TRUSTEES: SEBTS trustees & donors gather, celebrate 25th anniversary of college

SEBTS photo
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) donors and trustees gathered together to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The College at Southeastern (The College) during their biannual meetings Oct. 13-15.

"The days are evil. The need for soldiers of the cross is great. We are a school that absolutely is making an eternal difference," said President Danny Akin during a dinner Monday night for trustees and donors. Akin highlighted significant growth within The College and the continued need of financial support for the "For the Mission" campaign.

On Tuesday, trustees voted on a number of items, including the following:

--The election of The College at Southeastern dean Dr. Scott Pace as vice president for undergraduate studies

--Approved a resolution on the 25th anniversary of The College.

--Approved a motion made during the 2019 SBC annual meeting for entities to report efforts made to address the sexual abuse crisis within the convention.

--Approved mandatory training on sexual abuse prevention and care for all students

New trustees began terms this fall, including Beth Wooten, Danny Rumple, Michael Cummings, Jay Hardwick, Stewart Holloway and Chuck Jennings.

During his Monday night address, Akin highlighted the numerous ways in which The College is bolstering its Great Commission impact. The College currently has an enrollment of 1,380 students. In the past decade, The College has developed a number of programs for training and community life. The North Carolina Field Minister Program, which began in 2017, equips inmates in the North Carolina prison system to receive a Bachelor of Arts in pastoral ministry. The Hunt Scholars Program, which was created in 2015, allows students to receive their Bachelor of Arts in pastoral Ministry and Master of Divinity in pastoral ministry in five years. The College's House System was created in 2016 and provides a structured residential life program. Each student is assigned to a House from the time they arrive on campus. The House System provides countless social events, opportunities for spiritual growth, and a community of support for the students.

"[The House System] is a lab for character and leadership development," said Jake Hatfield, director of college life at SEBTS, during a Tuesday morning meeting with donors.

Akin explained that theological conviction and cost are the two primary reasons that fueled the start of The College. The "For the Mission" campaign, which publicly launched at the spring trustee and donor meetings April 7-9, is now 50 percent funded. The purpose of the campaign is to fund four strategic initiatives in four years. These initiatives include funding a new dining hall, renovations to Simmons Hall to provide campus housing, student aid, the Southeastern Fund and faculty endowments.

Akin gave a Monday morning update to donors about regarding recent happenings at Southeastern, including 9Marks at Southeastern, the Biblical Theology of Womanhood workshop with Nancy Guthrie and more. He updated donors on his recent trip to the Ukraine, where SEBTS has a partnership with the Ukraine Baptist Theological Seminary.

Akin told donors and trustees that along with the growth at the College, Southeastern celebrates that its enrollment has grown to 4,776 students. Members of the Southeastern Society also had an opportunity to commission Amy Whitfield, who will be transitioning from her role as director of marketing and communications at SEBTS to associate vice president of convention communications for the Executive Committee.

Sunday night, donors heard from Dylan Anderson, a student in the Hunt Scholars Program and college minister at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, N.C.

"It is because of you running your races well that I am here," Anderson told donors as he preached from Hebrews 12:1-2.

The College seeks to train students to live out the Great Commission in their vocation. Donors had the opportunity to learn about what that looks like from literature professors Matt Mullins and Adrianne Miles.

"I believe God gives us literature to leave us longing for more," said Miles, assistant professor of English and linguistics.

"Whether they go to the mission field or not, they have all been trained as missionaries to whatever field God may call them," said Mullins, assistant professor of English and History of Ideas and associate dean for academic advising.

Daniel Richie, an evangelist from Charlotte, N.C., and a graduate from The College at Southeastern, preached on Acts 20:17-35.

"The moment we make grace about us is the moment that we've missed it. Grace has nothing to do with us; it has everything to do with [Jesus]."

Southeastern also welcomed Keith and Krystin Getty to campus for a day of workshops and concert Tuesday evening as part of their Sing! Fall Tour.

Lauren Pratt writes for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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