, and Cotton Patch Gospel for the BTSR Shoestring Players.


Arthur M. Wright, Jr.
Affiliate Professor of Spirituality and New Testament; Acting director, doctor of ministry program; director of bstr connects

B.A., Averett University; M.Div., Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education; Ph.D., Union Presbyterian Seminary.

 Art recently completed his dissertation, entitled “The Governor and the King: Irony, Hidden Transcripts, and Negotiating Empire in the Fourth Gospel.” His primary area of expertise is the Gospel of John. Other research interests include the Synoptic Gospels, Revelation, the Roman Empire in the New Testament, and perspectives on the afterlife in the Bible and early Christianity. Art has recently contributed several essays to the Feasting on the Word commentary series and has given a number of presentations at professional conferences. This year he is teaching several courses on Spirituality and Ministry Leadership.

Art loves teaching traditional and online courses. When he is not teaching or writing, Art stays active in Baptist life in Richmond and currently serves on staff part-time at Tabernacle Baptist Church. He also enjoys reading fiction, running, and drinking coffee. Art is married and has a young son.



Stephen Booth, Christian Education Formation
B.S., Campbell University; M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; D.Min. Andover-
Newton Theological School

Eugenia Freiburger, Christian Education Formation
B.S.,Virginia Commonwealth University; M.A.C.E, Union Presbyterian Theological Seminary;
D.Min., Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

Dan Koger, Christian Education Formation
B.A., Averett College; Ed.D., M.Div., M.R.E., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Deborah Carlton Loftis, Church Music and Worship
B.A., Furman University; M.C.M., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.L.S., University of
Alabama; Ph.D., University of Kentucky/University of Louisville joint program in Musicology

Narola McFayden, Christian Education, Curriculum Theory
B.D., Eastern Theological Seminary; M.Th., United Theological College; Th.M., Emory University,
Candler School of Theology; Ph.D., Union Presbyterian Seminary

James F. Peak, Jr., Church Management, Choir Director
B.B.A., Belmont University; M.C.M., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Virginia
Commonwealth University. Additional study: Medical College of Virginia, Union Presbyterian
Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education

Barbara Robbins, Justice and Peacebuilding
B.A., Baylor University; M.Div. (major in Pastoral Counseling), Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary; M.A., Center of Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University

S. Greg Smith, Christian Mission
B.A., Ouachita Baptist University; M.Div. (Missions), M.A. (Christian Education), Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary; Th.M., (Cross-Cultural Mission) and Ph.D. (Intercultural Studies),
Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism, Asbury Theological Seminary

Ross M. Wright, Church History
B.A., Davidson College; M.Div., Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Trinity College; Th.M.
Princeton Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of St. Andrews, Scotland.


Susan Blanchard
Acting Director, Supervised Ministry Program
B.S., Radford University; M.A., Presbyterian School of Christian Education; M.Div.,
Union Theological Seminary

Stephen Booth
B.S., Campbell University; M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; D.Min.
Andover-Newton Theological School