The announcement of a record enrollment increase dominated much of the conversation during the bi-annual Board of Trustees (BOT) and Southeastern Society (SES) meetings at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) in Wake Forest, N.C. With the approval of the Master of Arts in Student Ministry, SEBTS is poised to continue fulfilling its call to equip students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.
The M.A. in Student Leadership will be offered in partnership with Student Leadership University (SLU) in Orlando, Fla. The 49-hour degree has a 37-hour core focusing on theological, biblical and ministry studies. Students will train with recognized leaders in the field, have the opportunity to network with SLU, and receive world-class theological and biblical training.
“Being a student pastor is one of the most important roles in the church today,” said Brent Crowe, vice-president of SLU. “And I am incredibly grateful that SEBTS has created a program custom made for those influencing and shaping today’s students.”
“Capturing the hearts and minds of students with the gospel and teaching them to live their lives following Jesus is a crucial part of the church’s mission,” said Keith Whitfield, vice-president for academic administration at SEBTS. “We are excited about how this new degree will prepare leaders to equip a generation of students to give their lives for the cause of Christ in their communities and around the world. We are honored that SLU would bring their expertise and vast influence to partner with us.”
Other items approved by the trustees include:
Doctor of Ministry degree to include courses specializations in church revitalization and Great Commission mobilization.
Granting Bruce Little the title of “Emeritus Professor.” Little, who retired from SEBTS last year was formerly the senior professor of philosophy, director of the Center for Faith and Culture, a founder of the Schaeffer Society and director of the Francis A. Schaeffer Collection.
New trustee members Ed Litton, John Onwuchekwa, Shawn Dobbins, Zack Little, and Nate Millican were welcomed to the board. Additionally, new faculty members Julia Bickley, Ben Holloway and Scott Pace were introduced to board members.
SEBTS President Danny Akin gave an update on exciting developments happening within the school. Akin highlighted the growth of the North Carolina Field Minister Program, in its second year, providing over 50 current, long-term inmates in North Carolina a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. Akin also noted that SEBTS enrollment has risen to over 4,200 students, which Akin called the, “single-largest leap in one particular year that we’ve ever had.”
In Tuesday’s chapel, Akin preached on Isaiah 52:13-53:12, titling his sermon, “The Passion of the Christ/The Suffering Servant of the Lord.” Akin laid out five ways this passage portrays the significant stages of the Suffering Servant’s career: Jesus’ exaltation, His rejection, His passion, His submission and His salvation.
“The penal substitution of Jesus Christ is not a theory. The exalted King died in the place of His rebel subjects,” Akin said.
During a dinner for SES and BOT members, three students shared how the generosity of donors has helped them pursue Great Commission training at SEBTS.
Ronjour Locke, professor or preaching and urban ministry, addresses the SEBTS board of trustees.
Following the testimonies, Akin highlighted the vision and mission of the school saying, “Our goal is to build a school that loves and serves others like we have been loved and served by Jesus, with no distinction between race, gender or socio-economics. Global … lostness is growing, I believe there has never been a greater urgency for a spiritual base to train navy seals for the mission. … We will only be able to accomplish what God wants us to do, all of us doing our part, all of us working together.”
On Sunday evening, Steven Wade, associate professor of theology, preached through Titus 2:11-14. Wade gave ways in which Christians can live rightly in this present life with a full view of the gospel in mind.
This full understanding of the gospel, Wade said, “defines everything about who we are and how we live.”
On Tuesday morning, SES members attended two breakout sessions, in which faculty and student panelists discussed ways that SEBTS has prepared students to engage in the Great Commission and how professors have created a Great Commission atmosphere in the classroom.
SES members give at least $1,000 to SEBTS each year and partner with the school to help train students in living out the Great Commission wherever they go. To learn more, visit sebts.edu/ses.
The next BOT and SES meetings will be held April 7-9, 2019.
To view photos from the two-day meetings, click here.