A Message from the Presidential Succession Commission



A Message From The
Presidential Succession Commission

As you have perhaps read, Tim Tomlinson announced on January 16 his intention to step aside as President of Bethlehem College & Seminary in the summer of 2021. Those of us charged with providing leadership for the school look back with tremendous gratitude for the foundations that Dr. Tomlinson has laid in his years as founding president. 

According to the January 16 announcement:

A Presidential Search Commission has been formed by the school’s board of trustees to undertake the work of recruiting, interviewing, vetting, and praying over the selection of the school’s next leader. “Our hope is to identify a preferred candidate by Fall 2020, finalize a selection in early 2021, and install a new president at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year,” said board of trustees chairman, Sam Crabtree. “We will soon make an announcement regarding the commission’s process.”

What you are reading is that announcement.

We have been at work since last year, because Dr. Tomlinson graciously informed the Trustees of his plans in advance of his announcement. Our first task (saturated with prayer and in reliance on God’s guidance) was to create three documents: A profile of the institution, a profile of the duties of the president, and a profile of presidential qualifications. These documents are guiding our process and being shared with those with whom we consult for input.

The net is being cast widely, with faculty, staff, elders, trustees, donors, and a wider circle of trusted friends being consulted. Our aim is to gather in this net the best input regarding possible candidates, desired qualifications, and other wisdom that could help us make a biblically wise and Christ-exalting recommendation to the Trustees. 

We hope to be able to present a candidate to the Trustees during the Fall term this year (2020), so that a call could be extended to the candidate in early 2021 with a view to his taking up the responsibilities of president in the summer of 2021. Public installation would take place in the Fall of 2021.

Few decisions in the life of a school are more decisive in shaping its faithfulness, character, goals, and fruitfulness than the kind of man who gives presidential leadership. With trust in God’s sovereign grace, we seek now your prayers—even with fasting. 

Recall how the church in Antioch chose the first leaders of its new mission:

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2) 

Together, by prayer, fasting, faith, and rigorous thought, saturated with Scripture, we believe God will give us his guidance in this crucial process. 

Good and upright is the Lord; 

therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 

He leads the humble in what is right, 

and teaches the humble his way. (Psalm 25:8–9) 

Thank you for praying for us.


Members of the Presidential Search Commission

Bethlehem College & Seminary 

Sam Crabtree, Chairman
Jason Meyer, Lead Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church
Andy Naselli, Faculty
John Piper, Chancellor
Brian Tabb, Academic Dean
Justin Taylor, Trustee