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The Southern DNA

Inside Blog

New Employee Introduction- Charlie Plump

Charlie Plump



Joining the Southern Seminary team from Southern California, Charlie began working in the Classroom Technology office in late February. While working, he is also a student pursuing an M.Div. in Christian Ministry. Before coming to Southern he earned his Bachelors degree in Theological Studies from Biola University. When asked about his role in classroom technology he mentioned that he will be assisting teachers with any technology issues they might come across.

You can reach Charlie at or ext. 4007

Welcome Charlie!




New Employee Introduction: Josh Holcomb

Josh Holcomb




Josh Holcomb joined the Southern team as a Guest Services Associate in the Health and Recreation Center in February of 2016.

Originally from the Houston area Josh moved to Louisville to attend Boyce College and is in his fourth semester pursuing a degree in Biblical Counseling. Josh desires to be ACBC certified and wants to apply his studies in Youth Ministry.

Josh can be reached at or by contacting the Health and Recreation Center.

Josh, welcome to the Southern Seminary team!



Employee Spotlight: Sam Tyson

For Sam Tyson, life seems to be categorized into two areas: being equipped for gospel ministry and equipping others for ministry. These two pursuits lend well to his position as ministry connections and applied ministry specialist in the Office of Student Success.



Being Equipped

A North Carolina native, and North Carolina State graduate in public and interpersonal communication, Sam says his studies in communication served as a great foundation to further study in seminary. “I was able to get to know people better and how people tick” saying it was “a good base for seminary and further studies.”

Upon graduating from N.C. State he embarked to Dallas, Texas, to study at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS). While studying at DTS Sam met his wife, and they now have a 15-month-old daughter, Gabby. Sam’s calling to further seminary education was answered when he and his wife journeyed to Southern in the spring of 2013, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology under Gregg Allison, with the dissertation focus on Baptist associationalism.

With the goal to pastor in mind Sam says, “in systematics, it’s kind of like preaching, you have to put the pieces together, you have to see the biblical text but also how history informs it.” While speaking with him you can glean a clear pastoral calling. Sam’s devotion and dedication to the church has been evident not only in his personal life but also in the advice he provides students through Ministry Connections and Applied Ministry.

Equipping Others

Beginning his role in ministry connections in October 2015, Sam came in with the intent to be a point of contact with students earlier rather than later in their time at Southern. He endeavors to help students succeed in more than just the classroom. Application of theology in the classroom to practical experience in ministry is something he holds extremely valuable, saying it is “a testing ground for their [a student’s] future ministry.” Under the Office of Student Success, he seeks to help students think through their vocational goals, and connects them to ministry opportunities. Essential to the seminary experience, Sam said, is “giving them wholistic training, coming alongside their intellectual training and offering an outlet, a way to apply what they’re  learning.”

Viewing his role as someone to help students think through their vocational calling Sam says, “even while they’re here, helping be an advisor in an applied sense for folks, with ministry endeavors, think through, ‘what does it look like to get experience in seminary now?’” One theme that easily comes through is his passion to get students opportunities now. With the intention of helping students do just that, there are opportunities for students to provide pulpit supply in churches, hospitals, and even a prison to preach at in Danville, Kentucky.  But it is even more than that, he says, “be faithful wherever the Lord places you.”


Equipped now for Future Ministry

As a husband, father, Ph.D. student, Southern employee, and deacon he has many things that pull at his time. He says the teamwork and commoradarie he has found within Student Success has been a blessing during his time at Southern. During the midst of Ph.D. work he says that Southern has been more understanding of the tensions between roles than would other employers. Speaking about Southern’s work/life balance, he says, “We have a good balance.”

Aside from his work in Ministry Connections, Sam desires to be a pastor. Through his time working as the Ministry Connections and Applied Ministry Specialist he has learned important aspects in discipleship and mentoring while sending out others that are a prime bridge into pastoral ministry. “It is about training up guys to be sent out” Sam says, which fits perfectly within the pastor’s responsibility to train up the saints for the work of ministry. Sam also says that his work at Southern has helped provide great administrative experience that will serve him well in the pastorate.

