Fiftieth birthdays are sometimes tough ordeals. Someone has described turning 50 as a bit like canoeing down a river and suddenly hearing the waterfalls ahead. Time is obviously getting short, and for the vast majority of us who have turned 50, life is well over one-half finished. We sometimes want to put a humorous twist on this. I heard one story of a man who turned 50. He asked his wife, "Do I look 50?" Her response was, "Not any more!"
Fiftieth anniversaries and birthdays are a little different for seminaries. We, here at Midwestern, are at our half-century mark, and we feel like we have just begun. What is being laid here is a strong, mature foundation — theologically/doctrinally, endowment, and facility-wise, as well as in terms of faculty and other human resources — for a fabulous future ahead. At Midwestern, we are committed to the growth of God's Kingdom. We believe that takes place when an institution is 100 percent committed to the truthfulness of God's Word.
We are committed, not just in an abstract theoretical sense, but in a practical applicatory manner, to train men and women to be and to make disciples of Jesus Christ here in America and all over the world. That is our M.O. We accept it unashamedly and are delighted to be part of the greatest mission-minded denomination in the world — the Southern Baptist Convention. What a thrill it is to know that we unite with five other seminaries, two large mission entities, and numerous other organizations and state conventions to help carry out the Great Commission in our generation.
The Great Commission for us is not just something that is theoretical and abstract, but rather it is a purpose we should wake with every morning. It ought to be on our hearts to train and to encourage students and followers of Christ to grow as we can fulfill it, if we are working together in the Spirit of Christ, surrendered to Him and obeying Him at all costs.
I hope you will join me in celebrating Midwestern Seminary's Golden Jubilee year, fifty years of service to Christ in Kansas City, the Heartland of America. During this time we have seen 3,916 graduates leave this place, hopefully all of them with a lost world and a loving Savior at the heart of their ministry and the forefront of their thinking. Pray for us that the next years will be even more glorious. Join us in helping to insure that will be the case.
Sincerely yours and His,
R. Philip Roberts
President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary