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News & Events

Fall News and Events

Fall Festival, new apologetics program, classical education at Boyce, and more

Mohler encourages SBTS graduates to participate in their divine calling; Fall Festival 2017; Jason Allen named alumnus of the year; and more.

Fall Festival 2017

8,000 people enjoyed an evening to focus on family and community.

Nearly 8,000 students, staff and their families from Southern Seminary filled the campus for the 2017 Fall Festival — this year themed “A Southern Circus.” The campus came alive with the sites, sounds, and tastes of true circus, with clowns on stilts, “strongmen” and acrobats wandering through the crowd, a merry-go-round, iconic carnival games, and a circus-themed fireworks finale. The once-a-year event represents the seminary’s investment in hundreds of families in the Southern community preparing for ministry.

Fall Festilval

SBTS Commencement: Celebrate divine calling, says Mohler

During 219th commencement exercises on the seminary lawn, 318 master’s and doctoral students received degrees.

Ministers of the gospel are not partakers in a career, but recipients of a divine calling, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. in his May 19 commencement address to the 2017 graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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“At every Southern Seminary graduation we remind one another of the great and essential fact that the Christian ministry is not a mere profession — it is a divine calling,” Mohler said.
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The work facing Southern Seminary graduates is inherited from a previous generation, Mohler said, and commencement provides an opportunity to reflect on the faithfulness of spiritual forebears and to anticipate new ministries for newly trained gospel workers in the years ahead.
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“These graduates go out now to build upon what others have already built,” he said.
— Andrew j.w. smitH

“In the church age, ministry is handed from generation to generation. Our humble determination and our heart’s desire must be to receive this charge and to serve faithfully — planting and watering in the fields of ministry and taking care how we build upon the foundation laid before us.”
— R. Albert Mohler Jr.

    faculty award
    Mohler presented the Findley B. and Louvenia Edge Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence to Jeremy P. Pierre, associate professor of biblical counseling and dean of students at the seminary.
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    2000th Ph.D. Graduate
    The graduating class featured the 2,000th recipient of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the 125-year history of Southern Seminary’s doctoral program: David Casas from Lawrenceville, Georgia.
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    COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS
    Mohler’s entire address is available in audio and video at equip.sbts.edu. A complete manuscript of the address, “As It Had Been the Face of an Angel,” is available at albertmohler.com.

    Jason Allen named alumnus of the year

    Two-time Southern Seminary graduate receives honor

    Jason K. Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was named alumnus of the year at the alumni luncheon for Southern Seminary at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 14. Allen is a two-time graduate of Southern (master of divinity, 2004; doctor of philosophy, 2011), and, according to Mohler, he “stood out from the very beginning.”
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    “We knew the Lord had some very big plans for Jason Allen,” Mohler said. “He came on staff in my office, and then vice president for institutional advancement. And just think about the last five years, when he became president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary — nothing less than what we might call a renaissance has taken place at Midwestern.”
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    Under Allen’s leadership, Midwestern Seminary has grown to record enrollment.
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    “It makes us proud that [Allen] is filling this role and fulfilling this responsibility so well” Mohler continued. “He has emerged as a statesman in Southern Baptist life. He is now one of my cherished colleagues as a seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention, and it’s just right to recognize Dr. Allen as Alumnus of the Year of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the year 2017.”
    — SBTS COMMUNICATIONS

      Boyce College announces new classical education minor

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      With classical education on the rise and virtually no colleges preparing their education students to teach it, Boyce College will provide a minor in classical education, starting in the 2017-2018 academic year. Boyce professors Melissa Tucker and Tyler Flatt are at the forefront of the new program, which will be an emphasis within the teacher education program and a minor available to all other Boyce students.
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      “The resurgence of classical education is one of the most promising developments on the broader American education landscape in quite some time,” said Matthew J. Hall, dean of Boyce College. “Christian institutions are rightly at the forefront of this recovery of ancient wisdom, answering basic questions about what it means to be human, what it means to truly learn, and the very essence of education itself. However, few Christian colleges have taken on the task of preparing graduates to teach this way. This is the right kind of minor for Boyce College at precisely the right time.”
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      Tucker, who serves as chair of the teacher education program at Boyce, will work with education professor Kevin Jones and humanities professor Flatt to equip Boyce education students to teach the classics. Only two schools in the United States offer a minor in classics education, according to Tucker, and Boyce students will be uniquely prepared to teach it.
      — SBTS Communications

      SWI hosts 21st Family Life Conference in the fall

      Seminary Wives Institute held its 21st annual Family Life Conference, Sept. 15-16, continuing their tradition of investing in husbands and wives to reinforce the importance of marriage.

