Cofounders

Daryl R. Eldridge

President

Dr. Eldridge holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and biology from Drury University, a Master of Arts in religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Southwestern. Before starting Rockbridge Seminary, he served seven years as Dean of the School of Educational Ministries at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

He was the editor of and a contributor to the textbook, The Teaching Ministry of the Church; contributed the chapter on “The Sociological Framework of the Contemporary Family in North America” in the Christian Educator’s Handbook, Vol. 3; was the co-editor of the Dictionary of Christian Education, and has written numerous articles on church growth and Christian education. Daryl is a widely sought after conference speaker in the areas of leadership and creative teaching.

Dr. Eldridge has a passion for helping people grow in an intimate relationship with God through the study of His Word and equipping them for effective service in God’s kingdom. He believes the critical need for today is the development of spiritual leaders who can train and mobilize persons for ministry.

J. Sam Simmons

Vice President for Learning Design and Student Services

Dr. Simmons holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham; a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, both from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Before helping to begin Rockbridge Seminary, he served ten years as Director of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary’s Southern California Campus (Orange County) and five years as Director of the Northeast Campus of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (Albany, NY).

He was contributor to the textbook Missiology: An Introduction to the Foundations, History, and Strategies of World Missions, writing the chapter “The Missionary Motivation of God’s Salvation.” His vision for seminary education was published in Strategies for Today’s Leader in the article “The Prodigal Seminary Returns to the Church” (Summer 2000). In addition, he has written numerous articles on Christian leadership.

Dr. Simmons’ vision is to make ministry development relevant and accessible to local church leaders and emerging ministers. This vision grew out of twenty-five years of pastoral and seminary ministry, including over a decade based in Southern California as a member of Saddleback Community Church.

Gary W. Waller

Vice President for Learning Management and Academic Services

Dr. Waller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in church recreation from Baylor University, a Master of Arts in religious education and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from The University of North Texas. Before assuming his position at Rockbridge Seminary, he served for 22 years as professor of administration at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In the fall of 2000 he became the Dean of Distance Learning, developing the online program for Southwestern, and directed the 7 off campus centers.

He has a wealth of local church experience as a full minister, in Texas churches, as a Minister of Education and Evangelism, Education and Administration, and Music/Youth, prior to serving Southwestern. His involvement with local church ministry continued as he served as an interim Minister of Education, Education/Evangelism, Administration, Missions, and Associate Pastor while at Southwestern. Desiring to provide education for ministers beyond the USA he has taught at colleges in Romania and Ukraine.

Dr. Waller has a passion for providing quality educational experiences for ministers and lay people regardless of their location. He believes education should be practical and applied to one’s ministry environment.