Mohler Becomes Longest Tenured President at SBTS

Dec. 21, 2023, marked a historic milestone in the history of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and in the presidency of R. Albert Mohler Jr., as he has surpassed Duke K. McCall as the longest-tenured president in the institution’s history. In addition, he is the longest-serving leader of any SBC entity.

The board of trustees elected Mohler on March 26, 1993, as the ninth president of Southern Seminary, and he took office on Aug. 1. At 33 years of age, Mohler became the youngest president in the school’s history, with the trustees viewing his age as an asset, knowing it could lead to a lengthy tenure and provide important stability and continuity to Southern Seminary.

“This is a very personal issue for me because I am a bridge between those who came before us and those who will come after us,” Mohler said. “I had the great privilege of knowing many of the people who helped build the Southern Baptist Convention during the 20th century. So I know of those who gave such outstanding leadership, not only at Southern Seminary but in other entities of the Southern Baptist Convention. I understand that longevity makes a difference, and I hope this is encouraging to Southern Baptists.”

Speaking to the institutional significance of presidential longevity, Mohler said, “If you look at … the strength of the institution, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that there have only been nine men who served as president going back to 1859. I am the fourth president of Southern Seminary to serve 30 years, and the Lord has just given me a little more time than He gave the others. The fact that four of nine presidents have served for 30 years is nearly unprecedented in American higher education.”