EDUCATION BRIEFS: Dallas Baptist's Gary Cook diagnosed with leukemia; …

DALLAS (BP)--Gary Cook, president of Dallas Baptist University since 1988, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia Oct. 12 and was hospitalized immediately to undergo chemotherapy treatments.

Cook, 57, had been coughing, feeling fatigued and experiencing shortness of breath before going to his doctor for an annual physical exam, according to a post on the university's website, www.dbu.edu. A blood test raised red flags, and he quickly was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, a fast-growing blood and bone marrow cancer.

"Unlike other forms of cancer, AML does not necessarily have stages associated with it, and it is still very early in the process to know what the overall diagnosis is," Blake Killingsworth, assistant to the president at Dallas Baptist, wrote on the website Oct. 14.

"He is in good hands and he is being treated by some very capable doctors," Killingsworth added. "Early test results seem to indicate that the particular form of AML that he has will respond well with treatment. Also, since Dr. Cook has remained in such good shape over the years, we are very optimistic about his treatment and recovery."

Killingsworth asked for prayer that Cook's blood platelet count would increase after receiving a platelet transfusion and starting chemotherapy.

"Dr. Cook is extremely weak and he is also experiencing nausea from the chemotherapy," Killingsworth reported Oct. 15.

The next day, the update said Cook was "a little weaker" and was on oxygen. He is expected to remain in the hospital for at least a month and continue treatments for several months.

Under Cook's leadership, the university has grown from 1,859 students in 1988 to 5,244 in 2007, and the university's assets have grown from $27.7 million to $75.5 million. Cook and his wife, Shelia, have two sons.

CORTS ACCEPTS INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION POST -- Thomas E. Corts has been named to a new government position responsible for coordinating U.S. foreign aid efforts to support education around the world. In accepting the position, Corts has resigned as executive director of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU).

The appointment of Corts, 65, former president of Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., was announced by First Lady Laura Bush at a luncheon on global health and literacy in New York in September.

In conjunction with President Bush's international education initiatives, Corts will help coordinate the nearly $1 billion spent annually by the United States for education programs in a multitude of developing countries. In an IABCU news release, Corts said the foreign aid education programs are administered through the U.S. Agency for International Development and coordinated with the State Department, the Department of Education and other agencies.

Laura Bush, in her remarks at the luncheon, highlighted concerns for the education of girls and the need for literacy and improved health and nutrition among the world's children. Corts, noting "the link between health and education and literacy and quality of life," said, "I hope we can make a real difference. This initiative has a lot of consequences for global peace and prosperity."

"This is a wonderful opportunity for Dr. Corts," said Evans Whitaker, president of Anderson University in South Carolina and chairman of the IABCU board of directors representing 52 Baptist colleges and universities. "We thank him for his service both as an esteemed colleague and as our executive director and wish him all the best in this important new role."

Corts and his wife Marla will move to the Washington area, where he will work out of the USAID offices downtown. Corts said he would be serving at the pleasure of President Bush, which likely means his term will end when the administration leaves office.

Corts retired from Samford University in 2006 after 23 years as president and was instrumental in initiating cooperative arrangements with institutions around the world. Last year he served as interim chancellor of Alabama's two-year college system. President Bush in 2005 appointed Corts to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, but he is required to resign from the board as a fulltime government employee.

BREWTON-PARKER OFFERS EVANGELISM CERTIFICATE -- Brewton-Parker College has launched the Michael Guido School of Evangelism in partnership with the longtime south Georgia evangelist and his evangelistic association.

The Baptist-affiliated college, based in Mount Vernon, Ga., noted that the program is unique in offering a curriculum-based certificate in Christian evangelism studies.

Classes for the 30-hour program will meet at Guido Gardens, the evangelist's headquarters in Metter, Ga. Under the tutelage of Guido and others skilled in evangelism, students will take such courses as "Evangelism in the City" and "Introduction to Church Planting."

The coursework can be applied to a degree track for the bachelor of ministry degree track in Brewton-Parker's division of religion and philosophy.

Guido, now 92, embraced the Gospel during a tent revival in Lorain, Ohio, his hometown, during the Depression when he was 18 and had been touring with a dance band. He and his wife Audrey started the Guido Evangelistic Association with $100. The ministry, now with 12 staff members, has produced radio and TV programming for more than 30 years, including a one-minute "Seed for the Garden of Your Heart" carried by more than 1,500 TV stations worldwide.

Michael and Audrey Guido's autobiography, "Seeds from the Sower: How God is blessing a couple who dare to take Him at His Word," was published in 1990.

Guido's younger brother, Larry, associate director of the Guido Evangelistic Association, will serve as director of the evangelism program's Metter location and as a Brewton-Parker adjunct professor.

Additional information about the Michael Guido School of Evangelism is available from the college's admissions office at 912-583-3265.

DOCKERY RELEASES NEW BOOK -- David Dockery, president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., has written a new book titled "Renewing Minds: Serving Church and Society through Christian Higher Education" and published by B&H Academic.

"Renewing Minds is a call to reclaim the best of Christian intellectual tradition," said Dockery, president of the Baptist-affiliated university since 1996. "In this context we need more than just novel ideas and enhanced programs; we need distinctively Christian thinking."

In the book, Dockery explains that Christian institutions of higher education must stop thinking a Christian worldview is based only on two types of truth -- religious and philosophical or scientific.

Instead, a Christian worldview is based "on a universal principle and all-embracing system that shapes religion, natural and social sciences, law, history, health care, the arts, the humanities" and every other discipline of study with application for all of life, he writes.

J.I. Packer, author and professor of theology at Regent College in Canada, Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, and R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, are among those who have endorsed Renewing Minds.

"Visionary and magisterial, Dockery's big-picture manifesto vividly blocks in the demanding standards, proper cultural contextualization, and strategic global significance of Christian higher education today," Packer said of the book. "The Bible-anchored argumentation convinces the head, and the writer's zeal warms the heart."


Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston & staff writer Erin Roach, with reporting by Tim Fields, director of communications of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities; Kelley M. Arnold, director of news and public information at Brewton-Parker College; and Tim Ellsworth, director of news and media relations at Union University.

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