IRVING, Texas (May 27, 2020)—Derek Stephens has joined B.H. Carroll Theological Institute as director of development. He comes to position after nearly two decades in alumni relations, a startup sports entertainment company, and communications and public relations.
Stephens was most recently associate director of alumni relations at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he led the development and execution of local alumni relations chapters to increase alumni engagement. He also implemented a national alumni engagement strategy.
“Derek brings an entrepreneurial spirit with experience in institutional advancement that fits both the needs and the opportunities of B.H. Carroll at this time in our history,” said B.H. Carroll President Dr. Gene Wilkes. “He is passionate about our mission of theological education and he has a winsome personality. I am confident he can help us build a strong alumni and donor relations program.”
Stephens graduated from Baylor University in 2004 with a degree in journalism and public relations. He also earned a MBA degree in 2016.
Raised in a “typical Baptist household,” Stephens said his faith deepened when he went to Baylor. “I was able to look at faith more intentionally and seriously, mostly in an effort to feel out my calling—what I was meant to do.”
While he was there, he was part of the Baylor Religious Hour Choir, which sang in Baptist Churches on the weekends. He noticed while he was singing with the choir that he enjoyed the idea of being on mission to connect potential new students and supporters for Baylor.
“Since then, I’ve always thought—through this process of discovery—my calling is service. I feel like I’m built to serve, to get in and help accomplish the mission and connect the right people to the right point of preparation for their ministry.”
The mission of B.H. Carroll, Stephens said, captured his attention because of the unique approach Carroll has had in helping students and church members prepare for ministry where they live and serve.
“The value, the accessibility, the ease is unlike any other I’ve seen. I’ve worked in secular institutions, but it is hard to get behind the mission because there is nothing of eternal value there,” he said. “All of those things are here.”
Stephens said he wants to fulfill his calling and the mission of B.H. Carroll by increasing awareness of the Institute’s programs, serving as an advocate for its needs, and engaging its students, alumni, and supporters in the life of the Institute.
“Philanthropy is great, but advocacy, volunteerism, and engagement are the key to making this work,” Stephens said. “This is a great opportunity with a great organization. I look forward to helping building and support leaders in our churches so they can spread the Good News in their communities and around the world.”
From 2007 to 2019, Stephens worked in various roles for Baylor University, including service as director of regional alumni engagement and senior director of strategic initiatives. He also worked in communications for the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD.
Stephens and his wife, Lauren, have been married 15 years and have two children.