Gene Wilkes

Gene Wilkes is President and Professor of New Testament and Leadership at B. H. Carroll Theological Institute and the author Jesus On Leadership.
phone:  972.580.7600 ext. 25

Gene Wilkes is a graduate of Baylor University where he earned a BA degree in Greek and Religion. He also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Prior to his election by the Board of Governors on October 22,2013 as the second president of B. H. Carroll Theological institute, he served as Resident Fellow and Professor of New Testament and Leadership, as member of the Board of Governors, and most recently as Vice President for Advancement. That appointment followed his retirement in June 2013 as Senior Pastor of Legacy Church in Plano, Texas, where he and his wife, Kim, served for 26 years.

He is an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University, teaching Biblical Servant Leadership in the Master’s and PhD programs. Wilkes has authored eleven books, including Jesus On Leadership: timeless wisdom on servant leadership (1996) and A New Way of Living (2013). He has led conferences on servant leadership, spiritual gifts, lay mobilization, and making disciples in Albania, Portugal, Canada, China, Cuba, Greece, Mexico, Honduras, Russia, and Vietnam.

Dr. Wilkes and his wife Kim have two married daughters and three grandchildren.

I am an outdoor and endurance sport enthusiast. I love to cycle (both road and gavel, weekly rides and centuries), to backpack (multiday, mountains and forests), and to trail run (10k to ultramarathons). I am not a professional by any measure, but I love the people, environment, and competition these events bring to me. I […]
October 15, 2019
One frustration of being a servant leader in Christ’s church is knowing if you are doing what you should be doing every day. Yes, you have most likely been given a job description—which no one looks at until they are building a case to oust you—but, you want your efforts and sleepless nights to count […]
September 12, 2019
The title of this blog comes from Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. He describes leaders without hats this way: To understand what this means, it’s helpful to think about members of the executive team going into each of their meetings without their departmental titles. Or as I […]
August 15, 2019
From the President July 2019 Two Are Better Than One The Preacher declared, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.” (Ecc. 4:9; NIV) When Jesus sent out his disciples, he “called the twelve and began to send them out two by two.” (Mark 6:7; ESV) It seems clear […]
From the President April 2019 Spring has Sprung Greetings in the name of Jesus from the hub of the B. H. Carroll nexus in Irving, TX. Spring has sprung, and pollen and possibilities are in the air. I love this time of year for the new growth in creation and the full engagement we have with our […]
Culture, those values and traditions that drive behavior, is the DNA of your church or organization. Your church or organization will behave as its DNA calls for it to behave.
How do we “change the way we see our fellow citizens around the world?” Education is not enough. A heart change must happen for us to be genuinely effective inter-, multi-, and transcultural leaders.
From the President January 2019 Supplying Needs, Overflowing with Thanks Sometimes when I write a note of thanks to those who give to the mission of B. H. Carroll, I add the verse reference 2 Corinthians 9:12 under my signature. It reads, This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the […]
Ryan Bonfiglio in a recent Faith & Leadership article called his readers to “…make the church a center of theological education again.” I want to applaud Dr. Bonfiglio’s message and the benefits he sites for the church when trained teachers deliver quality theological education that is accessible to the church as a whole. First, he […]
The effectiveness of a leader arises out of what I call the “Leadership Matrix.” The quality and skills of a leader alone do not determine the effectiveness of a leader. The four elements identified in this matrix work together to produce the end result of leadership: movement of an individual or group from their present […]
President Gene Wilkes presenting the President’s Award to Mr. Fred Propst. June is for me a time of looking back at the previous month or so and looking forward to the next academic year to see what God has done. (I also find time in the summer to get away to the hills or some […]
In my last blog, I ended with the question, “How do we as leaders jump the hurdle of our ‘willed loneliness’ to be ‘fully and healthily engaged’ with those we lead in order to serve them?” I want to try and answer that question in this blog post. Our natural tendency as humans is to […]
I want to return to the topic I started with in this series of blogs on servant leadership, that to lead is to serve.1 I recently read an article describing Pope Francis’ annual Holy Week trip to wash the feet of prisoners. In his homily on Maundy Thursday, he said, “Those who lead, must serve.”2 […]
