David Parks has been appointed director of the Global Center at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School. He has served as interim director of the center since August.
A Birmingham native, Dr. Parks previously served six years as a director with the International Mission Board and Youth Ministry International in southeast Asia, where he trained leaders of student ministries in local churches and started local student outreaches.
Parks served in youth ministry in Birmingham area churches before earning a Ph.D. degree in missions from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Samford and a master of divinity degree from Beeson.
During his time as interim director of the Global Center, Parks has encouraged divinity students to interact with international students at Samford through weekly chat clubs. He also led students on a cross-cultural ministry practicum trip to Asia in January.
Parks says he looks forward to the continued ability to direct the attention of Beeson students to the great needs of the world, both spiritual and physical.
"I have always loved teaching," said Parks, "so this is a great opportunity to engage students in the classroom. I also love providing practical experiences for students to minister to real people face to face. The various programs of the global center provide a tangible outlet for my desire to both train and to be involved in practical ministry."
David Hogg, associate dean for academic affairs at Beeson and chair of the Global Center search committee, commented on Parks' unique abilities for the post.
"David Parks has a wonderful combination of both practical and academic experience. He comes to us with extensive experience in reaching students and mobilizing them to think strategically about how to spread the gospel," said Dr. Hogg.
Parks and his wife, Jenn, have four children, three of whom were born overseas.
Beeson's Global Center allows divinity students and others to better understand and participate in global Christianity, bringing together information, people and purposes of a missionary God.