Published on November 24, 2021 by Kristen Padilla  
Timothy George Lifetime Award SWBTS
SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway presents the Lifetime Achievement award to Timothy George Chinsop Chong, SWBTS

Timothy George, founding dean and distinguished professor of divinity at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, received the Lifetime Achievement award from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) on Nov. 17 during the 73rd annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), which convened its annual meeting this year in Fort Worth, Texas, the home of SWBTS.

George, who served as the vice president of ETS this past year, is now its current president-elect. 

SWBTS inaugurated a series of awards during its annual alumni and friends’ reception at ETS, naming George as the first recipient of its Lifetime Achievement award, which serves to recognize a person who has made “incredible contribution to the life of Baptist and evangelical scholarship,” said David S. Dockery, interim provost and vice president for academic administration at SWBTS.

“For the past four decades few Baptist scholars have made the impact that Timothy George has made as a faculty member at Southern Seminary (1978–1988) and as founding dean and distinguished professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School," Dockery said.

A graduate of Harvard University, George came to Samford University from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1987 at the behest of then-Samford President Thomas E. Corts and benefactor Ralph Waldo Beeson to establish an interdenominational, evangelical divinity school. The school, named for its benefactor, opened its doors in 1988. After 32 years as dean, George transitioned to a full-time faculty position in 2019. He is the author of more than 20 books and the general editor of the 29-volume Reformation Commentary on Scripture series with InterVarsity Press. 

“Recognized primarily for his work in historical theology and church history through his publications on The Theology of the Reformers, Reading Scripture with the Reformers and his key role as general editor of the Reformation Commentary Series, among many other works addressing Baptist and evangelical thought, Dr. George has been an exemplar of the best of what it means to be a scholar and churchman, a true ecclesial theologian,” said Dockery.

He continued, “We owe Timothy George a great debt of gratitude for his service to the academy, to the church, and to each one of us.”

George said, "I was surprised and deeply honored to be chosen by the Southwestern faculty to receive this award. A theologically rich legacy of evangelism and missions lives on at Southwestern today in a new generation of scholars and students who follow in the steps of B.H. Carroll, L.R. Scarborough, W.T. Connor, Rebecca Naylor, my dear friend James Leo Garrett and many others. As William Carey once said, 'Now  is the time to expect great things from God and attempt great things for God!'"
Beeson Dean Douglas A. Sweeney, who succeeded George in 2019, added his congratulations.
“We are so proud of Dr. George and his service both to the church and the academy," he said. "There is no one more deserving of this important award than he is. We are very happy for him, and are thrilled to have him back in the classroom at Beeson!”

Sources for this article came from SWBTS and The Baptist Paper.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.