A three-phase, decade-long campaign - Scholarship on Fire - was approved by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2002 with an overall goal of $50 million. Phase one concluded in July of 2005 with over $17 million raised, outstripping the initial goal of $16.5 million. The most visible fruit of that labor – the seminary’s flagship academic building, Paige and Dorothy Patterson Hall – was dedicated in October.
On April 15, 2008, Southeastern’s trustees unanimously approved plans for the second phase of the school’s decade-long fundraising campaign, with a stated goal of $17 million and a focus on “Fulfilling the Great Commission” which is reflective of the school’s mission statement.
Projects to be funded through the campaign include renovations to the school’s library, scholarships for undergraduate students, endowed faculty chairs, and the school’s Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies, among others.
Dennis Darville, vice president for institutional advancement, said the board’s approval was an endorsement of more than just a dollar amount, but was an endorsement of President Akin and the faculty’s vision to ensure every Southeastern classroom is a Great Commission classroom.
“The outcome of this campaign will be that Southeastern is better equipped to train up godly pastors, missionaries and Christian leaders across all of our degree programs,” he said. “It is humbling to see how God is working here and how He is raising up students to accomplish His will.”
“Fundamentally, this campaign is not about money,” Akin said. “It is about fulfilling the Great Commission by equipping students to serve the church and spread the fame of the Lord Jesus Christ by every Christ-honoring means possible. We never tire of dreaming about the advance of the gospel. We need and pray for godly men and women to catch this vision and support us generously in this endeavor.”