On May 13, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) and The College at Southeastern celebrated the graduation of 319 college and seminary students in Binkley Chapel. Graduates represented more than 30 states and 20 countries.
Danny Akin, president of SEBTS and The College, delivered his commencement address on Matthew 28:16-20, charging graduates to submit their lives and ministries to Christ’s mission.
“Southeastern believes that because these are the final marching orders of the Lord Jesus Christ, they must drive us, define us and determine who we are,” Akin said.
Highlighting the need to train Great Commission students, Akin shared a recent Barna study in which only 17% of respondents were able to define and locate the Great Commission in scripture. Of those who regularly attended church services, 51% said they had never heard of the Great Commission. Calling graduates to change these statistics, Akin charged them to prioritize fulfilling the Great Commission in its entirety—including teaching disciples the content and priority of the Great Commission.
Based on the Great Commission account in the Gospel of Matthew, Akin called attendees to rest in Jesus’ authority, be obedient to His commission and trust in His promise.
“Every square inch of the universe belongs to King Jesus,” he said. “As you go in His name to make disciples of the nations, He promises that you go in His authority, in His backing, in His support.”
“Words are not adequate to express my appreciation and pride in these men and women who are graduating today,” Akin said before conferring degrees on 37 advanced-level and 247 graduate-level graduates, as well as 35 undergraduates. Many of them will be going to serve among the more than 7,000 unreached people groups and over 3 billion people who have no access or limited access to the gospel.
Akin concluded his address by presenting a gospel invitation to all in attendance, calling them to respond to the testimony concerning Christ in scripture and to be born again through faith in Christ.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Chad Burchett is a writer for the SEBTS office of communications.)