New Institute for Global Leadership at University of Mobile Expands International Outreach and Partnerships

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MOBILE, Ala. – University of Mobile has created the Institute for Global Leadership to equip Christians throughout the nation and internationally with the theological education, leadership skills and disciple-making training to reach the world with the message of Jesus Christ.

The program is one of several new initiatives expanding the university’s international outreach spearheaded by Dr. Rob Jackson, a leader in Alabama Baptist life and most recently pastor of Central Baptist Church in Decatur, Alabama. Jackson’s arrival at UM July 1 also creates opportunities for partnerships with several international missions organizations he already works closely with, including the International Evangelism Association, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the Evangelical Alliance.

In addition, the university will serve as headquarters for RAM, an international faith-based mission organization that has planted over 400 churches, opened orphanages, organized medical missions and reached thousands of people throughout eastern Europe. Most recently, RAM is expanding church planting efforts and theological education into western Europe.

University of Mobile President Timothy L. Smith said, “The opportunity to welcome Dr. Rob Jackson to University of Mobile in continuing his family legacy that began two generations ago will allow the university to extend its partnership with Baptist churches throughout Alabama while providing ministry opportunities to the ends of the earth in reaching people for Christ.

“The partnership between the new Institute for Global Leadership and RAM adds a distinctive to University of Mobile that we have been seeking to elevate the ministry opportunities for our students, service to our church community and international outreach in fulfilling the university’s Great Commission calling,” Smith added.

While serving as executive director of the Institute for Global Leadership, Jackson also will be assistant to the president for church and denominational relations and serve as a resource for Alabama Baptist churches and associations in the Southern Baptist Convention. He will teach as an associate professor in the School of Christian Studies while building a campus-wide program emphasizing life-to-life disciple-making.

In conjunction with UM’s Office for Global Engagement, he will focus on expanding opportunities for students to gain practical experience in a variety of international ministry settings.

Jackson said he felt for several years that God was calling him toward something new, but never had a sense of peace about the many opportunities that came his way until now.

“I believe God has a plan for me to somehow further His Kingdom and do it through the University of Mobile,” he said.

Jackson has family ties to UM that go back two generations. His grandfather, Ernest Jackson, served on the Board of Trustees of then-Mobile College. The Pearl Jackson Endowed Scholarship honors his grandmother.

“I’ve always had an affection for University of Mobile because my grandfather loved it so much,” Jackson said.

RAM was started 22 years ago by Jackson’s late father, the Rev. Bob Jackson, who was also a well-known Alabama Baptist pastor. Dr. Christian Chivu, who holds a PhD in missiology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will serve as international coordinator for RAM, which is an acronym for Reaching Europe, Advancing the Kingdom, Making disciples. Interestingly, UM’s mascot is a ram. More information about RAM is online at

Jackson is vice chairman of the board of The Alabama Baptist and begins serving as chair in January. He was 2017 president of the Alabama Baptist Pastor’s Conference and has served as evangelism associate with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. He has extensive experience in international missions, promoting life-to-life disciple-making and developing various evangelism strategies, and has taught since 2001 as an adjunct professor for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity and PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


About University of Mobile

University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.


For more information about University of Mobile, visit the website at or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.

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