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Meet the New Dean of the Barnett College of Ministry & Theology

We are thrilled to announce that we have concluded our nationwide search, as Rev. Chris Palmer has been appointed as the new dean of the Barnett College of Ministry & Theology (BCMT). He will officially begin his new role on July 1.

In this position, Palmer will guide and oversee our ministry and theology programs, faculty, and students at our main Lakeland campus, as well as our many partners within the SEU Ministry Network.

“The accelerating change in culture has produced great need for both faithful scholars and impactful ministry practitioners,” said Palmer. “I’m committed to serving SEU in order to ensure our students are shaped to be both.”

About the Role

Palmer will lead BCMT faculty and adjuncts to achieve collaborative growth of the ministry, theology, and related programs, as well as contribute to strategic planning for the college’s programs, policies, and faculty development. He will work closely with the president, institutional leaders, and several offices on campus to achieve strategic plan objectives.

In addition, Palmer will advance thought leadership within the ministry networks, parachurch, nonprofit, business, research, and higher education communities. 

“When looking for someone to step into this role, we desired a leader who truly understands the direction that higher education is heading. We needed someone who could carry out an ambitious vision while fulfilling our commitment to serve the local church,” said President Kent Ingle. “I have no doubt that Palmer will find new and innovative ways to deliver education and train the next generation of ministry leaders.”

Palmer’s Experience

Prior to accepting this position, Palmer served as both the dean of students for Theos Seminary in Franklin, Tennessee, and the dean of theology at Austin Christian University in Georgetown, Texas. Within these roles, Palmer helped craft innovative subscription-based online seminary models, developed curriculum for bachelor’s and master’s level courses, and taught several ministry and theology classes.

Palmer’s background is rooted in the Assemblies of God tradition. He has 18 years of ministerial experience in pastoral care and spiritual leadership to local congregations and has done missionary work in over 40 countries. He also serves as an adjunct professor for the Moody Bible Institute’s Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. 

Palmer is currently in the final stages of his Ph.D. program in Philosophy and Religion from Bangor University in the United Kingdom. In addition, he has a Master of Theological Studies in Exegetical Theology from Moody Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Studies from North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

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