The currency of leadership is power and authority. They are the medium of exchange that leaders invest in their relationships to influence people to move from their current reality to their shared vision of the future. In a transactional relationship, leaders exercise power and authority to buy and sell followers’ interests in order to influence […]
When have you as a parent held your child on a stormy night and said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here.” Or, you said to your tearful teenager who called you after a fender bender, “Be calm. I’ll be right there.” Promises of presence can sooth a frightened heart. I traveled to Russia soon after the […]
Humility is to servant leaders what pride is to narcissistic leaders. The first measures their service as a leader by the One who called them to that position. Jesus’s teachings and example are the metrics of ultimate success no matter their assigned task. The latter benchmarks their effectiveness by their own self-value, ambition, and the […]
February 14, 2018
Any student of leadership is aware of and/or has embraced the core essence of leadership to be influence. Since the 1980’s, leadership professors and popular speakers have offered influence as the dominating verb of action for those who lead. By the 1990’s, the majority agreed that leadership was influence, “nothing more, nothing less.” Any working […]
The damage and flooding by Hurricane Harvey took their toll on some of those in the B. H. Carroll family. B. H. Carroll responded to some of these needs by setting aside ten percent of the monies given on September 14, North Texas Giving Day. Thanks to a matching gift donor and over 100 other donors on that day, […]
December 5, 2017
We are in the first months of our Training Leaders – Transforming Lives Campaign. Our financial goal of $12,000,000 is made up of $9,000,000 for people and projects to further our mission and $3,000,000 in planned or estate giving. To date, we have received in pledges and gifts $3,046,955 toward our total goal. I am […]
June 2017 will always be a historic month in the history of Carroll Institute for me. On June 12, we received word from the Board of Commissioners of The Association of Theological Schools that B. H. Carroll Theological Institute received the following: Initial accreditation for a period of seven years. Approval the following degree programs: Master of […]
Some of you know that my hobbies include cycling and running. If you have done either at any distance, you know the sense of accomplishment when you finish a sanctioned ride/run. The hours of training, nursing multiple injuries, and scheduling hassles fade into deep memory when you accept your finisher’s award. The pain of training […]
May 17, 2017
I recently finished teaching a course at First Baptist Church, Wylie. Over a dozen Readers and five students participate in the Leadership in Ministry course. To equip church leaders through a local church that is accessible, affordable and achievable is the Carroll Way. I am impressed once again with the quality of church leaders and […]
Accreditation is one way in which B. H. Carroll exemplifies its core value: Accountable. In a world flooded with diploma mills and non-accredited, loosely designed certificate and degree programs, Carroll Institute has chosen to pay the price to ensure that our students receive the highest quality degrees as part of their training for the ministry […]
February 22, 2017
Recent speaking engagements have given me an opportunity to see the Carroll vision and to view the changing landscape of ministry preparation firsthand. I recently spoke with a group of Christian camp staffers who are part of a 9-month leadership resident program. This group of quality Christian young men and women represent a generation of […]
January 31, 2017
One of our family traditions at Thanksgiving is to pause before we eat to hear a family member read the 100th Psalm. I remember the day my father asked me to read the passage as my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, parents and siblings listened as I read the sacred text. Being the reader at […]
December 19, 2016
Dr. Christopher Wright, International Ministries Director of the Langham Partnership, was our guest lecturer at our Frank and Pauline Patterson Fall Colloquy 2016. I learned of Dr. Wright when pastoring a local church struggling to understand the concept and application of the term “missional.” Many have used the term and applied it in many ways, […]
November 23, 2016
I have had many discussions, debates, and down right arguments about the election of our next President of the United States. You have read and heard more than you care to, I’m sure. We can agree that both candidates reflect our secular, post-Christian cultural values in which we now live. Among those are that business […]
In the first article of this series, I described our vision to return theological education back to the local church. Such a vision begs the question, “So, what would that look like in my church?” Or, “How can you incorporate formal theological education into the discipleship and leadership development programs of my church?” The answer […]
