During the spring 2014 Board of Trustees’ meeting, the trustees approved a reorganization plan, which includes changes to the faculty and degree opportunities at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
Bruce Ashford, provost of Southeastern, said, “With this reorganization, SEBTS is positioned to grow as an institution. Across the board, we have people in place to lead us in the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
Chuck Lawless was promoted to vice president of graduate studies and ministry centers. All graduate academic programs continue to be under his leadership and as he assumes oversight of the ministry centers: The Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies, The Bush Center for Faith and Culture, and The Spurgeon Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching.
The College at Southeastern continues to be led by Jamie Dew as he was promoted to vice president of undergraduate studies and academic support. He also oversees the Writing Center, the Registrar’s Office and Distance Learning.
The new director of the Spurgeon Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching is John Ewart. He is taking on this challenge in addition to his role as associate vice president of global theological initiatives.
The faculty and staff are seeking to serve the SEBTS family more effectively. “We enhance our capacity to accomplish our mission: to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission,” Ashford emphasized.
“Southeastern Seminary possesses a world-class faculty, which is increasingly being recognized not only in the United States and among Baptists, but worldwide,” Ashford said
Several academic changes in degree and certificate requirements were approved. New majors at the College at Southeastern include pastoral ministry, English, philosophy, theology, global studies, history (pre-law), biblical studies and worship ministry. A one-year program equips students to earn a 24 credit hour “tentmakers degree” for those who plan to go into non-vocational ministry.
The changes enable college students to have greater flexibility in their academic pursuits. “We have a top shelf degree program,” Dew said. “This approach allows students to prepare to for a wider variety of ministry contexts. In the future, we will continue to implement new programs and ideas.”
In the fall of 2015, Southeastern will launch six new areas of study in its Ph.D. program including apologetics and culture, theology and worship, systematic theology, historical theology, philosophy of religion and Christian leadership.
In the past decade, the advanced degree programs at Southeastern have become more attractive due to flexible degree options. The total number of students in the D.Min., Ed.D., Th.M. and Ph.D. programs has more than tripled, increasing from 144 to 448 students.
“Dr. Akin [president of Southeastern] recognizes the value of finding effective modes of delivery to train people around the world for the sake of the Great Commission,” Lawless said.
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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.