WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–News of an increase in enrollment was reported to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s trustees during their fall meeting at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus.
The 653 new students who began classes this semester comprise the second highest new class in the seminary’s history and a 25 percent increase over last fall’s new student count, SEBTS President Daniel Akin reported. The non-duplicating headcount for the fall semester stood at 2,128, up significantly from last fall’s headcount of 2,021.
Considering the economic climate, Akin said he is pleased with the climb in enrollment and believes it is reflective of a Great Commission focus at the heart of Southeastern.
“Students at Southeastern do not just talk about the Great Commission; they go and give in obedience to the Great Commission,” Akin said.
As evidence of this, Akin noted that Southeastern students and friends of the seminary had given more than $60,000 in one week to a special chapel offering to offset the Lottie Moon Offering shortfall of 2008.
Akin also noted that dozens of Southeastern students were involved in short-term mission projects in New York City and Istanbul, Turkey.
“It’s a constant blessing to hear about what God is doing through our students,” Akin said.
During the Oct. 12-13 trustee meeting, several changes to Southeastern’s curriculum were approved. Trustees voted to add a new master of divinity concentration in missiology to supplement the master of divinity with international church planting, an existing degree at Southeastern.
While the M.Div. with international church planting includes two years of overseas work in partnership with the International Mission Board, the new concentration would be completed on campus at Southeastern. The new program would be for those who have a heart for missions training at the highest level, but either do not qualify for the M.Div. with international church planting or do not opt to go overseas as part of their degree.
Trustees also voted to add two new certificate programs: in corporate chaplaincy and in workplace ministry, which complement and will feed into Southeastern’s master of arts in ministry leadership.
The two certificates would be for those who feel called to ministry in a nontraditional setting and who have a desire to spread the Gospel in businesses and the marketplace at large.
Trustees also heard about two new appointments to the Southeastern faculty:
— Todd Borger was appointed as assistant professor of Old Testament and Hebrew.
— Mike Dodson was appointed as assistant professor of church planting and evangelism and associate director for North American missions of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies. He also is the North American Mission Board’s Nehemiah Project church planting professor at Southeastern.
Jason Hall is director of communications at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.