Patricia Ayres of Austin, Texas, established the scholarship, which will total $250,000, to inform this generation of students of the life and ministry of T.B. Maston, one of the most prominent ethicists, writers and teachers of the 20th century.
"The contribution of Drs. Maston and Allen to education and witness in the academy and the local church can best be honored by extending their legacy of ethical concerns and Baptist theology through a financial investment in the theological education of ministers and community activists," said Bill Leonard, dean of the Divinity School.
Maston, an ethics professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas for more than 40 years, dealt with social ethical issues like racial justice, poverty, conscience, politics and public activism throughout his career. He is the author of twenty-seven books on Christian ethics and issues of race, including "Of One," "Christianity and World Issues," "The Bible and Race," "Segregation and Desegregation" and "Biblical Ethics: A Biblical Survey."
Mastons influence emerged in many ways. Christian ethics became a field of academic inquiry at every Baptist seminary. Maston helped to birth Christian Life Commissions, both on the national level and in many of the state conventions, said Jimmy R. Allen, a student of Maston's and a Baptist minister, ethicist and denominational leader.
Allen was executive director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission during the 1960s, and the ethics agency charged with leadership on issues of family life, daily work, citizenship, race relations and religious liberty.
Ayres, one of the T.B. Maston Foundation board and Allen's parishioner at First Baptist Church of San Antonio, who helped to establish the new scholarship in the Wake Forest Divinity School said, "It is important to honor Maston's teaching on biblical ethics because it has been so influential through several generations of Baptist leaders."
She added, "In addition, Dr. Allen and his ministries have really lived out that understanding of biblical ethics in the local church and through the media. These two men have had a profound influence on helping people understand the ethical implications of the Gospel."