      Hershael York, Southern Seminary Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Christian Preaching, led large group discussions for the two-day event along with his wife, Tanya, who led a women’s discussion and participated in a final Q&A session.
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      “Every marriage has incredible challenges,” York said. “The difference is that people with good marriages learn how to meet those challenges, learn how to deal with them, and address them, and come out in a way that bonds them rather than drives them apart.”
      — annie corser

        Billy Graham School creates apologetics program, Blount appointed chair

        Southern Seminary leadership consolidated two apologetics programs into one, which will be housed in the Billy Graham School.

        Fall Festilval

        Left to right: Douglas K. Blount & Timothy Paul Jones.
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        Academic institutions have long paired apologetics with classical disciplines like philosophy and history, but the defense of the Christian faith requires the apologist to prove not only why Christianity is true, but also why it should be believed. The goal of Christian apologetics should not merely be the assent of the mind, but the confession of the heart, said Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Put simply, apologetics is ultimately about evangelism and discipleship.
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        “We want leaders and teachers in our churches to be able to tell people not just how to become a Christian, but why they should become a Christian,” Greenway said.
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        Toward that end, seminary leadership has consolidated two distinct apologetics programs into a single Master of Divinity degree in apologetics for the 2017-2018 academic year. While Southern used to have separate apologetics concentrations — one each in the School of Theology and the Billy Graham School — the institution now offers a single apologetics program under the Billy Graham School.
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        The move positions Southern Seminary to offer a unique blend of the academic preparation that marks most apologetics programs with a robust evangelistic emphasis that marks Southern Baptists. The program sits in the new Department of Apologetics and World Religions in the Billy Graham School, with Douglas K. Blount serving as its chair. Blount has been teaching apologetics at SBTS since 2015.
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        “Apologetics has always been a central task of the Christian church, but our contemporary context presents an unavoidable apologetic challenge,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary. “This generation will never know a moment where it’s not called to defend the truth and the truthfulness of the Christian faith.”
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        Blount said that in a culture that is hostile to Christianity, missional and evangelistic skills are more essential than ever in Christian witness, and Southern Seminary is equipped to couple top-shelf intellectual preparation with evangelistic zeal in its apologetics programming.
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        “We are interested in developing a program that is first-rate in intellectual rigor, and we certainly want our students to be mentally prepared for the challenges they are going to face in a culture that is hostile to the faith,” Blount said. “But we want to turn out students who not only have the head for apologetic ministry, but also the heart for evangelism and missions.”
        The size and breadth of the Southern Seminary faculty ensure the school is prepared to offer a unique approach to the defense of the faith chiefly concerned with heart-change rather than head knowledge.
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        The program will include a master of arts (apologetics), which is Southern Seminary’s second academic M.A. degree. A second academic M.A. (Islamic Studies) is also available.
        — Andrew J.W. Smith

        Mohler gives prestigious E.Y. Mullins Award to Rick Lance

        Award given to Lance at alumni luncheon on June 14

        President R. Albert Mohler Jr. presented the E.Y. Mullins Award for Distinguished Denominational Leadership to Rick Lance, executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention, at the alumni luncheon for Southern Seminary at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 14.
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        The event represented the first time the seminary has issued the E.Y. Mullins Award, the highest honor bestowed by the seminary, since LifeWay President Thom Rainer received it in 2014. Mullins, the fourth president of the Southern Seminary, exerted massive influence within the SBC, including serving as president of the Convention, president of Baptist World Alliance, and chairman of the committee that introduced the denomination’s confession of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message.
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        The award notes Lance’s “example of commitment” to the Southern Baptist Convention and its work, Mohler said, and his long commitment to pastoral ministry and theological conviction.
        — SBTS COMMUNICATIONS

        Students reminded to be ‘salt and light’ at Renown Conference

        Young Christians are called to be “salt and light” and share the gospel where God has placed them, said Southern Baptist leaders during Boyce College’s Renown Conference, March 17-18, themed “Salt and Light.”

