FROM THE COLLEGES: SEBTS honors scholars; Brewton-Parker adds esports team; OBU hosts STEM workshop

Southeastern celebrates scholars during ETS dinner

By: Lauren Pratt

SAN DIEGO (BP) -- Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty, staff and colleagues gathered for the Southeastern Theological Fellowship dinner to celebrate the outstanding scholarship of five individuals during the 71st annual Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meeting.

SEBTS acting provost Keith Whitfield welcomed guests from liberal arts colleges, research universities, seminaries, publishing houses and more to the event, noting that its purpose was to "elevate and celebrate the work of God's people for the kingdom."

"This event represents Southeastern's culture and our mission so well," said Whitfield. "Our president calls us to be a Great Commission seminary, and that means as a school we also recognize that our mission is bigger than our institution."

Every year, SEBTS honors five colleagues in various categories of scholarship. These include those who have exemplified extraordinary work in a Southern Baptist college and university, a Southern Baptist seminary, an evangelical college and university, an evangelical seminary and a SEBTS alumnus. Award winners included the following:

-- Kelly Kapic, professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga.

-- Craig Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson professor of the New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.

-- Roy Ciampa, former professor of New Testament and chair of the division of biblical studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and current chair of the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

-- Stephen Presley, associate professor of church history and director of the Southwestern Center for Early Christian Studies in Fort Worth, Texas

-- Elizabeth Mburu, associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Pan African Christian University as well as the International Leadership University and African International University in Nairobi, Kenya

In 2008, Mburu became Southeastern's first female Ph.D. graduate, leading the way for more women to follow in the path of pursuing advanced degrees in theological education. During the Evangelical Theological Fellowship dinner, Mburu gave the keynote address in which she challenged fellow scholars to consider how partnering together in the work of scholarship can bring unity among believers of all ethnicities.

"The Church, as it stands, is like a half-finished song -- one beautiful to listen to but has an unfinished quality that leaves one yearning for more," said Mburu, who also serves on the editorial team of the Africa Bible Commentary and the African Society for Evangelical Theology.

She is the African regional coordinator for Langham Literature and is a curriculum evaluator for the Association of Christian Theological Education in Africa. Mburu and her husband Caxton have three adult children.

"You might ask, 'Why, in a discussion about scholarship, would I focus on the Church?' It's because I believe, ultimately, our scholarship exists to serve the Church," said Mburu. "That's why partnership is so crucial."

The Southeastern Theological Fellowship seeks to build camaraderie and foster fellowship between scholars of multiple denominations and encourage excellence in scholarship for the glory of Jesus Christ.

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Brewton-Parker adds esports, following growing trend

By Myriah Snyder

MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (BP) -- Brewton-Parker College announced the newest addition to their athletics department -- esports. Their inaugural season will begin fall 2020.

Brewton-Parker's co-ed team, co-coached by Jonathan Rose and Peter Thompson, will compete in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Overwatch, with the goal of adding more games later.

Esports are similar to other sports, except, as their name suggests, they're electronic. Teams play video games on a highly competitive level.

They're a growing trend on college campuses. Jeanne Weber, senior higher education strategist at Dell Technologies, told InsideHigherEd.com, that esports aren't simply about gaming, but help encourage innovation and teamwork, develop critical thinking skills, and promote self-directed learning.

In addition, InsideHigerEd.com reported that more students will be looking for esports as a criteria for selecting a college. In fact, they reported that over 100 high schools in Illinois alone offer esports.

"We see the success and growth with esports at a lot of different schools and want to be able to compete at the highest level," Rose said. "I'm excited to start the recruiting process and give an opportunity for student athletes to receive a college scholarship."

"I have been playing video games most of my life and made many friends through those games, some of those have lasted 10 years and long distances," Thompson added. "I am excited to give students the chance to play on a competitive level and the chance to practice and train among other great players."

The BPC Athletics Department is in the process of developing its own on-site gaming arena. This arena will be equipped with brand new Alienware Aurora R9 with a 9th Gen Intel Core i9 9900K processor NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Graphics Card, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, 1 TB of storage, and Alienware 27'' AW2720HF Monitors.

Chris Dooley, vice president of athletics and enrollment services, also expressed excitement for the new addition.

"Esports is the fastest growing intercollegiate sport at this time," he said. "With Georgia High School Association already sponsoring an esports championship, students in our primary recruiting area are already familiar with esports, and we are excited to be able to offer an opportunity for these gamers to continue competing at the collegiate level".

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OBU Teacher Ed majors host STEM day for 4th graders

By Staff

Fourth graders from Shawnee, Okla., work with OBU teaching students at a Christmas-themed STEM workshop hosted by the university's education department.
OBU photo
SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP) -- Teacher education students at OBU who are part of this semester's science and math methods course hosted a special Christmas-themed STEM day Nov. 21 for local students. The STEM day (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) was themed, "Santa's Workshop: A Merry STEM Study." The event took place in the Geiger Center on the OBU campus in Shawnee.

Fourth grade students from Grove Elementary in Shawnee attended the STEM Day. Teacher education students taught at six different stations, exploring topics in several areas of science and math. OBU students were able to practice their art in teaching, while Grove students were delighted to engage in an interactive way of learning.

The premise of the Santa's Workshop theme was that Santa's elves have fallen behind in creating Christmas toys and doing other duties related to making Christmas the joyful event that it is. The Grove fourth graders traveled from station to station, training at the Research and Design Workshop area at the North Pole with the special science and math elves. Once they succeeded in their training, they were qualified to work with the elves in duties such as making fake snow for warm temperatures, helping Grinch's heart stay full so he won't destroy Christmas and creating wrapping paper from tessellations.

STEM is an initiative by the U.S. Department of Education that seeks to prepare students by giving them the knowledge and skills they need to solve problems, make sense of information and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.

The science and math methods course is taught by Jeanne Akin, Mary A. White professor of education. The OBU students who created the STEM day event include Raelie Gilbert, Emilie Rohr, Vanessa Parra, Alicia Mathis, Marcela Ellebracht, Bethany Barham, Emily Justice, BethAnn Frakenfield, Taylor Norman, Sabrina Gay, Summer Nack, Ariel Wright, Kurt Smith, Demi Dobbs, Brooke Cooke, Abby Rogers and Emma Kidd.

For more information about the Division of Teacher Education at OBU, visit www.okbu.edu/humanities/teacher-education.

Lauren Pratt writes for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Myriah Snyder is content editor of The Christian Index.
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