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TRUSTEES: SEBTS celebrate For the Mission launch, Akin’s 15 years

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) — The public launch of the For the Mission campaign is just one way among many in which Danny Akin is continuing to cultivate an enduring Great Commission vision at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) as he marks his 15 years as president of the entity.

These highlights, were among the many items discussed and celebrated at the Spring 2019 Board of Trustees and Southeastern Society meetings April 7-9.

“We will now, in the year 2019, prepare ourselves for continued growth because faithfulness to Christ and love for the nations demands it,” Akin said at a banquet held Monday evening (April 8) for donors and trustees.

The campaign is being publicly launched to raise $20.5 million for the purpose of funding 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.

Other business approved by trustees included:

— the 2019-2020 $31.2 million budget,

— election of Walter Strickland to the faculty as assistant professor of theology,

— election of Scott Pace to the faculty as associate professor of pastoral ministry and teaching,

— promotion of John Ewart to professor of missions and pastoral leadership,

— promotion of David Alan Black to senior professor of New Testament and Greek,

— promotion of Steve McKinion to professor of theology and patristic studies,

— curriculum changes to include an M.A. in ministry to women and biblical counseling, an M.A. in church revitalization, a certificate in student ministry, a certificate in ministry to women, a certificate in church revitalization, an M.Div. in church revitalization, a D.Min. specialization in ministry to women and a D.Min. specialization in pastoral care and counseling;

— creation of three new scholarship accounts to include the Catherine Hall Memorial Student Aid Fund, the Arthur Lewis Brown Student Aid Fund and the Sweatman Missions Aid Fund;

— approval of Becky Gardner, Thomas Mach, Charles Cranford and Alex Gonzalez to serve another term in their respective offices.

Outgoing trustee members included: Erik Estep, Marty Jacumin, Doug Jividen, Sam Wheat and Don Warren, all of whom were honored for their service during Tuesday’s chapel service.

During a Sunday gathering for dinner and worship, trustees and donors heard from Johnny Hunt, senior vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board.

Preaching from 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, Hunt encouraged trustees to utilize their lives for kingdom purposes. He explained that believers should give away their possessions sacrificially, go to places where the Gospel is needed and invest in those who need to be discipled, all for the glory of God.

“I want God to initiate some things in my life that will outlast me,” Hunt said.

Southeastern Society members heard an update about the school from Akin Monday morning. He celebrated that SEBTS has continued to see growth as enrollment has risen to more than 4,500. Akin also noted the growth occurring in The College at Southeastern and The Global Theological Initiative at SEBTS.

“Training students and sending them out is what we’re all about, both nationally and internationally,” Akin said.

Jonathan Six, director of financial and alumni development, shared the vision for the For the Mission campaign Monday morning with Southeastern Society members.

J.D. Greear, Southern Baptist Convention president and pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area, delivered Tuesday’s chapel sermon, preaching from Colossians 1:24-29. He gave a sobering reminder to attendees of the call that believers have on their lives to joyfully sacrifice so that others can know Christ, even if in death.

“Joyful sacrifice is when you give up something you love for something you love even more,” said Greear, explaining that this is the way in which believers are spurred on to the mission of God.

Following Greear’s sermon, Akin commissioned and prayed for students serving in the 2+2 program as well as those serving on short-term trips this summer.

Southeastern Society members give at least $1,000 to SEBTS each year and partner with the school to help train students in living out the Great Commission wherever they go. To learn more, please visit www.sebts.edu/ses.

To learn more about the For the Mission campaign or to make a gift, visit www.forthemission.com.

The next trustee and Southeastern Society meetings will be held Oct. 13-15.

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  • Lauren Pratt