Countercultural Christianity is the necessary result of friendship with Jesus and the destiny for gospel ministers, said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. in his Feb. 2 convocation address.
In his introductory remarks, Mohler welcomed new students to a “movement” and a “tribe,” reiterating it in his address on account of how the cultural majority perceives evangelicalism. Because Southern Seminary students today will lose social capital in their identification with countercultural Christianity, Mohler said it shows an urgency for “building a different civilization.”
At convocation, Mohler installed Ayman S. Ibrahim as Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies. Ibrahim has served as the senior fellow for the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam since July 2015. He received his Doctor of Philosophy from Fuller Theological Seminary and is working on a second doctorate at University of Haifa.
“The steadfast perseverance of the saints is enabled by the sovereign preservation of the saints.”
— H.B. Charles Jr., Oct. 29 Chapel message
“Genuine forgiveness is a shocking display of the truth of the gospel.”
— Paul Chitwood, Feb. 11 Chapel message
“Our world is in desperate need of Christians who will lead with integrity by confessing their sins to God, confronting their shame with the gospel in order to model compassion to the godless.”
— D.A. Horton, Feb. 16 Chapel message
“Preaching the greatness of God is the only message that can sustain broken hearts.”
— Derek W.H. Thomas, Expositors Summit
“When you don’t have anything to work with, you are the perfect candidate for the power of God.”
— Charlie Dates, March 8 Chapel message
“Fear God, honor your parents, choose your friends wisely, and obey God immediately. If you shun wisdom today, there will come a day when wisdom shuns you.”
— Dan Dumas, Renown Youth Conference
“Conversion is an even greater work of God than creation,” said Mark Dever, president of 9Marks Ministries and senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. “Because at creation God had to do something with nothing, but when God comes to make the heart believe, he finds opposition and rebellion, he finds man against himself. As we read in the New Testament, we are at enmity with God. Christ therefore must … give new life.”
“The Conversion” was the fourth annual 9Marks Conference at Southern and explored why truly understanding conversion is essential for building healthy churches.
Dever said the Bible supports God’s choice to elect. Election, Dever said, displays God’s initiative in pursuing his people. “The whole story of the Bible is this,” Dever said. “Friend, either God takes the initiative or we’re done for; we’re lost.”
Speakers also included SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr.; Greg Gilbert, SBTS alumnus and pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville; Curtis Woods, associate executive director for convention relations for the Kentucky Baptist Convention; Zane Pratt, vice president for global training for the International Mission Board; and John Onwucheckwa, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, Georgia. — Annie Corser
Audio and video from the conference are available at sbts.edu/resources.
Preaching symbolizes God speaking to his people and must remain the church’s central focus, said Mark Dever in the Mullins Lectures on Christian Preaching at Southern Seminary, Feb. 23-25.
The Mullins Lectures are one of the nation’s oldest continuous lectureships in homiletics. The lectures honor the life and ministry of Southern’s fourth president, E.Y. Mullins, and exist to show the model and methodology for expository preaching.
Southern Seminary recently launched a mobile app and redesigned website for R. Albert Mohler Jr., offering users more convenient ways to engage with the evangelical leader’s content.
In the past year, more than 1.6 million people visited AlbertMohler.com for the seminary president’s essays, his daily podcast “The Briefing,” and “Thinking In Public” conversations, resulting in 6.4
Users can listen to and share individual segments of “The Briefing” rather than accessing a single audio file of the daily podcast. The app and website also feature a “News to Watch” section aggregating noteworthy illustrating various worldview issues. — S. Craig Sanders
Southern Seminary professors and leading pastors emphasize the importance of faithfulness in a new ministry workbook released by SBTS Press.
The book contains three sections, focusing on faithfulness, persistence, and excellence. It provides lessons and strategic plans for pastors to put in place in order to become more faithful to the tasks before them. — Annie Corser
More Faithful Service is available in print and digital editions at sbts.edu/press.
The Augustine Honors Collegium will provide an intellectually stimulating and academically rigorous curriculum for high-achieving students, leaders said.
The school’s first-ever honors program will combine small, seminar-style classes with a wide array of co-curricular activities aimed at helping participants to analyze and respond to the various challenges facing the Christian faith in the 21st century. — Abby Davis
Students interested in applying to participate in The Augustine Honors Collegium can find more information at boycecollege.com/honors.
Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Hershael York, Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Christian Preaching at Southern Seminary, were among the 11-member clergy. A businessman who never before held political office, Bevin won Kentucky’s gubernatorial election in November with a surprising nine-point margin over Democratic nominee Jack Conway. He becomes only the second Republican governor for Kentucky in four decades.
In his first public address as governor, Bevin focused less on policy and instead challenged Kentuckians to embrace the Golden Rule and practice unity. Bevin, who in 2012 endowed the seminary’s Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization, urged constituents to “treat our Commonwealth with respect” and to “go the extra mile” in serving other people.
Mohler delivered the invocation, asking God for “daily guidance and protection” for Bevin and his family. “We pray that in this land there will be a cherishing of the liberties you have given us because you have made every single human being in your image,” he said.— S. Craig Sanders
God sends ministers into a troubled world with the confidence of the gospel, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. in his Dec. 11 winter commencement address to 230 master’s and doctoral graduates of Southern Seminary.