Next steps

Do you wonder what your calling is? Maybe you’re longing to have outlets to gain practical experience outside of the classroom, Sam is just the person you need to see. With opportunities for gifting assessments and pulpit supply, Sam Tyson would be the person to meet with. He has 15-30 minute time slots available to discuss those very things. They are more than just the office to see as you’re getting ready to leave, but rather they are an office that needs to be visited during your entire time at Southern, and Sam would love to talk with you and help see you get equipped for future ministry now.
You can contact Sam Tyson at or by ext. 4682. He’d love to see you succeed in future ministry and recognizes that it should and can start with your time at Southern.


Introduction to Employee Spotlights

Spotlighting stories.

Stories hold an essential place at Southern Seminary, and in our society at large. From the stories we tell around the campfire to the grand story of Scripture, we see this truth amplified. There is something about stories that captivate us. The stories that develop a complex plot, that have great character development, and then rise to their resolution. We, as a people, love good stories.


If you’ve been around Southern very long you have more likely than not heard of “The Southern Story.”
If you are among the few who haven’t,it is the intriguing narrative that dates back to 1859 in Greenville, South Carolina and spans more than 150 years. Much has taken place in that time, many changes, and a few moves, but one key theme remained: God’s faithfulness. God’s faithfulness and providence is the overarching story that Southern has been marked by since its founding.

The Human Resources office plays a role
within that story. Marked by a mission of serving Southern Seminary institutionally by recruiting talented employees that love the seminary, supporting the offices of Southern by providing training and policies, and caring for all of our employees during their time of employment. One way we are seeking to care for our employees is by an initiative called “Employee Spotlights.”

What aren’t Employee Spotlights?

First, Employee Spotlights are not a glorified “Employee of the Month.” We all know the picture hung up in the breakroom signifying one employee as being better than the others. This is not that. We hope to give a voice to the many incredible stories of our exceptional employees.

Secondly, and similarly, these spotlights are not for any “superior” offices to gain more recognition. Our hope is that in our spotlights we will get a very broad spectrum of employees covering all of our great offices in every line of work.


What are employee spotlights?

This effort is dedicated to spotlighting all of our employees over time and giving a voice to the many incredible stories of our exceptional employees. There are three initiatives within the spotlights.

First, the New Employee Introduction will introduce new employees to the Southern team so you will know them and be able to welcome them. This will include brief information such as degree, hometown, office and position along with other similar information.

Second, The Employee Spotlight will include a description of each employee including ministry background, school background, stories of God’s faithfulness, and vocational hopes for the future. This will serve as a way for our employees to be encouraged by having their stories told, and will also serve as a way for our employees to engage in the lives of others by listening to those stories of God’s providence in the lives of his people.

The third initiative is what we’re calling the Anniversary Spotlight where we will celebrate the dedication and commitment of some of our most tenured employees each month. We want to highlight and celebrate their dedication to Southern Seminary as well as show how they contribute to the mission to train gospel ministers through their work.


How you can get involved.

  1. Get your office involved in the regular spotlights posted on inside.sbts so that Southern can welcome new employees, hear their stories, and congratulate those who have been with Southern for quite some time.
  2. Contact Sean Corser at with recommendations for employee spotlights.
  3. Check to engage with the employee spotlight initiative.
  4. Connect with us on linkedin and on Facebook

Understanding the System Changes or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love

old technology equipment

We recently made a major shift in some of our systems and applications that we have used for years here at SBTS. With these changes, we retired the site, as well as the Windows desktop application, QuickRef. was a web platform that was primarily used by students to calculate their charges for the semester, print off certain student forms, and update certain information in their student profile. This web platform was a product of Jenzabar, our SIS/ERP system vendor. QuickRef was a custom-built Windows desktop application that offices on campus used to find contact info for employees and departments at SBTS.

