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The Southern DNA

Southern hires business leader Peter Coats for regional advancement

Southern Seminary welcomes experienced businessman Peter E. Coats as regional director of institutional advancement for the Midwest region.

Coats and his wife, Betsy, reside in Birmingham, Mich., where he works as a dose management specialist for Baxter Healthcare Corporation, and serves as an elder of Woodside Baptist Church, Troy, Mich.

He is also the brother of U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), who came out of retirement in 2010 to reclaim his seat in the Senate.

Coats graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and religious studies from Michigan State University in Lansing, Mich., and has since worked in business for 35 years.

“We could not be more pleased that Peter and Betsy Coats have been led to join the Southern family,” said R. Craig Parker, vice president for institutional advancement and executive director of the Southern Seminary Foundation.

“Peter achieved success in every aspect of his business career, and his sense of calling to Southern was both powerful and clear, and I cannot wait to see all that he is going to accomplish in service to the seminary.”

Sensing that calling to vocational ministry, Coats evaluated opportunities to serve a seminary according to its theological convictions, commitment to local churches and institutional leadership. After his evaluation, Southern Seminary became his clear favorite because it provides “extraordinary training in order to serve churches and strengthen mission efforts across the world.”

Coats believes his experience managing sales for healthcare businesses offers an insight in promoting the value of Southern Seminary’s commitment to the Great Commission.

“Our mission [in institutional advancement] is to build relationships with seminary friends to secure financial contributions,” Coats said. “I firmly believe that once prospective donors are presented with this investment opportunity, they will quickly respond to the value that Southern brings to the advancement of the kingdom.”

Coats will focus his efforts on institutional advancement in the midwestern region of the United States, where he will seek donations to fund capital projects and “provide students with a low cost, high quality education.”

“With God’s guidance and empowerment, I hope to begin to open up a steady flow of donations in the Upper Midwest, which is an area served by Southern but needs considerable donor development,” Coats said. “Your prayers for this effort are needed and appreciated.”

-Craig Sanders