Preaching from Luke 2:22-35, Mohler pointed out the comforting truth that the Lord sits on the throne and rules over empires. Speaking of the graduates, Mohler said, “We are witnesses today to one of the rarest of sights, and one of the greatest encouragements to the Christian church. God is calling ministers and missionaries of the gospel of Christ and they are responding, and they are obeying.” — Andrew J. W. Smith
Boyce College appointed Student Life director David “Gunner” Gundersen as assistant professor of biblical counseling, seminary leaders announced Feb. 2.
Gundersen has served as director of student life for Boyce since 2011, while also teaching theology and counseling courses as an adjunct professor. He earned his Ph.D. from Southern in 2015.
Ben Akers, a senior forward from Danville, Kentucky, is the first Boyce Bulldogs player to win the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, given annually to the most outstanding student-athlete in NCCAA men’s basketball.
During his freshman season — his first time playing on a team — Akers played only 12 minutes a game and was hesitant to shoot. After working on his basketball skills over the summer, Akers developed into one of the top 3-point shooters in the nation.
“The work I put in during my first year set a pattern I can follow for the rest of my life,” Akers said. “I understood that everything I did, whether shooting 3-pointers or leading a Bible study, had to be done with the best of my abilities to glorify God.”
This season, Akers averaged 15.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He finished with the third-best free throw percentage in the NCCAA at 84.2 percent, and his 44.5 percent 3-point shooting percentage was eighth in the country. For his career, Akers scored a school-record 1,569 points and grabbed 670 rebounds for an average of 13.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
Akers currently holds a 3.0 GPA in his youth ministry program and says he believes his time with the Bulldogs has prepared him for ministry as a youth pastor. — Robert Chapman
Boyce College began its NCCAA-affiliated basketball program in 2006. More information about the team is available at boycebulldogs.com.
Southern Seminary leaders challenged more than 600 middle and high school students to seek wisdom with a Christian worldview, March 5-6, at the Renown Youth Conference, hosted by Boyce College.
Dan Dumas, senior vice president for Institutional Administration, urged students not to “waste their youthfulness.” Teaching from Psalm 139:1-12, he said that wisdom comes from a high view of God.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. challenged the 646 students and leaders — the annual conference’s highest attendance in five years — to seek wisdom through a study of biblical wisdom literature.
“God not only forgives us but he begins taking all the junk, all the cancer of sin, and he starts making something beautiful.” – Dan DeWitt Boyce college dean
Churches need expository preachers confident in God’s authority and power to confront complex cultural situations, said speakers during the Oct. 27-29 Expositors Summit at Southern Seminary.
The speaker lineup included SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr., Florida Baptist pastor H.B. Charles Jr. and South Carolina Presbyterian pastor Derek W.H. Thomas.
Audio and video of the Expositors Summit 2015 are available online at sbts.edu/resources.
A record 2,300 attendees came to Southern Seminary for the Oct. 5-7 annual conference for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), “Homosexuality: Compassion, Care, and Counseling for Struggling People.”
Conference speakers said Christian counselors should be able to speak lovingly and winsomely to people struggling with homosexual attraction. The speakers included R. Albert Mohler Jr., Heath Lambert, Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, Stuart W. Scott, and Robert Jones.
With the approaching 500th anniversary in 2017 of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 Theses — the signature moment of the Protestant Reformation — speakers at Southern Seminary’s biennial 2015 Theology Conference emphasized the distinctiveness of the Reformed tradition, Sept. 24-25.
“A Reformation understanding of grace sees God’s presence to people as mediated through the Word of God — especially the Word of God preached,” said church historian Carl Trueman. “It’s the Word of God — not the sacraments, as in Medieval Catholicism — which was the primary means of God dealing graciously with his people.”
The conference on the “Five Solas” also featured Thomas R. Schreiner, Stephen J. Wellum, David VanDrunen, and Matthew Barrett. — Andrew J.W. Smith
Audio and video from the conference are available online at sbts.edu/resources.
Southern Seminary’s trustees received a report of a record enrollment of 5,067 students for 2014-2015 academic year in the Oct. 13-15 Heritage Week.
The Board of Trustees also approved the designation of Ayman S. Ibrahim as Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, and approved faculty sabbaticals.
In a special Oct. 14 message in Broadus Chapel, Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said ministers need to stand by their convictions and not be silent towards an American culture that mocks Christianity.
Effective leadership admits weaknesses, delegates responsibilities, and serves others, said Bob Russell during the fifth annual Duke K. McCall Leadership Lecture at Southern Seminary, Nov. 3.
“One of the best decisions you’ll ever make in leadership is to quit comparing, just bloom where you’re planted,” Russell said. “My challenge to you today as potential leaders is this, even when you mess up sometimes, don’t grow weary of doing good. In due season you’ll reap a harvest if you don’t give up.”
Russell, who formerly served as senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church, shared how failures in his ministry have taught him to be a better leader. He said he learned the importance of confrontation, delegating in weakness, giving his family priority in the midst of ministry, and being content regardless of statistics.
— Annie Corser and Bonnie M. C. Burke
The Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry degrees in Christian Ethics will equip Christian ministers to lead their churches in engaging the public square.
The programs began in Winter 2016 and are accepting applications for Summer 2016.
— Bonnie M.C. Burke
More information on the new programs is available online at sbts.edu/doctoral/
More than 120 people participated in Southern Seminary’s annual Great Commission Race on Oct. 17 to raise funds for student mission trips. The event, which is hosted by the Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization, featured a 5K race and a kid’s obstacle course.