Jesus and Paul more often than not completed their mission with others at their side. Jesus invested his life into The Twelve, and he sent his followers out two by two. (Mark 6:7) Paul recorded the names of those who served with him, and he considered some like Epaphroditus, a brother, co-worker and fellow soldier. […]
Justin Tollison, pastor/church planter of Disciple Tree Church in north Fort Worth, has three girls (10, 8, 6) and is married to Valeta Tollison. Justin finished his Ph.D. in Christian Heritage at B. H. Carroll Theological Institute and now servers as Resident Fellow and Director of Recruiting. Dr. Tollison has served in five Texas churches […]
In this blog we continue to hear from some who fulfill the role of Pastor-as-Scholar in their church. Scott Jones is a full time pastor and will soon defend his dissertation titled, “Pastoral Leadership For Congregational Change: An Evaluation of Edwin Friedman’s Theory of Nonanxious Leadership in Congregations,” in order to complete his Ph.D. degree […]
An Interview with a Pastor-as-Scholar By C. Gene Wilkes, Ph.D.  As part of the series of posts on Pastor-as-Scholar, I sent questions to three pastors serving in local church who had received (or finishing up) a Ph.D. from B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. Meet David Ritsema. Biography David Ritsema, Senior Pastor of the First Baptist […]
Another emphasis that attracted me to the people and mission of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute was their desire to restore the value of Pastor-as-Scholar to the local church. I was called, like many seminary graduates with a doctorate, to local church ministry. Throughout my ministry I taught as an adjunct professor at a nearby […]
I planned to address B. H. Carroll’s desire to raise the value of the Pastor as Scholar in this blog, but I decided to take one more shot at why I believe accredited theological education can and should be part of the local church’s discipleship and leadership development ministries. (Stay tuned for next week’s blog […]
I miss the Olympics. I already miss the diversity, sportsmanship, the stories of the athletes, but I miss mostly the competition. From the less-watched event like mountain biking to the ever-popular track and field events, I loved watching men and women compete against the clock, weather conditions, and each other. Even those who finished last […]
I retired from local church ministry after almost forty years to serve the mission of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute because I saw both the value of formal, accredited theological education for my own ministry and how sharing the same training at the local church level benefited members, staff, and other church leaders in the […]
July is the hottest month of the year in Texas. This is one reason my wife and I head to the cooler climate of the mountains around Red River, New Mexico during this time of the year. We not only cool down while we are there, but we rest and find time to re-create and […]
July 28, 2016
For everything there is a season, the Scriptures remind us, and we know the Lord creates and ends such seasons to further his mission of reconciliation until Christ returns. The retirement of Dr. Bruce Muskrat to pursue his calling of music ministry and the move of Dr. Norma Hedin to Dallas Baptist University mark a […]
June 28, 2016
You most likely know the words and tune to the eighth-century Irish hymn, Be Thou My Vision. Recently, during some tough days, these words from the fourth verse sang true: High King of Heaven, my victory won, May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heavenly sun! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be […]
Dr. Bruce Corley, Senior Fellow, and Gene Wilkes, President, met with church leaders, Carroll students, professors and partners in ministry on Wednesday, May 11 in Midland, TX. Twenty-two attended the informational luncheon where Drs. Corley and Wilkes updated the group on the growth and influence of B. H. Carroll. Current students shared encouraging testimonials about […]
I recently read Wright Thompson’s ESPN article, “The Secret History of Tiger Woods.” It is a tragic story of a man who lost his way after the death of his friend and father, Earl Woods. What saddens me the most about his story is that while he ruled the headlines and golfing world, he awkwardly […]
We hold that “we are accountable to God who called us to this mission, our governing board and stakeholders, the churches whom we serve, our accrediting agencies, and our students who put their trust in us
March 29, 2016
The Association of Theological Schools recently invited representatives from B. H. Carroll to participate in the Educational Models and Practices Project in Pittsburgh, PA. We were asked to participate in the Global Partnership Forum because of our work in this area of theological education. I attended with Drs. Karen Bullock and Stan Moore, who represented […]
I began this year participating in a worship service with The Woodlands First, a Carroll Teaching Church, near Houston, TX. Senior Pastor Dr. Bruce Webb invited me to join the church as they commissioned Larry and Meagan Key (and their three boys), who were headed that week to Ethiopia to serve as missionaries. I went […]
Join me this Christmas season as we share the hope of Christ with our world.