Why the sudden change?

While many of these changes took effect over two days, these changes had actually been building over the past year. With every annual upgrade to our main Jenzabar database, there was always some work required to keep functioning. We knew that, eventually, an upgrade would break For that reason, in the summer of 2014, we began working on, a platform built on modern web frameworks, by our developers here in Campus Technology, with the goal that this platform could eventually replace in the event that didn’t survive an upgrade.

This year, our main Jenzabar database upgrade moved us from version 4.7.x to version 6.0.x As we began previewing the changes in this upgrade earlier this year, we realized that this upgrade would introduce some major changes to the database that would break several of our custom-built web applications. Given these changes and the increased likelihood that would not survive the upgrade, we accelerated our migration strategy to move functionality from to

scientists working

We have an incredible team of developers, so as we started working on, we also wanted this platform to provide functionality that was not previously provided through or through any other system on campus. For instance, one of the first apps that we launched within was online access to employee tools. Many students and employees may not realize, but depending on if you’re a student, an employee, or even which department you work in, you may have access to different apps based on your role. To date, we have built out specific custom apps and reporting for Advancement, Admissions, HR, Accounting, along with general apps for all employees and students. Much of this data is actually built on top of the same data that is accessible inside of Jenzabar.

One application that was on our migration list was QuickRef. QuickRef was a Windows desktop application that contained contact details for departments and employees. Since it was only available for Windows though, unless you were on-campus, sitting at a Windows workstation, you could not access this information. It was not available over the web, and there was no Mac version. Due to these factors, we knew that we wanted to migrate QuickRef, so we decided to add it to the list of changes along with the other upgrades. Yeah…we’re sort of crazy like that.

Real quick, what is this of which you speak?

We never stop innovating. We never settle for ordinary. And we were never completely satisfied with the name “”. We humbly admit that naming things is not our strong suit (you should see the variable names in our code). So we have launched as the successor to, built using the same codebase, but with an updated design and some upgraded frameworks.

What does this mean for me?

You can now reset your password, and keep your password in sync across systems.

The next time that you need to reset your password, you can now do it online through This even includes your Active Directory (Windows) password for Mac users who use the SBTS file share. Just log in through and click on the Options link under your profile picture. Then click on Profile.


On this profile page, you can verify and update your contact information is correct, you can update your emergency contact information, and you can mark your address and email as private if you do not want them to appear in the printed SBTS directory that goes out during the Fall semester.

At the bottom of your profile page, you’ll see where you can update your password. You implicitly have to change your password for, which also affects, Moodle,, and WordPress (if you’re a WordPress user).


But if you leave all 3 checkboxes marked, you can update your SBTS email password (for students and employees) and your Active Directory/Windows password (for employees only), setting them all to the same password.


Anything you did in Ecampus, you will now do in

The same student information and forms that were hosted in Ecampus can now be found in On the left sidebar, choose “Student Tools”, and you’ll see several apps available to you.


For information regarding your charges and account balance, choose the “Account Information” app. In the main window, you’ll see a tabbed interface.


When you first click on the tab labeled “My Account”, you’ll notice that the app immediately begins to calculate your current balance. You’ll see a countdown showing an estimated time before your balance is calculated. The actual time required to calculate your balance is typically much shorter.


If you have no balance, this will show here above your payment history.


If you do have a balance, you will be given the option to make a payment online.


Lastly, we replaced QuickRef with a web-based SBTS Directory

You can login using the same credentials at to access the SBTS directory.

That really wasn’t that bad. Thanks for the explanation!

You’re welcome. Hopefully this has helped. We will continue to develop these platforms so that we can provide more apps and better functionality to improve your experience here at SBTS. If you have any questions, you can always contact Campus Technology at 502.897.4006 or