        “You don’t have to have a Bible college or seminary degree to get this understanding that Jesus has put me in the place he has me; he said, ‘Go home to be salt and light,’” said Eric Geiger, author and vice president of LifeWay Christian Resources.
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        R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dan Dumas, senior vice president for institutional administration at Southern, also spoke to more than 700 middle and high school students.
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        Mohler preached on Acts 19:11-20, encouraging students to make their names known in hell because of their gospel impact. Dumas preached from 1 Chronicles 11:22, a passage he called the “guts of Benaiah,” one of David’s mighty men, which should inspire the youth to “take risks and do hard gospel things.”
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        Students attended breakout sessions from a number of speakers from Boyce College and Southern Seminary. Topics addressed various aspects of being salt and light, like discovering spiritual gifts or overseas missions.
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        Lexington Road, one of Boyce College’s traveling bands, led worship for the conference, and Christian hip hop artist Sho Baraka performed a late-night concert.
        — SBTS Communications

          SBTS Press releases ‘Essential Reading on Preaching’

          Published the same year as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Essential Reading on Preaching from SBTS Press focuses on one of its most enduring legacies: the faithful proclamation of the Word of God.
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          Drawn from Southern Equip, a service from Southern Seminary that extends faculty training beyond the classroom, the book is a collection of articles about preaching written by SBTS faculty and instructors. In its first chapter, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. describes the urgent problem facing modern Christianity: that secular pluralism has driven the church to the margins of cultural discourse. Its only way to survive, according to Mohler, is the unapologetic exposition of Scripture.
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          “By preaching the church expands and by preaching the church remains faithful in a hostile culture,” Mohler writes.
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          Essential Reading on Preaching not only features big-picture explanations of the need for exposition (“Expository ministry: A comprehensive vision” by Dan Dumas), but also practical guidance for pastors preaching every Sunday (“5 ways to fight a ‘preaching hangover’” by Brian Croft) and studies of great preachers from the history of the church (chapters about John Owen and John Broadus from Michael A.G. Haykin and Tom J. Nettles, respectively). The book also includes resources for further reading on preaching.
          — ANDREW J.W. Smith

          Mohler: ‘Knowledge of Christ is the center of true education’

          Preaching from Colossians 1:13-23 in an address titled “And in Him All Things Hold Together: Jesus Christ as Beginning and End of Knowledge,” Mohler said that Jesus Christ is not only the source of a “coherent” Christian faith, but the source of all coherence.

          There is no true education when Jesus Christ is not recognized as the center of all learning, said R. Albert Mohler Jr. at his August 29 convocation address for the 2017-2018 academic year at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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          In a scientific age that places comprehensive authority on scientific knowledge, physicists even pursue a “unified field theory” to explain everything about the natural world. But according to the apostle Paul, only Jesus Christ explains all reality. Christ therefore should be the centerpiece of all higher education, Mohler said.
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          But, Mohler said, if true education is fundamentally theological, Christian institutions face a problem. Many of the most famous American institutions were formerly Christian before experiencing a gradual but decisive drift from the faith. Mohler argued that an institution’s curriculum should be built on theological and Christological foundations, with the ultimate goal not just mental acknowledgment, but worship.

          “Any school, any college, any university, any seminary, any educational institution that reduces the teaching of preachers to a sideline is an institution that is forfeiting true education.”
          — R. Albert Mohler Jr.

            First African-American President of SBC Pastors’ Conference Named SBTS Trustee

            H.B. Charles Jr., who in June was elected as the first African-American president of the Pastor’s Conference for the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention, was installed as a Southern Seminary trustee during convocation. Charles is pastor-teacher of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida.

            AUDIO AND VIDEO

            Of convocation are available online at
            sbts.edu/resources.

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