WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) — During their Oct. 15-17 meetings, both trustees and supporters of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary were updated on institutional developments — namely the seminary’s capital campaign being launched in the spring of 2018 to enhance the on-campus experience by adding a welcome center and dining hall.
The campaign is a four-year plan to raise $20.5 million. In addition to these new buildings, plans include renovations for Stealey Hall and the library as well as the addition of a campus center as a primary location for the college.
Trustee members approved the following decisions on Tuesday (Oct. 17):
— The Capital Campaign, which primarily involves the financing to build a dining hall and welcome center on campus.
— Sabbatical reports and requests for the following faculty members: David R. Beck, Mark Liederbach, Allan Moseley, Steven P. Wade, Benjamin L. Merkle, George G. Robinson, and Chip Hardy.
— New and revised curriculum to The College at Southeastern, theology and various ministry degrees.
— New Investment Policy Statement and the asset allocation proposed by CapTrust.
— Updated Campus Master Plan, which includes the changes involved in the seminary’s capital campaign.
— Response to the Southern Baptist Convention motion on publishing online contact information for trustees. While the seminary lists trustee members on its website, it does not publish contact information online due to privacy and concerns over technological related misuses. However, any member of a church that cooperates with the SBC can contact the seminary’s Office of the President and receive contact information for trustees. For more details, click here. Also, see related Baptist Press report.
Three new trustee members were welcomed this fall, including Howard Li, Ryan Martin, and Sam Wheat. Li was assigned to the Academic Committee, Martin to the Student Services Committee, and Wheat to the Institutional Advancement Committee.
The seminary’s Southeastern Society (SES) members heard from Thomas West, discipleship pastor of Providence Road Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. Preaching from Ephesians 2, West spoke to members about the importance of God’s people remembering where they have come from and how God is planning to use them in the future.
“We will never marvel at who God is until we realize how messed up we are,” West said.
Southeastern Seminary President Danny Akin shared his 10-year vision with trustee and SES members, noting his four marks of a Great Commission seminary — consumed with a global focus, certain in its doctrinal conviction, committed to expansive ministerial preparation and characterized by spiritual vibrancy.
The seminary has seen eight consecutive years of growth, Akin reported, and it is setting a goal to see 5,000 students enrolled by 2027.
Remembering the Reformation
During chapel on Tuesday morning, Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, delivered a lecture as part of the Page Lecture Series on campus, an annual lecture series featuring predominant theologians. George spoke on the Reformation in remembrance of the 500th year anniversary being commemorated this month and noted the turning points that led Martin Luther to the climactic moments in his life.
“I think it’s better not to think of one … event when it all happened suddenly but rather to think of this as a process in Luther’s own mind as he learned and studied and grew deeper in the Word of God,” George said.
He also spoke on what he called the “hermeneutical shift” that Luther had while writing his commentary on Romans. During this process, George noted that Luther began to read the Bible with a Christocentric focus.
“Jesus Christ becomes the fulcrum around which everything in the Bible revolves,” George said.
Breakout sessions were held for SES members. Jonathan Six, director of financial and alumni development, spoke on the importance of having faithful donors that contribute to the ministry of helping students prepare to minister around the world. He gave examples of people like Luther Rice who supported Adoniram Judson and Lady Huntington who funded George Whitefield’s ministry.
“We believe that a great movement of God can start here and spread around the world because of gospel patrons like yourself,” Six said.
Ryan Hutchinson, executive vice president for operations, also led a breakout session in which he explained the planned constructions of the dining hall and welcome center in greater detail.