Dr. Rhyne Putman, a Williams Baptist University graduate and highly regarded theologian, is returning to his alma mater. Putman is joining the administration and faculty at WBU this fall as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Worldview Formation and Professor of Christian Ministries.
In his role as AVP for Academic Affairs, Putman will serve as Dean of the Faculty and will be responsible to provide academic leadership for faculty and academic programming. As Director of Worldview Formation, he will have primary responsibility for developing and implementing strategies that facilitate worldview formation for the university community. As a member of the faculty, Dr. Putman will provide classroom instruction in the areas of Bible, Christian worldview, theology, and other courses related to the department of Christian Ministries.
Putman graduated from Williams in 2005 and went on to earn an M.Div. and Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was hired onto the theology faculty at the seminary and has been serving there ever since. He has also been the Pastor of Preaching and Vision at First Baptist Church in Kenner, La., since 2017.
During his time at NOBTS, Putman has become one of the foremost theologians in the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a recognized scholar in the areas of theological method and worldview formation. His publications include When Doctrine Divides the People of God: An Evangelical Approach to Theological Diversity and In Defense of Doctrine: Evangelism, Theology, and Scripture. His forthcoming book, The Method of Christian Theology, is scheduled for release fall of 2021.
“Dr. Putman has distinguished himself in his field of study, and he has excelled as a professor. He is one of the most prominent young theologians in the field today. He is a credit to WBU as an alumnus, and we are blessed to have him and his family return to Williams in this role,” said Dr. Stan Norman, president of WBU.
“Rhyne embodies the ideals of a pastor-theologian. He has the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor. He understands the importance of local church pastors having a solid biblical foundation and a Christ-centered theological formation,” Norman said. “Rhyne is joining a Christian Ministries faculty that instills in our students a love for the Lord and a love for His church.”
Putman said he is excited to work in a university setting. He believes it is vitally important to impart spiritual truths at this stage of their lives.
“I am excited to put my training in worldview formation to use in a more global setting—to help build a robustly Christian liberal arts education in a university. We can shape minds who see the world through the lens of the gospel, develop rich habits, and stir affections for Christ,” Putman said.
“College students are away from mom and dad for the first time in their lives. They are discovering who they are, and this is a crucial time in the formation of their worldview. My hope is to help students find their place in the grand drama of the gospel. This is God’s world, and no matter what vocation we train for, we all have a pivotal part to play in the story he is telling,” he noted.
The hire is doubly special for Norman, who served as a systematic theology professor at the New Orleans seminary and taught Putman as a student. The two have remained close friends in the years since.
“Rhyne was a gifted student, and I was blessed to share in his theological formation. It has been a pleasure to see him gain prominence as a pastor and a theologian,” Norman said. “Rhyne also has a true heart for ministry and a love for the local church. As a committed churchman, he has a deep appreciation of the important role and relationship that Arkansas Baptist churches have with WBU. These traits will serve him well as he trains and prepares the next generation of ministers to serve in ministry in the local church as well as the marketplace.”
Norman noted that Putman’s influence will not be limited to Christian ministry majors. Putman will also provide interim leadership to campus ministries. “He will be a perfect fit at WBU, where he can reach students in the classroom and help shape the lives of young men and women all across this campus,” said the WBU president. “Rhyne will have the opportunity to interact with students in a broad array of academic fields who are preparing for a wide range of careers.”
Putman and his wife, Micah, are both Jonesboro natives. They have two young children.