LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) – 2023 was marked by God’s continued faithfulness to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College. In reflecting on the year, we are filled with gratitude for the students diligently working toward degrees, our graduates faithfully following the Lord’s call, and the important events we celebrated this year.
Over the course of the year, more than 4,500 students from all 50 states and 77 countries completed 1,134 courses, preparing them for a lifetime of faithfulness to Christ and his church. During the Spring and Winter commencements this past year, Southern Seminary had 439 students graduate with their master’s degree and 154 doctoral graduates, while Boyce College had 109 students graduate, with each graduate pledging their determination to “serve wherever God may call.”
Highlights from 2023
In March, Southern Seminary participated in a decennial review for reaffirmation of accreditation with both the Association of Theological Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Both agencies sent peer visiting teams to Sothern’s campus. Both teams recommended, and the boards of both agencies approved, the reaffirmation of accreditation for 10 years, which is the maximum period allowed.
In August, Southern Seminary completed its renovation to the James P. Boyce Centennial Library to what President R. Albert Mohler, Jr. called “A state of the art and stunningly beautiful facility for students and faculty.” During the October Trustee Meeting, the library was officially rededicated. It features enhanced areas for research and study to support students in their academic pursuits.
In October, Southern Seminary and Boyce College celebrated Mohler’s 30th Anniversary as president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Board of Trustees elected Mohler on March 26, 1993 and started his term as the seminary’s ninth president on August 1 of that year. Faculty, alumni, trustees and friends of the institution gathered to celebrate all that God has done through Mohler and his wife Mary during their 30 years of contending for the faith at Southern Seminary and to look forward to how God will continue to guide Southern and Boyce College under Mohler’s leadership. In addition to reaching the 30-year milestone, on Dec. 21, Dr. Mohler will become the longest-tenured president in the history of the seminary.
Regarding the ongoing impact of Mohler’s presidency, trustee Chairman Joshua W. Powell said, “Albert Mohler’s impact is inestimable. Every square inch of this campus has his imprint. Every classroom is full of his conviction. Every student has benefitted from his vision. One may not be able to truly measure his impact on Southern Seminary. Still, it is seen everywhere in the world that one of the over 15,000 graduates during his presidency is teaching and preaching the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.”
In November, Southern Seminary announced the new 84 credit hour Master of Divinity degree. This degree, combined with the introduction of Graduate Certificates, affords students greater flexibility, allowing them to specialize in the areas that will have the greatest impact on their ministry. Southern also introduced an incentivized pricing model for residential M.Div. students, allowing them to save up to 40 percent on their degree by only paying for the first nine credit hours a semester while taking up to 15 credit hours at no additional cost. These changes continue to strengthen the M.Div. and increase its effectiveness for students.
Reflecting on the past year reminds us of the Lord’s continued kindness to Southern Seminary and Boyce College. In both the April and October trustee meetings, the Trustees affirmed the financial strength and vitality of the institution and commended the faithful stewardship of Mohler and the seminary’s leadership.
“We can only look back at 2023 with great appreciation for what the Lord has done at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Boyce College,” Mohler said. “By every metric and according to every measure, the Lord has greatly blessed us in enrollment, in financial support, and in the extension and enrichment of every dimension of our life and work. For me, the most gratifying reflection on the year is to know of all those students who have graduated and have gone out to serve Christ, his church, and his kingdom. So, we look to 2023 with great gratitude to the Lord and to 2024 to see what the Lord will do.”