“We need young pastors to recognize the incredible, untapped opportunity of those churches and to recognize that even as church planting is a courageous calling, so also is going into a church and helping it to recapture its vision, re-embrace its convictions and re-address its community in the world with an opportunity for missions and evangelism.”
– R. Albert Mohler Jr.


The Mathena Center serves the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by providing pastoral resources and training to help in recovering and revitalizing the most at-risk churches in the convention.


The Mathena Center accomplishes its mission by:
• Training students for revitalization.
• Mentoring pastors doing revitalization.
• Counseling churches needing revitalization.

Our Team

Brian Croft

Senior Fellow

Brian Croft has served as Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church since 2003. He has served in ministry in Southern Indiana and Louisville for over 20 years to include serving as a Youth and Worship minister, Moderator of the Long Run Baptist Association and the Vice-Chairman of the Lousiville Rescue Mission. His ministry includes training men for ministry, writing about different aspects of pastoral care, and speaking at pastor’s conferences. Brian is the founder and director of ministry for Practical Shepherding (www.practicalsheperding.com), a ministry specifically geared to equipping pastors for the day-to-day struggles of pastoral ministry. He has authored eleven books, contributed to two more and has written articles for many ministries to include The Gospel Coalition and the IX Marks E-Journal. He and his wife Cara live in Louisville, KY with their four children.

Eric Bancroft


Eric came to Castleview in March of 2008 to serve as the Senior Pastor. Prior to his ministry at Castleview, Eric served as an associate pastor at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles, CA. Eric has earned a B.A. from Trinity International University and a M.Div from The Master’s Seminary. Eric is currently finishing his Doctorate of Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also taught as an adjunct professor at The Master’s College. Eric is passionate about seeing churches shaped by the gospel as informed by expository preaching. Such churches illustrate the power of the gospel by their love for one another and passionate pursuit for their surrounding neighbors. This is Eric’s ongoing prayer and pastoral pursuit for Castleview. Eric has lived in Minnesota, Georgia, Colorado, South Carolina, Florida and California. Now he and his wife Danelle call Indiana home with their three sons.

Dr. Timothy Beougher


Dr. Beougher serves as the Associate Dean, Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has also served as the Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth since 1996.  Dr. Beougher earned his B.S. from Kansas State University and M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also holds a Th.M. and Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Prior to coming to Southern Seminary, Dr. Beougher served for six years at Wheaton College as Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Associate Director of the Institute of Evangelism at the Billy Graham Center. He has written and edited numerous works related to evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual awakening, including Overcoming Walls to Witnessing, Training Leaders to Make Disciples, Evangelism for a Changing World, Accounts of a Campus Revival: Wheaton College 1995, and Richard Baxter and Conversion. Dr. Beougher currently serves as senior pastor of West Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville and has ministry experience as an evangelist, church planter, and interim pastor. Tim and his wife Sharon are the proud parents of five children and the even more proud grandparents of seven.


The Mathena Center internship

will prepare aspiring pastors to provide the leadership and care needed to revitalize struggling, dying churches. The course will provide an academic foundation, and practical experience in the “three legged stool” of Pastoral Theology, Healthy Ecclesiology, and Personal Soul Care. All three are required to serve and endure in a Revitalization Environment. Interns will meet with Revitalization leaders, including all Mathena Fellows, and receive one-on-one discipleship to help prepare for this unique work.

Please contact us with any questions at revitalize@sbts.edu


The 2016-2017 class:

(Front Left) Ryan Johnson, Dave Bearden, Mircea Ionescu, Bryan Watts and Daniel Yeon.

(Back Left) Cody Bishop, Steve Barbee, Justin Matthews, Tracey Irvin, David McBath, Greg Ivey, and Nickolas Funderburk


Each semester the Mathena Center hosts an event on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Find out more about the Spring event, Ordinary Pastor Extrordinary Work.
Event Information





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