Commending Pastors to the Way of Christ: An Interview with Director Ronjour Locke

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Last week, we introduced you to our center. This week, we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce to the Director of the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership, Professor Ronjour Locke. Professor Locke was formerly the Associate Director, and before coming to Southeastern, pastored for many years. To learn a little more about Professor Locke, continue reading below.


How did God call you into ministry and into the vocation of teaching?

When I was in high school, I came to faith in Christ. Almost immediately, my love for both reading and sharing the Scriptures grew. I never really connected that to vocational ministry until my youth pastor at the time, Jeremy Smith, gave me an opportunity to preach; it was through moments like that and the affirmation of my church family that I sensed God’s call to vocational ministry. In the twenty years since, I’ve been thrilled to preach regularly in pastoral ministry and to teach now at Southeastern.

How did you arrive at SEBTS?

I arrived at Southeastern at the end of 2017 after several years of pastoring in Baltimore, MD. My time there uniquely affected my mindset for academic ministry. When I started serving in Baltimore, I quickly recognized that I needed to learn how to contextualize in order to apply the gospel to the particular needs of my neighbors. I now enter the classroom with a greater confidence in the sufficiency of Christ and with a greater resolve to equip and encourage future pastors and expositors to shepherd their specific flocks well.

What excites you most about the Pastor’s Center?

I love the Pastors Center because the Pastors Center loves pastors. We want to encourage pastors in both their lives and in their ministries. Recent reports suggest that many pastors are struggling with the unrealistic expectations that come when they compare themselves to so-called celebrity pastors. I love the Pastors Center because it commends pastors, through content and conferences, to another way: the way of Christ, where the humble are exalted, dying is gain, and hope is real.

What advice would you give to new students at SEBTS?

Stay humble. Stay focused. Keep a close watch on yourself and your doctrine. Enjoy every step of this momentary life, for the glory of Christ.

Who’s your favorite pastor/theologian and/or favorite quote?

I have many favorite theologians and pastors, but I’ll give you one of my favorite quotes from the apostle Paul: “So death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:12).

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