Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's trustees, along with individuals who support the seminary through the Southeastern Society, held their biannual meetings Oct. 9-11 at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus, receiving updates about the seminary, worshipping together in chapel and fellowshipping with faculty and students.
Danny Akin, in his presidential address to each group, reported that Southeastern Seminary is in its seventh year of record enrollment with 3,550 total students. The current fall semester is the second-largest spring enrollment in SEBTS history.
SEBTS faculty also taught nearly 11,000 hours of distance learning courses, Akin reported, while diversity on campus rose from 8 percent in 2010 to 14.61 percent in 2016, with the seminary looking to increase that percentage every year.
Southeastern also saw a record year for the Southeastern Fund, raising $1.8 million during the past academic year. More than 650 new donors gave to the Southeastern Fund this year and, overall, more than 900 donors joined the SEBTS family.
During their meetings, the SEBTS trustees:
• gave authorization for SEBTS to enter into a feasibility study to determine the viability of a proposed $26.5 million capital campaign to build a new student center, increase academic endowments and provide additional student aid.
• named Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, D.C., as an interim board member to replace Todd Jones, who resigned from the board due to relocation for his job.
• approved several curriculum revisions and course creations for both the seminary and The College at Southeastern.
Trustees concluded their visit in a special chapel service with Southeastern Society members and students.
Akin spoke from Matthew 5 about the power and purpose of Christian witness. "You are the only authentic salt this world will ever taste, and you are the only authentic light this world will ever see," he said. "We are to stand in radical contrast to those who are opposing the work of God in this world because we are fundamentally different."
Akin also told the chapel attendees that God saved them for a purpose. "God did not redeem us and call us into His Kingdom to hide us and He did not save us … to be silent saints," he said. "He called us to be the light of the world … a light put on display by our Savior to the nations."
Southeastern Society members had the opportunity to learn about current happenings at the seminary and attend sessions on missions in Nepal with SEBTS alumni, the history of SEBTS with senior professor of Baptist studies Keith Harper and the Reformation with assistant professor of church history and Reformation studies Stephen Eccher.
The society is a group of men and women who partner with SEBTS in training students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission. Members give $1,000 or more annually to SEBTS. To learn more about the society, visit sebts.edu/giving.
SEBTS trustees and SES members will hold their spring meetings April 16-18.
Harper McKay is Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's news and information specialist.