In a surprising announcement, Lipscomb University in Nashville has acquired the premier Archaeology graduate program that formerly belonged to the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. SWBTS’s program had become prominent in Biblical Archaeology but fell victim to financial pressures that have been credited to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was axed this past April with all professors let go and 25 graduate students dropped before completing their degrees. SWBTS’s work had included recent excavations at Tel Gezer and Tel Burna (possibly biblical Libnah).
Thanks to the generosity of Mark Lanier (whose sponsorship of archaeological research includes the Lanier Theological Library in Houston), Lipscomb has hired SWBTS’s program chair, archaeologist Dr. Stephen Ortiz, as well as archaeologist Dr. Tom Davis, SWBTS’s full graduate program, and most of its archaeological collections. The new center at Lipscomb will be known as the Lanier Center for Archaeology and will offer Lipscomb’s first doctoral program.
You can read the illuminating announcement from BAS that is titled, “The Summer Lipscomb Saved Biblical Archaeology.” The formal announcement from Lipscomb University has additional information you may find interesting.