Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) is pleased to announce that Jonathan Welch will join the faculty full-time as an assistant professor of Christian worship and coordinator of the Worship Leader Training Collaboration, beginning August 1. SEBTS welcomes Welch, his wife Sarah and their four children.
“Our faculty is committed to serving the local church and equipping students to love and lead their local churches in faithfulness to the Great Commission,” the president commented. Danny Akins. “That is exactly what Jonathan has done for years at The Summit Church. I know he will train our students to lead worship in churches with humility, conviction, and biblical fidelity. As an outstanding Southeastern graduate, Jonathan loves our institution and its mission and is a welcome addition to our full-time faculty.
Welch’s passion for music began at an early age and is deeply inspired by the family’s music ministry heritage. “My mom is very musical and I saw her singing in church growing up,” Welch said. “My paternal grandparents served together in pastoral ministry and itinerant ministry for over 60 years. My grandfather preached and sang, while my grandmother provided piano or organ accompaniment and often led the singing. Music ministry has been a constant part of our family life for generations.
A native of Greenwood, SC, Welch moved to North Carolina in 2002 to attend Duke University, where he earned a BA in religion (with minors in music and German). While in college, God directed Welch’s heart for music toward teaching and ministry. “College was a pivotal time for feeling God’s call in my life,” Welch recalls. “I started college with a desire to explore a career in music, and finished college with a desire to eventually teach in a college or seminary. For over 15 years now, my ministry involves both creativity and teaching, ranging from worship ministry to adult discipleship in the local church.
Wanting to be equipped to teach and serve the church, Welch chose SEBTS for his graduate studies, confident in the spiritual formation and preparation for ministry he would receive there. Graduating in 2009 with his MDiv in Advanced Biblical Studies, Welch went on to SEBTS for his doctorate in theology and worship, which he completed in 2021. While pursuing his doctorate, Welch served faithfully as a visiting lecturer and later as Adjunct Professor of Worship Leadership at SEBTS.
While at SEBTS, Welch was ordained at The Summit Church, where he has served as an elder since 2009. In the classroom and in the congregation, Welch cultivated a deep commitment to equipping the local church through the ministry of music and of discipleship. As Welch joins the SEBTS faculty, he wants to help students develop a similar commitment to discipleship and the local church. “I want to help students develop a vision of worship ministry that connects worship gathering with discipleship and missions,” Welch said. “God has given so many Christians musical gifts to lead his people in song. I look forward to helping our students grow in their stewardship of these gifts, learning to be faithful leaders in ministry, and seeing how worship gathering can both fuel and contribute to the work of the Great Commission.
“Jonathan brings years of local church ministry to the classroom as he mentors students in the Southeast,” Provost commented. Keith Whitfield. “He led worship in a vibrant, disciple-making church and served for years on their discipleship team. He understands that the purpose of Christian worship is to ascribe proper glory to God and that the effect of Christian worship is to form the faith and testimony of the church.
As an assistant professor of Christian worship and coordinator of the Worship Leader Training Collaboration, Welch will not only teach music classes and worship leadership classes at SEBTS, but will also develop a network of local churches who wish to join SEBTS. to train the next generation of worship leaders. This worship leader training collaboration will provide students with hands-on worship ministry opportunities in local churches and encourage further training partnerships between local churches and worship ministry and leadership programs.
“I believe in Southeastern’s mission and vision, and I’m excited to join the faculty here,” Welch said. “We want our worship studies students to lead and design Bible-true, Christ-exalting, mission-focused worship gatherings that inspire all followers of Jesus to continue in a posture of worship as we let us pursue the Great Commission together. We want to worship wherever the Lord can send us: in our communities, in our workplaces or to the ends of the earth.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Chad Burchett is a staff writer for the SEBTS Communications Office.)