Earlier this month Dr. Jim Spivey and I joined over 400 other church leaders in Antalya, Turkey who have committed their lives to equipping men and women called to serve Christ and his church through theological education. We gathered as the International Council of Evangelical Theological Educators (ICETE). Jim and I met co-laborers from global […]
November 25, 2015
I heard Jim Collins of Built to Last fame say “You don’t need to be a charismatic leader if you have a charismatic cause.” What he means is that the leadership theory that insists the leader must be charismatic and Donald-Trumpish is unnecessary when you belong to a cause that draws people to it because […]
November 2, 2015
I recently spent two weeks at our Teaching Church in St. Petersburg, Russia, Temple of the Gospel. Drs. Spivey, Carmack, and Bryan have also taught there in the past. What I want to highlight about my trip is Dr. Sergei Nikolaev’s leadership and the church’s model as a Carroll Teaching Church. Dr. Nikolaev, as part […]
Thank you for your part in making Carroll Institute’s second North Texas Giving Day an even greater success than the year before! A total of $33.1 million dollars was raised through 118,667 gifts benefiting 2,022 nonprofits. Out of those 2,000 nonprofits, Carroll Institute ranked #44 in the amount of donations raised, and #18 out of […]
Some of you know that I love to hike and cycle. Like those of you who do big events or excursions, you know they are few and far between due to work and family—as they should be. But, when I can get out I love the beauty of the outdoors and the challenge of a […]
40th wedding anniversary in Italy My wife and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in Italy. We stayed in Rome, Florence and Monterosso on the Cinque Terre coast. We saw and heard more history and art than we will ever remember. (Our suitcases weighed many more pounds with the books we bought than they did going […]
Feel free to drop in or contact us when you are in the area Try moving into a new home, hosting fifty plus guests while the movers are still delivering your furniture, inviting your friends over to see your new house one day after all the furniture is in, and the following day pulling off […]
What is success from a biblical perspective? I recently spoke at a conference of Texas Baptist Educators , and I ended my talks on the topic of success. We all live with self-imposed, externally imposed or embraced metrics of success. Some of us are more success-oriented while others live without care of such measures. What is success from […]
The past couple of months have been an endurance run I recently ran a half-marathon trail run. The terrain was very hilly and the trails were covered with roots and rocks. I love these events because they test my stamina and fortitude, and I love being in God’s good creation. As in any endurance sport, […]
The Carroll Hub is moving! By a unanimous vote by the Board of Governors B. H. Carroll is the new owner of 6500 N. Belt Line Rd., Irving, TX, 75063. The 29,000 sq. ft. office building will be the new location of Carroll’s administrative Hub by the end of March 2015. The building is located near the intersection of […]
Christmas is about the Incarnation Christmas is about the Incarnation, the reality that God entered history in flesh as Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah. John, the Evangelist wrote, “…and the Word became flesh and ‘tabernacled’ among us.” (John 1:18) Jesus was the living presence of God who lived with us like God dwelt among his […]
These past thirty days have been truly historic These past thirty days have been truly historic for Carroll Institute. During this time I have become more convinced than ever that the mission and vision of Carroll are part of God’s plan to equip missional church leaders here and around the world. As I preach in […]
Leaving on an Airplane I am writing this article on a plane headed to Cuba. Drs. Bruce Corley, Adlin Cotto, Mr. Robert Cotto and myself are going to Carroll’s first graduation on the island. Carroll Institute has been equipping a cohort of students for the past seven years with over 12 trips from the states […]
Results from North Texas Giving Day Dear Friends of Carroll, Thank you for your part in making Carroll Institute’s first North Texas Giving Day a great success! Representatives from Carroll attended the three rallies on September 18th in Arlington, Fort Worth, and Dallas. There was a great spirit among the rally participants who represented over […]
Keep calm, and Carroll on A couple of weeks ago Carroll staff and faculty gathered at First Baptist Church, Waxahachie, a Carroll Teaching Church, for our annual staff planning retreat. Thanks to Dr. David Ritsema, a Carroll graduate and Resident Fellow, for hosting us for the day. We confirmed our strategic plans for 2014 – 2015 and […]
July 14 2014 – another significant milestone B. H. Carroll has reached another significant milestone in our short history. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) granted us Associate membership status at its 2014 Biennial meeting last month. ATS is the gold standard for the accreditation of theological schools, and we are honored that the ATS members welcomed us into their […]
Everyday people speaking everyday language I recently spoke at the Spring Commencement of the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) in Grand Prairie, TX. In light of their mission, my core message to the graduates was, “The message of God’s love rides on the waves of everyday language spoken and written by everyday people carried […]
I want to thank each of you who are part of the Carroll family for your kind reception and encouragement of me as your new President. Kim and I were humbled by the Inauguration service and the presence of those who attended and sent messages. I am grateful to Dr. Corley, the Board of Governors, […]