About the Campaign
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.”
Phone: 1-866-917-3287 or (919) 761-2202
Mail: Office of Financial Development
P.O. Box 1889
Wake Forest, NC 27588
Opportunities to take the gospel to the lost and hurting are not lacking. The planning challenges for phase two came not in finding areas needing support but in determining where to begin. After much prayer and patient discussion, the administration identified several areas where support is most needed as we focus on Fulfilling the Great Commission.
The most pressing needs include the following:
The Southeastern Fund – $5.5 million
The Southeastern fund provides support for the ongoing operational needs of the Seminary. Its importance to the life and health of the Seminary cannot be overstated. When alumni and friends support the Southeastern Fund, they provide President Akin the resources he needs to lead with confidence as he embraces new opportunities and steers us clear of unforeseen challenges.
While we must grow Southeastern’s endowment, we cannot neglect what God is doing now. Annual gifts totaling $250,000 provide the same purchasing power as a $5 million endowment.
Alumni director Albie Brice said, “A goal of $5.5 million is attainable if every alumnus who has been blessed by this seminary rises to the occasion and regularly supports the school at whatever level he or she can. The goal is challenging, but together, we can do it!”
Patterson Hall – $700,000
Patterson Hall now stands as a testament to the exceptional quality and fiscal discipline we demand of ourselves when taking on capital projects. However, we have not yet raised the funds needed to furnish the building which will house 22 faculty offices, the Ph.D., D.Min. and Ed.D. programs, the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture and several new, state-of-the-art classrooms. As of March 20, we have received nearly $258,000 of the $700,000 needed. Patterson is slated to open this fall to alleviate some of the space pressures associated with a burgeoning student body and growing faculty. Your gift to support the furnishing of Patterson Hall will ensure that students have seats and faculty have desks this fall.
Renovation of the Library - $3 million
“You can’t judge a book by its cover” is an appropriate statement when thinking about Southeastern’s library. The existing space configuration, shelving, lighting, plumbing and electrical, furnishings, and climate-control features mask a truly great library. Renovating the library stands as another urgent priority. As the undergraduate and graduate programs expand and the collective breadth and depth of expertise among our faculty grows, the demand for books and journals only increases. The planned renovation offers a redesigned layout to better utilize the library’s existing space and free up room for providing additional scholarly resources.
A new HVAC system will enable zone-specific climate control throughout the library – a needed feature for preserving the archives and a welcome one for students who often dress in layers to visit the library.
Fifty-four percent of high school graduates consider the library an important factor in deciding whether to attend a particular college or university. While buildings and technology do not save people, they are a vital part of equipping students to engage an ever-changing world with the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ. New furnishings, carpet, seating, computers, and updated rest rooms will dramatically improve the overall “feel” of the library, creating an inviting place for serious theological study and research.
Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies - $2 million
Missions and evangelism are at the very heart of Southeastern, thus our commitment to “Every classroom a Great Commission classroom.” In addition to equipping students for a lifetime in international missions, the Center for Great Commission Studies also provides opportunities for students who remain in the states to take part in short-term mission trips. Mission trips require a significant level of planning and staffing support, and our students often cannot go on a mission trip unless someone helps them financially.
Gifts to the Center for Great Commission Studies may provide endowment support for scholarships, programming, and/or operating costs. By supporting the Center, students will be well-equipped to serve the Lord and join with Him in fulfilling the Great Commission by sharing a verbal witness for Jesus Christ both here and abroad.
Academic Endowment - $3.5 million
Southeastern’s faculty boasts some of the world’s leading scholars in Old and New Testament studies, theology, Biblical languages, homiletics, Biblical counseling, and church history. They have published in leading theological journals and produced key books in their respective fields.
Yet, the greatness of our faculty is best evidenced by our students’ opinion of them. When describing the faculty he’s studied under at Southeastern, Marty Middleton, a master of divinity student, recalled his first semester.
“Before coming to Southeastern, I attended a large, secular university where I felt like a number,” he said. “When I arrived here, everything changed. I discovered genuine faculty with time to meet about tough issues. I found the hard questions of the faith can be answered credibly and with a Christ-like disposition. Southeastern’s faculty are first-rate scholars and first-rate Christians . . . I thank God for them regularly. My ministry to students has been radically enhanced by their ministry to me, and I pray Southern Baptists will appropriately recognize and honor them for their investment in the future of our churches and the expanse of the gospel.”
A strong academic endowment is vital to the seminary and to continued excellence in scholarship and theological training of men and women for all types of Christian service. Endowed chairs enable the seminary to attract and retain faculty who will continue to bless and train tomorrow’s Christian leaders and provide donors an opportunity to make a significant, lasting difference for the Kingdom of God.
Undergraduate Scholarships - $1 million
Southeastern is poised to become the premier choice for Southern Baptist Christian education in North Carolina and beyond. A significant obstacle to maximizing this God-given opportunity is a lack of financial aid for undergraduate students. The Student Aid Office currently has few resources available to assist men and women who are considering Southeastern’s undergraduate programs. Furthermore, our undergraduates cannot participate in the government-funded Pell Grant Program. By funding scholarships, donors will provide an important means of helping undergraduates afford a first-rate, Christ-centered education.
Planned Giving - $1.3 million
In addition to raising funds for current needs, phase two will include an emphasis on supporting the future growth and success of Southeastern through planned and deferred gift commitments.
Often, people think of planned giving as an activity reserved for the wealthy. But, as Dennis Darville, vice president of institutional advancement, points out, “most American followers of Christ should become familiar with planned giving at one level or another. God has blessed us richly, and we have a responsibility to be stewards of all that God entrusts to our care. This includes making plans for the future use of God’s resources after He calls us home. If our alumni and friends support Southeastern with even a small percentage of their overall estate planning, the future will indeed be bright.”
Planned giving includes a variety of future giving options ranging from simple will bequests to more complex trust arrangements. If you wish to learn more about including Southeastern in your estate plans, or if you simply need the name of a good lawyer or financial advisor to get started with a plan of your own, please contact the Office of Financial Development at firstname.lastname@example.org, (919) 761-2202, or (866) 917-3287.