News Articles

SEBTS housing construction approved; trustee vote adds new degree program

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Plans for student-family housing expansions, campus building renovations and a new degree program were approved during Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s trustee meeting Oct.12-13 at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus.
Trustees approved a $2.4 million project that calls for adding 39 family housing units to the newly built Fletcher Village which opened in August as a 74-unit apartment complex off Stadium Drive in Wake Forest, N.C. Construction on the 36 two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units is expected to begin by the end of the year and be completed sometime in August 1999, according to Joe Sheffield, director of housing at Southeastern.
A 120-unit complex, called Flaherty Farms, currently is under construction off White Street. Some two-and three-bedroom apartments are expected to become available in November. The 10-building complex is scheduled to be completed in phases, with two apartment buildings opening each month over a five-month period between November and March 1999.
Construction of 84 additional apartment units at Flaherty Farms is expected to begin sometime around the first of next year and be completed by August 1999, Sheffield said.
The expansion of Fletcher Village and the addition of Flaherty Farms should secure housing for students well into the 21st century, said Southeastern President Paige Patterson, who is also president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Trustees also voted to begin a $1.1 million renovation of Mackie Hall. The former home of the seminary’s student center and bookstore will be converted into 34 faculty offices. The renovation is expected to be completed by Aug. 1, 1999, according to Sid King, director of Southeastern’s physical plant.
Southeastern added six new faculty members this fall, bringing the total number of full-time faculty to more than 40. The faculty is expected to continue to grow to keep pace with the school’s student enrollment, which has increased by more than 127 percent since Patterson became president of the seminary in 1992.
The school reported an annual non-duplicating student enrollment for the 1997-98 academic year of 1,745 students, according to registrar Sheldon Alexander.
Funding for the renovation of Mackie Hall had been part of a $3.2 million fund-raising campaign that included plans for a new 16,000-square-foot state-of-the-art missions training center. To date, $1.4 million is needed to completely fund the project.
Following approval by donors, trustees voted to use the monies already available, including those earmarked for the missions center, to pay for the Mackie Hall renovation while committing to not begin another campus building project until the missions center has been completely funded and built.
In other action, trustees approved a new two-year degree program called the master of arts in Christian school administration. The new degree track, which calls for 48 hours of academic credit, is designed to equip graduates to oversee grades pre-K through 12 in a Christian school setting. Graduates will be able to apply for principal certification with the Association of Christian Schools International and Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools.
Applicants to the degree program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate school and meet the requirements for admission to the seminary.
In addition to the specialized courses, students will be required to take biblical courses in Old Testament, New Testament, systematic theology, survey of historical theology, and Baptist history.
In other curriculum changes, trustees approved the addition of 16 new college courses for the four-year undergraduate program which began this fall. In addition to its biblical studies degree, Southeastern Baptist Theological College offers a double major in The History of Ideas, which focuses on the “Great Books of the Western World.”
Some of the new courses approved for The History of Ideas track include: “Classical Culture from Homer to Plato,” “Classical Culture from Plato to Rome,” “Roman and Medieval Culture,” “Late Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation Eras,” “Enlightenment Culture I and II,” “Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Culture” and “Survey of Western Culture.”
Southeastern Baptist Theological College, which began in January 1995 as a two-year college with 26 students, numbers more than 300 students this fall. More than one-third of Southeastern’s college students are enrolled in The History of Ideas program.
“Nobody is doing it exactly like this,” Patterson said of the college. “Not only are they going to know the Scriptures, but also know how Western Civilization developed and why that’s important.”
Southeastern’s new master of divinity with women studies program received a major boost with the establishment of the James and Dorothy Merritt Student Aid Endowment Fund of $100,000 to provide scholarships for students in the program. James Merritt of Easley, S.C., also serves on Southeastern’s board of trustees.
Trustees also elected three faculty members who were serving under presidential appointment: David Allen Black, professor of New Testament; Frank Catanzaro, assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling; and Waylan Owens, assistant professor of pastoral ministry.
The following faculty members received promotions: J. Gregory Lawson, from assistant to associate professor of Christian education; L. Keith Harper, from assistant to associate professor of church history; John L. Davis, from assistant to associate professor of church music; John S. Hammett, from assistant to associate professor of theology; Mark F. Rooker, from associate to professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; Ben S. Johnson, from professor to senior professor of music; R. Logan Carson, from professor to senior professor of Christian theology; George W. Braswell, from professor to distinguished professor of missions and world religions.
The following new trustees were introduced and officially began their terms of service: Wendell Estep, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Columbia, S.C.; Cindy Province, member of First Baptist Church, Harvester, Mo.; Bradley Wilcoxen, pastor of Bell Road Baptist Church, Auburn, Calif.; and Hayes Wicker, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Naples, Fla.

    About the Author

  • Lee Weeks