“I’ve lived my life saying I’m going to follow the Lord,” said Dr. Abe Jaquez, president at Baptist University of the Américas. More than a year ago God started calling Dr. Jaquez and his family to BUA.
Dr. Jaquez is a West Texas native, growing up in a ministry-focused home in Andrews. His father pastored for more than 20 years and always encouraged him to pursue education.
At the age of 12, Dr. Jaquez was saved after hearing one of his father’s sermons. He first felt a call to ministry as a senior in high school and realized as a sophomore in college that God was leading him into student ministry.
Dr. Jaquez has devoted 25 years — nearly half of his life — to campus ministry, serving in four different campus BSMs. He remained active in campus ministry while completing his theological studies at Southwestern Theological Seminary and his Doctorate of Education at Dallas Baptist University.
During his time as BSM director at Texas State University, he developed his leadership skills by managing personnel and fundraising. His most recent role was as Executive Director of North Texas at Buckner International, where he sharpened his business acumen by managing all Buckner ministries in the region. He views the latter two roles, in particular, as positions God used to equip him to serve as BUA’s 8th president.
“I think our season is ending here,” Dr. Jaquez’ wife, Kelly, told him in August of 2016, for the first time in their 25 years of marriage. A year later, Dr. Jaquez left his position at Buckner and their family subsequently moved to San Antonio to serve at BUA.
The Jaquez family is all in, living on campus and intentionally investing in the University through modeling an incarnational lifestyle characterized by building relationships with students, volunteering at the campus food pantry and participating in hands-on campus renovations such as landscaping and painting.
Dr. Jaquez says he never aspired to be a university president, but he is confident the Lord has placed him in the right place at the right time.
“God honors right,” is Dr. Jaquez’ life maxim. His leadership choices are always guided by this principle.
“My vision for BUA is to educate the next generation of cross-cultural and bi-cultural leaders for both ministry and the marketplace,” he said.
BUA has educated 65 percent of current Hispanic pastors in Texas. The University also produces culturally-competent leaders for churches seeking to adapt to the state’s changing demographics.
“I believe it is important for BUA to draw from its rich history of leading in equipping pastors for Hispanic churches and to build on this tradition in continuing to equip Christ-centered businessmen and women for the marketplace,” commented Dr. Jaquez.
A couple of Dr. Jaquez’ strategic goals for the University are to provide a model of sustainability for the school and develop programs that will grow the student body.
Without BUA’s faithful donors and network of supporters, actualizing these goals will not be possible.
“We are a donor-driven school and are seeking faithful partners to walk alongside us and champion BUA students through prayers, volunteering and financial support,” said Dr. Jaquez.