Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s (SEBTS) Board of Trustees heard reports April 19-21 on the seminary’s projected sixth year of record enrollment and elected two new faculty members.
The seminary’s annual events included chapel services featuring Chuck Quarles, professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and James Merritt, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Georgia.
“I hope every graduate from Southeastern will be characterized by passion, tears, holy boldness, evangelistic zeal and deep conviction,” Quarles said. “Paul’s ministry was a tearful ministry, and God seldom blesses a tearless one.”
“I want to teach and pray in such a way that students have the right gospel method and message,” Quarles emphasized. “We call it the ‘Great Commission,’ not the ‘Good Commission,’ because it can never be improved upon, even by our clever innovations.”
Photo by Maria Estes
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s president, Daniel Akin, addressed members of the Southeastern Society and Board of Trustees during their spring 2015 meetings.
On April 20, the trustees and Southeastern Society met for the presidential address and reports. Daniel Akin, president, recognized recent accomplishments of the seminary, including a projected sixth year of record enrollment. Unduplicated headcount has increased to 3,305 through the spring semester, up from 3,118 in the spring of 2014.
Chuck Lawless, SEBTS vice president for graduate studies and ministry centers, spoke on Acts 19 and spiritual warfare at a banquet that evening.
“I want our students so walking with God that hell knows them by name,” Lawless said. “I want them planting churches that make hell shake a little bit. I want them to know that when they go out hell knows they exist. That's our task.”
Lawless challenged trustees and guests to seek God's power in prayer and in the Bible. “Pray we will find the power of God when He has driven us to our faces,” he said. “The only way we do the work God has called us to is on our knees.”
To close, Akin told the audience. “To go is the default mode around here at Southeastern Seminary. It shouldn't surprise us that the task of going is hard, because the Bible calls this task war.”
In addition, trustees elected Jim Shaddix, professor of preaching, and Stephen Eccher, assistant professor of church history and reformation studies.
Shaddix, pastor of teaching/training at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., has taught at Southeastern since 2012, with prior teaching posts at New Orleans and Golden Gate seminaries. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree from New Orleans Seminary, doctor of ministry and master of divinity degrees from Southwestern Seminary and an undergraduate degree from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
Eccher has taught church history and reformation studies since 2013 and has led several mission trips. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, a master of divinity degree from SEBTS and an undergraduate degree in religion from Palm Bleach Atlantic College in Florida.
They also approved faculty promotions of Bruce Ashford to professor of theology and culture; Brent Aucoin to professor of history; David Jones to professor of Christian ethics; Scott Kellum to professor of New Testament and Greek; and Mark Rooker to senior professor of Old Testament and Hebrew.
The 2015-16 proposed budget was approved at $25.9 million, up 1.68 percent from the current budget.
Trustees approved the purchase and renovation of the Paschal House, a historic house built in 1908 by G.W. Paschal, who taught Latin, Greek and the classics and served in a variety of administrative roles at Wake Forest College (now University).
Considered by many as the premier historian of North Carolina Baptists, Paschal authored several books, including the two-volume “History of North Carolina Baptists” and a three-volume “A History of Wake Forest College.” The purchase of the Paschal home concludes the acquisition of a total of 15.5 acres from the Paschal family. This land completes a multi-decade goal of purchasing the property contiguous to the southwest corner of campus.
During chapel on Tuesday, Merritt delivered a sermon on Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, and the seminary commissioned 21 international church planting students and their wives.