Mercer University Recognized for Partnership with Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary


Dr. Graham Walker Elected New President of ABGTS Foundation

ATLANTA – The Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary (ABGTS) and Foundation, a consortium of nine Baptist universities and seminaries across Asia, concluded its 22nd triennial meeting of the Board of Trustees in Daejeon, Korea, on Feb. 14, on the campus of the Korea Baptist Theological University and Seminary.

At this meeting, Chairman of the Board Dr. Chaiwat Chawmuangman thanked Mercer University for its 15-year partnership with the consortium, first begun in 1999 under then-Mercer President Dr. R. Kirby Godsey.

During these years, the ABGTS Foundation and Mercer shared faculty, students and librarians in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim for a variety of endeavors, including mission immersion trips, cross-cultural teaching seminars, student teaching placement and theological conferences.

In thanking current Mercer President William D. Underwood and McAfee School of Theology Dean Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, Dr. Chawmuangman noted that though the partnership formally ended in December 2014, he looks forward to working with the University in the region in the future.

In other news, the board voted for “New Directions in Theological Education for Indo-China” as its focusing effort for the next five years. This plan emerged out of the theological education needs in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Thai-Burmese border and southern China already being addressed by consortium member schools in Taiwan and Thailand.

Dr. Graham Walker, John and Judy Zellars Professor of Theology in the McAfee School of Theology, was elected president of the ABGTS Foundation and is charged with leading the 55-year-old consortium for the next five years. Dr. Soon Tae Kwon of the Evangelische Koreanische Gemeinde Leipzig, Germany, was elected vice president for institutional advancement.

“Dr. Graham Walker's leadership in Mercer's partnership with the Asia Baptist Graduate TheologicalSeminary has opened avenues for collaboration that have strengthened both ABGTS and the McAfee School of Theology,” said Dr. Culpepper.

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology

The James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta, on Mercer University's Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers degree programs leading to a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, M.Div.-Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and M.Div.-Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with a Concentration in Non-Profit. For more information, visit

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.