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Southeastern BOV honors faculty, others for contributions to Lord's kingdom
by Lauren Crane
Scripture teaches us to honor those who deserve honor, leading Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to honor the institution’s faculty during the spring meeting of the Board of Visitors.
The BOV, which meets twice yearly, is comprised of men and women who support Southeastern with their prayers, finances and by sharing Southeastern’s story. During their spring meeting – held April 11-12 – the Board of Visitors and the Board of Trustees came together to celebrate and honor Southeastern’s faculty. Leaving a Legacy: One Coffee, One Conversation, One Class at a Time explored the impact professors have on the lives of students, not only within the classroom, but through their interactions and mentorships of students.
“We are going to pay a special tribute to our faculty,” Dennis Darville, vice president for institutional advancement, said. “These men and women have given their lives to training people for service in the life of the church.”
During the first meeting of the BOV on April 11, Kenny Goetze, president of the Board of Visitors, said, “They have been Sunday School teachers, deacons, pastors, coaches and incredible counselors in our community. The influence they have on our community on a day-to-day basis is incredible. Your giving enables this incredible faculty to make a difference here.”
The Lord is on the move, Darville said, among the professors and teachers of Southeastern. “Scripture teaches us to give honor where honor is due, so we want to honor those who teach us.” Although many of them are “unsung heroes,” working behind the scenes, Darville said people are able to observe the fruits of their labors of teaching through their students.
Walter Strickland, a student of Chip McDaniel’s, said McDaniel, who has poured into him for years, exemplifies the qualities of someone who spends time with God. “He taught students how to minister to the church and fulfill the Great Commission,” Strickland said. “Thank you, Dr. McDaniel for speaking into my life. He means the world to me, and he is doing his part to send people out, passing on the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.”
McDaniel, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern, said he wanted to share what a teacher does and why.
“We impact the lives of students, but with no time to develop a theology of education, we taught the way we were taught. I always knew teaching led to imitation. We tend to teach as we were taught, and our students take on our mannerisms as well.”
Aware of the impact they have on students, McDaniel said professors have to also be aware of the motivation behind teaching.
“We have the admonition to go and make disciples, but shouldn’t it be more personal? It’s not something we can do generally in a whole class. In the process of teaching in my early experience, God impressed on me the need to treat students as a younger brother or a younger sister, care for them, interpret the family of God for them.”
This “older brother, younger brother” relationship is not developed primarily in the classroom, McDaniel said, but by sharing a plate of French fries, visiting a student in the hospital or taking a student along for a preaching opportunity. “Sometimes I think schools are about getting older and younger Christians together, learning from one another.
“I’m convinced this is the stuff of Christian education – it goes beyond lectures,” he said.
Southeastern’s president, Daniel Akin, said he is so thankful for the Christian educators he is privileged to lead. “We learned during the Conservative Resurgence that a school changes, not just when the Board of Trustees changes, or when the president changes, but primarily when the faculty changes. By God’s amazing grace, he has given us an amazing faculty. God has used them and motivated them to take the gospel to the world.
“ I love this faculty. I count it one of the greatest honors of my life to lead them.”
During the BOV meeting, the newly-elected president of the International Mission Board, Tom Eliff, honored the 17 units of students who were commissioned to go to the nations as missionaries during breakfast with the Boards of Visitors and Trustees and during Tuesday’s commissioning chapel service.
“A vision is a picture of what can be that God paints on the walls of your heart,” Eliff said. “I have a vision. I pray God will bring unity, not uniformity, to the convention.” He said by focusing on what Christ commanded in Matthew 9, believers will be unified with a common vision for seeing all tribes, tongues and nations worship around the throne.
Referring to the 6.9 billion people on Earth right now, Eliff said, “Perhaps you’re part of the equation to reach them. Going 12,000 miles won’t make you a missionary. Shouldn’t someone’s eternal destiny be impacted by your life today?”
During the chapel service, Southeastern also honored Ron Cherry, former chairmen of the Board of Trustees, as he rotates off the board, as well as Evelyn Carter, who has served as a faculty secretary at Southeastern for 50 years.
About Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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