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The Southern DNA

Inside Blog

New Employee Introduction-Dustin Benge


Dustin Benge


Southern alumnus and Kentucky native Dustin Benge joins the Southern Team as the retail manager. Dustin earned his M.Div in Christian Ministries and is currently working on his Ph.D in Biblical Spirituality with an emphasis on angels: from Calvin to Spurgeon.

A pastor in Mobile, Alabama most recently, yet with an exstensive retail background he hopes in his role as retail manager to focus on getting new brands into 5th and Broadway and Edgar’s, as well as having a cohesive look among the two. In all, he hopes to help both 5th and Broadway and Edgar’s take that “next step.”

Dustin is married to his wife, Molli, of four years. When he is not working or studying he enjoys running, drawing and painting, graphic design, and history.

He can be reached at or ext. 4401.

Dustin, welcome back and welcome to the Southern team!


New Employee Introduction-Shannon Chiles


Shannon Chiles


A Maryland native, Shannon Chiles joins the Southern Team as academic counselor for Southern & Disability Services. Since graduating with a B.S. in Psychology from Howard, Shannon has spent time at the University of Pittsburgh (post baccalaureate studies), and the University of Toronto (Fulbright scholar) in which much of her time was spent in the area of students with disabilities.

In her new role she will be assisting students with any alternative learning accommodations and helping them with any resource they need during their time at Southern.

Shannon is also studying at Southern and is pursuing an M.Div. in biblical counseling with a desire for further study at the Ph.D level specifically with an emphasis in teaching the sufficiency of scripture for counseling.

When Shannon isn’t working or studying she can be found enjoying hobbies such as photography, archery, and horse back riding. She says she is waiting for the perfect situation where she could do all three at the same time.

Shannon can be reached at or ext. 4107

Welcome to the Southern team!




New Employee Introduction-Bailey Walker



Bailey Walker



Joining the Southern team in August, Bailey Walker works as the administrative assistant of professional doctoral studies. In her role she will assist doctoral students specifically in the D.Min and D.EdMin programs in their application to the program, schedule their oral defenses, and assist in the totality of their time in the program.

One of the things she sees as beneficial in her role is that she assists students who are currently pastoring and gets to see the labor of these pastors which will bear fruit in their congregations.

Originally from Longview, TX. Bailey graduated from Dallas Baptist University (DBU) with an M.S. in psychology. While at DBU Bailey met her husband, Ellis, who is pursuing an M.Div. When she is not working she says her and Ellis enjoy all things outdoors as well as traveling.

Bailey can be reached at or ext. 4113

Welcome to the Southern team Bailey!



Book Review: Do More Better by Tim Challies


Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

Tim Challies

Cruciform Press ($9.99)


In the fast paced world that we live in the stress to do more is always tugging for our attention. Between evaluation tools and metrics, we as a society are driven by accomplishments and the mindset that more is always better. In Do More Better: a practical guide to productivity author Tim Challies looks into what it looks like to be biblically productive.

From the title you may think that Challies is relegating his readers to a destructive work ethic where “more” is what is expected. But defining productivity as, “effectively stewarding …  gifts, talents, time, energy, and enthusiasm for the good of others and the glory of God.” Continuing, he quotes Psalm 127:12, saying all our works apart from God are in vain. Throughout the opening chapters he develops this twofold (Good for others, glorifies God) biblical foundation for productivity and continues to unpack vocational calling and seeking biblical productivity in the following chapters.

But doing more comes with some necessary cautions, first of which Challies addresses is the lore of busyness saying, “Busyness may make you feel good about yourself and give the illusion of getting things done, but it probably just means that you are directing too little attention in too many directions, that you are prioritizing all the wrong things, and that your productivity is suffering.” In the pursuit of doing more we unknowingly sacrifice quality on the altar of busy.

From there he addresses the need to inventory areas of responsibility. This aspect of productivity, Challies says, is essential. For one to see what is ahead, they must allow themselves time to assess and not merely adjust as things come. It is here that a great asset to this book be mentioned; since Challies sets out to not merely talk about productivity, but to help his readers be more productive, he provides introspective action steps at the end of each chapter. Whether how to inventory, or another aspect, he truly seeks to equip his readers to act and be productive by adding these questions and steps. To achieve this he says, “I want you to do more good. I want you to do more of what matters most, and I want you to do it better.”

In chapter three, Challies begins a section on practical steps to productivity. He goes further by laying out what it looks like to construct a personal mission statement. When you recognize your areas of gifting you will be more apt to accomplishing those tasks. Challies explains, “It is far better to dedicate lots of attention to those areas in which you are particularly talented or gifted than it is to dedicate minimal attention to the many areas you are not.” He then builds further with the importance of using tools that allow and propel productivity; things such as evernote, icalendar, todoist to name a few. Chapter six then discusses the collection of pertinent tasks. Progressing from the inventory of responsibilities, he goes one level deeper to address the specific task within each role; think of them as subcategories. Seven then builds off previous chapters and addresses the need to schedule accordingly. On the note of planning he says, “My experience confirms that if I fail to attack my week with theologically informed planning, my week attacks me with an onslaught of the urgent. And I end up devoting more time to the urgent than the important.” This doesn’t mean that everything you have to do will get done or even that it can get done, and to this end he says, “Only God gets his to-do list done each day.”


In Challies’ pursuit to equip his readers to achieve biblical productivity, Do More Better  clearly defines productivity and how to pursue it. With the resources at the reader’s’ fingertips  they need through the website, inventory sheets, and action steps Challies accomplishes his goal of equipping the reader to do more better, and to do what matters most, do good to others and glorify God. If put into action these steps have the potential to be very effective in the reader’s pursuit of productivity. Do More Better is a quick read (only 120 pages) which allows readers to do more better, while not having to read an extensive 900 page corpus on productivity. Pick it up, apply the tools, do more better.

The office of Human Resources is giving away a few copies of Do More Better click here to find out how you can register!


Having purchased copies for his team, Matt Minier, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Southern Seminary says, “I’m always on the lookout for good practical advice about productivity. I’ve read a lot of different books over the years and found very few helpful. Typically, the recommended system is extremely complicated and takes a lot of effort to maintain.” Minier continued to say, “I found Challies system to be simple and accessible. He provides a few simple tools and gives helpful examples of how to deploy each tool.” In conclusion, Minier writes, “I’d recommend Do More Better because it’s simple and very practical. Challis system is designed to help individuals manage varied responsibilities while keeping their priorities straight.”


New Employee Introduction- Bennett Stofer



Bennett Stofer

Though he has been a member of the Southern team for some time, Bennett has been promoted to the role of full-time audio technician for Event Media. In his role he will assist the Event Media office in acquiring new equipment through rental and purchase, as well as oversee the design and implementation of audio for many events held on campus.

Originally from Bowling Green, KY. Bennett attended Western Kentucky University and earned a B.A. in Music Education, and currently he is pursuing an M.A. in worship leadership.

When Bennett is not working or in class he can be found playing music, singing in doxology, working on his car, or watching Netflix.

Bennett can be reached at or ext. 4174.

Welcome to the Southern team!