Arab Baptist Theological Seminary prepares for leadership transition

By May 27, 2024

Lebanon (MNN) — Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) is preparing to bid a fond farewell to its president, Elie Haddad, who has faithfully served the seminary in Lebanon for nearly 20 years.

Haddad will be stepping down from his role as ABTS President in September 2025.

Elie Haddad, President of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. (Photo courtesy of ABTS)

Previously, Haddad and his wife Mireille lived in Canada before coming to Lebanon in 2005. After Haddad departs ABTS, they plan to continue serving with Canadian Baptist Ministries in the MENA region.

Haddad shares what he’s learned from his tenure at the helm of ABTS:

“Probably the most important thing is not to be too attached to what we think we should be doing. Because number one, the situation might change, realities might change, and we’d have to respond accordingly. Number two, God may be wanting to do something a bit different than what we anticipate.”

ABTS is no stranger to change. In fact, it practically comes with the territory in Lebanon.

“We’ve been through so many major changes since I started,” says Haddad. “The war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah, then followed [in 2011] by the war in Syria and the influx of refugees into Lebanon and that humanitarian crisis. Then we had our own economic and financial meltdown in Lebanon in 2019, then COVID, the Beirut explosion, and layers and layers of crises and changes.”

Haddad says, “There is not one season for change. It’s a very highly volatile…region for ministry. To be effective, we need to respond differently to change.”

With God’s help, ABTS has survived the storms of change in Lebanon and the Middle East. More than that, Haddad says, “We’ve thrived — and this is a God thing!

“It seems that every crisis is an opportunity for the Gospel and God is opening up new doors for us.”

A thriving seminary in Lebanon is critical for equipping the Church in the MENA region.

ABTS staff worshipping together. (Photo courtesy of ABTS)

ABTS’s vision is “to see God glorified, people reconciled, and communities restored through the Church in the Arab world.” Despite volatility in the region and various ministry changes and challenges, ABTS continues this vision to raise up Christian leaders.

Pray for a smooth leadership transition at ABTS, and for joy in Haddad’s next chapter.

“The ministry is not based on one person,” says Haddad. “We have a very capable leadership team at ABTS.

“I do pray that God will raise the right person that will continue in the same direction with the same ethos and values, working with the leadership team that’s already in place.”

Learn more about ABTS.





Header photo of Elie Haddad, President of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, at the 2015 graduation. (Photo courtesy of ABTS)

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