Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, a theological education partner of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, has named longtime moderate Baptist educator and entrepreneur David Cassady as its second president.
Cassady, 56, will succeed founding president Greg Earwood, who retired last year. He begins work in May.
Cassady is founder and president of Faithlab, a creative services firm that helps congregations and religious nonprofits “tell their story” through website development, photography, logo development, graphic design, consulting and publishing.
One of Faithlab’s clients is Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. Seminary spokeswoman Jessalynn Cornett said Cassady’s creative work is one of the things that appealed to the presidential search committee, and he will remain at Faithlab in “an appropriate, albeit adjusted role.”
Started seven years ago, Faithlab is the latest in a series of Cassady-associated ventures serving churches and organizations in a career spanning 25 years.
Even before finishing his doctoral dissertation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he was employed as managing editor of the Christian education division of Smyth & Helwys — a publishing firm incorporated in 1990 as a moderate alternative to the Baptist Sunday School Board, today known as LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Cassady began working at Smyth & Helwys on Jan. 1, 1992, shortly after the privately owned company in Macon, Ga., added Sunday school curriculum to its book publishing operation, and three months before Cecil Sherman became first executive coordinator of the CBF. Over the course of 16 years at Smyth & Helwys, he rose through the ranks to become executive vice president and publisher.
In 2011 FaithLab collaborated with the newspaper Baptists Today to produce Bible study lessons under a subsidiary called Nurturing Faith. In 2016 Baptists Today rebranded as Nurturing Faith Journal and reduced frequency from monthly to every other month.
According to the Faithlab website, other clients include the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, New Baptist Covenant and CBF organizations in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. The firm worked with the national CBF headquarters in Decatur, Ga., on programs including the Dawnings initiative and New Church Starts.
Conceived in the 1990s in response to ideological changes at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Baptist Seminary of Kentucky began classes at Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., in 2002.
The free-standing seminary later moved to the campus of Lexington Theological Seminary before relocating to its present location, Georgetown College, during the summer of 2010. In 2016 BSK created a partnership with Simmons College of Kentucky, a historically black college in Louisville.
The seminary has five full-time faculty, 10 adjunct professors and one senior professor, Glenn Hinson. According to the Association of Theological Schools, which accredited the school’s master of divinity degree program in 2015, 28 students were enrolled in the fall of 2016.
Everett McCorvey, chair of the board of trustees, said Cassady’s “experience, his world-wide connections, his dedication to the cause of teaching and preparing students for the ministry” make him an outstanding choice as president.
“I am excited for the BSK family of students, alumni, church leaders and the community at large to get to know him,” said McCorvey, a music professor at the University of Kentucky. “He will do a tremendous job for the seminary.”