Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), reported to messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Dallas June 13, as did presidents from the other five Southern Baptist seminaries.
Photo by Van Payne
In light of recent allegations, which involved the mishandling of an alleged rape report at SEBTS during Paige Patterson’s presidency in 2003, Akin recounted, “We have faced some challenging times, but God’s grace has been more than sufficient.”
Along with the tumultuous events that have confronted the SBC for weeks, Akin spoke candidly of the place and care women have at SEBTS.
“Southeastern is absolutely committed to providing the safest environment for all of our students but especially our women,” he said.
Akin noted the many successes SEBTS has seen in the past year, including the increase in its minority and female student population on campus through its Kingdom Diversity Initiative (KDI) led by Walter Strickland, associate vice president for diversity and instructor of theology. Through KDI’s implementation in 2013, the seminary has increased its non-white student population by 53 percent and its female student population by 37 percent. More specifically, the non-white and female student population at SEBTS stands at 16.83 percent and 32.74 percent, respectively.
“We are absolutely committed that the church on earth is going to look like the church in heaven,” Akin said.
Akin also celebrated the fact that Southeastern exceeded 4,000 students enrolled at the seminary during the 2017-2018 school year and currently has a 4,155 campus and online student population.
The Great Commission “is not just a theme; it’s something we live out,” Akin said, noting that at SEBTS every classroom is considered a Great Commission classroom where students learn and live out the mission of God.
Regarding The College at Southeastern, Akin spoke of its growth and development through the continuation of its residence life House System for college students and the History of Ideas curriculum in which college students study a variety of historical authors, both secular and Christian.
Other developments at SEBTS over the past year include the North Carolina Field Minister Program, which began in August 2017 to train men in the Nash Correctional Institution in Nashville, N.C., as ministers in the context of the prison system. SEBTS welcomed 29 students to the program in August to begin their training through The College at Southeastern in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and Game Plan for Life led by Joe Gibbs.
Southeastern’s Global Theological Initiatives is continuing to develop with the addition of its Asian Leadership Development office. Meanwhile, 18 students from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, graduated with a master of arts in Christian studies along with 24 students from Oaxaca, Mexico, who graduated with a master of arts in theological studies. Many of these graduates are professors and convention leaders in their respective countries.
“It is our calling to equip every student to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission, Akin said. “By His grace and for His glory, we want to do this until King Jesus returns.”