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Capital Campaign

Fulfilling the Great Commission 


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.”

Contact Information
Phone: 1-866-917-3287 or (919) 761-2202
Mail: Office of Financial Development
P.O. Box 1889
Wake Forest, NC 27588

Below you will find some frequently asked question in regards to the campaign, along with their answers. If you still have further questions, please contact us at

When did the campaign begin?
Scholarship on Fire, a three-phase campaign spanning ten years with a goal of $50 million in commitments, was approved by the Executive Committee of the SBC and launched in 2002. Phase one closed July 31, 2005, with just over $17 million committed, and phase two is getting started in earnest. On April 15, 2008, the Trustees launched the public portion of phase two.

What is the financial goal?
The Trustees approved an initial goal of $17 million in cash, faith commitments, and future support. If gifts exceed $17 million before July 31, 2009, we may determine a revised goal and extend phase two to allow the Lord to continue His work through Southeastern’s supporters.

As of April 30, 2008, over $10.1 million had been committed toward the phase two goal of $17 million leaving a balance of approximately $7 million.

What is the purpose of the campaign?
Campaign gifts and commitments will support Southeastern in the work of “glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.”

What are the priorities and how were they determined?
Dr. Akin and the administration prayerfully identified a draft set of the seminary’s most pressing priorities. The list was reviewed and affirmed by both the Campaign Council and the Trustees. The priorities include:

The Southeastern Fund - $5.5 million: The Southeastern Fund supports the ongoing needs of the seminary and enables President Akin to lead with confidence as he embraces new opportunities and guides us through.

Patterson Hall - $700,000: To finish Patterson Hall we must furnish the building which will house 22 faculty offices, new classrooms, the Ph.D., D.Min. and Ed.D. programs, and the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith & Culture.

Library Renovation - $3 million: Currently, the library’s layout, shelving, lighting, furnishings, plumbing, electrical, and climate-control features mask a great library.  A renovation will offer a redesigned layout to better utilize existing space. An HVAC system will enable zone-specific climate control to maintain the archives and provide a better study environment. The library stands at the center of our efforts to equip students to engage an ever-changing world with the unchanging gospel.

Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies - $2 million: The Center for Great Commission Studies equips students for a lifetime overseas and also provides short-term mission opportunities for students who remain in the US. Students return with a passion for the nations, and the churches they serve benefit from their exposure to other cultures as the Great Commission becomes a part of their soul. Gifts to the Center provide endowment support for scholarships, programming, and/or operating costs and help with equipping students to serve the Lord by sharing a verbal witness for Jesus both here and abroad.

Academic Endowment (Endowed Chairs) - $3.5 million: Our faculty includes leading scholars in Old and New Testament studies, theology, Biblical languages, homiletics, Biblical counseling, and church history. They publish in leading journals and write influential books in their fields. A strong academic endowment is vital to continued excellence in scholarship and theological training. Endowed chairs enable Southeastern to attract and retain faculty who will continue to bless and train tomorrow’s Christian leaders while providing donors an opportunity to make a significant, lasting impact at Southeastern.

Undergraduate Scholarships - $1 million: The College at Southeastern is an obvious choice for Southern Baptist Christian education in North Carolina and beyond. Yet, many students miss this opportunity for financial reasons. Undergraduates receive no assistance from the government-funded Pell Grant Program, and only a few private scholarships are available. By funding scholarships, donors help students afford a first-rate, Christ-centered education at the College at Southeastern.

Planned Giving – $1.3 million: Planned giving is often regarded 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.  God has blessed us richly, and we should be faithful stewards of all that He entrusts to our care. This includes planning for the use of God’s resources after He calls us home. If our alumni and friends support Southeastern with even a small percentage of their estate, the future of equipping students to serve the local church will indeed be bright.”

Why does Southeastern need to raise such a large amount of money?
While $50 million seems large, it includes faith commitments yet to be received, gifts for endowment, and planned gifts that will be received in the future. With endowed funds, only income produced by the endowed principal is spent. Future gifts generally benefit the seminary years after a donor finalizes his/her estate plans. On average, people who make a gift through their estate live nine years longer than those who do not. In other words, commitments of $50 million do not equal $50 million in immediate purchasing power. The full impact takes time; and every gift represents an investment for the long term.

If future gifts do not help immediately, why count them in the campaign?
By counting future gifts, we can recognize donors who make plans to support us in the future. Future gifts often constitute the largest gift an individual or couple will ever make. These gifts encourage us to move forward with confidence, knowing we will successfully meet tomorrow’s challenges because of the plans our alumni and friends are making today.

What are endowments, and why are they important?
An endowment is a permanent fund invested to provide income for purposes designated by the donor and consistent with the Seminary’s mission. By annually spending only a portion of the income from the endowment funds and reinvesting earnings for future growth, Southeastern is able to provide inflation-adjusted support for scholarships, professorships and other programs. This allows for the donation to have a much greater impact over a long period of time providing continuity in funding until Christ returns.

Can Southeastern help me with a will or estate plan?
We cannot advise you on the specific details of your will or estate plan. However, we will gladly work with you and/or your advisor(s) to ensure your gift will be used as you intend and to ensure you are informed of tax and other financial implications.
Who can participate in ther campaign?
Everyone! We desire to engage as many people as possible in supporting Southeastern at whatever level they can. In phase one, the Lord used a handful of very special friends to take us across the finish line. In phase two, we will need gifts from people who can make large gifts, but we will also need gifts of every size from alumni and friends of varying financial means. We strive to use every gift, no matter the size, for the glory of God and the advance of His Kingdom.
How can I support Southeastern?
There are a number of ways to support Southeastern. First, we ask that you and your church pray for Southeastern on a regular basis. We ask that you pray for both our spiritual and financial health and that Christ would use Southeastern to exalt Himself among the nations. Second, we ask that you tell us of people you know who might be interested in learning more about the seminary and supporting her efforts to equip students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission. Finally, we humbly ask that you make a gift to support Southeastern as we focus on Fulfilling the Great Commission.

For more information on joining the prayer team, referring a friend, or making a gift, please contact us at (919) 231-2202 or

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Post Office Box 1889
  • Wake Forest, NC 27588
  • Phone: (919) 761 - 2100
Our Mission
  • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.
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