Southeastern celebrated 10 years of leadership from President Daniel Akin at the March 30th – April 1st Board of Trustees (BOT) and Board of Visitors (BOV) meeting.
On Sunday, March 30th, Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, spoke at the BOV Chapel about the Great Commission heart of Akin and Southeastern.
Rainer preached from Philippians 4:4-7 focusing on Akin’s living example of Paul’s message to always rejoice despite one’s circumstances.
Akin expressed his gratitude for “10 wonderful years” and the opportunity this week to “emphasize what Southeastern is all about, the Great Commission.”
On Monday, March 31st, the BOV and BOT met for the presidential address and reports. Akin highlighted several recent accomplishments of the seminary such as the fifth year of record enrollment at 3,120 and the expectation to have 3,200 students in the fall of 2014.
Southeastern now offers a fully online Master of Divinity degree, totaling in seven degrees fully online, two of which are undergraduate degrees. Students from across the United States and the world are taking 25 percent of their class hours through hybrid and online classes.
The first endowed Kingdom Diversity scholarship at Southeastern has been established, totaling in $275,000. The seminary also received ECFA accreditation to certify the financial accountability of the school. Southeastern reached its $50 million-campaign goal and has grown from one to seven endowed chairs in the past decade.
Under Akin’s leadership, the scholarships for International Mission Board (IMB) personnel and their family members have expanded. In the last fiscal year, this equated to $465,000 in educational funding.
In the evening, a banquet in his honor celebrated Akin’s accomplishments as president.
Mayor Vivian Jones of Wake Forest, N.C. thanked Akin for his positive influence on the area. “Southeastern has a very pivotal part in our community, you are one of our largest employers,” Jones said. “He [Akin] has built relationships in our community that have made our community a better place. … You have made this a better place for all of us to live.”
James Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga., spoke on Akin’s legacy. He highlighted the strong faith and loving heart of Akin. “There are friendships, and then there are treasured friendships,” Merritt said.
Susie Hawkins, an author and speaker, talked about the joyful ministry of Charlotte Akin. “Legacy is a gift you pass on to someone else,” she said. “Not so much what you do, but what you are.”
Akin gave God the glory for the achievements of Southeastern, as “it is His doing, not ours.” Akin called the audience to remember the urgency of the Great Commission and those who will go to hell and never hear the name of Jesus.
On Tuesday, April 1, in chapel, Rainer narrated a slideshow highlighting Akin and his family. Ed Litton, former chair of the BOT, presented a framed resolution of thankfulness from the BOT and the official presidential portrait of Akin.
Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former president of SEBTS, was the guest speaker in chapel. As Akin’s father in the ministry, Patterson preached at Akin’s ordination ceremony and 10 years ago at Akin’s SEBTS inauguration.
“If not for Paige Patterson, you would not be here today,” Akin said. “Any good thing that has happened, is standing on the shoulders of this wonderful man.” Akin awarded Paige Patterson the President’s Award, the highest honor Southeastern can give.
Patterson complimented Southeastern as a campus full of life and a passion for missions. “What a glorious sight you are to my eyes today,” he added.
He preached on Amos 7:10-15 and drew parallels between Amos and Akin. “Both came from humble origins ... [which] positions a man to understand life and the intervention of God in all things,” he said. “Anything and everything you do is the touch of God on your life.”
“Whatever your calling is today, make the decision to finish well, following the example of your president,” he emphasized. “Give your life for the cause of Christ.”
Akin then led the commissioning of 20 IMB missionaries and honored them for their Great Commission hearts and the eternal fruit their lives will bear.
A celebration following chapel on the lawn of Patterson Hall featured food trucks and games for the Southeastern community. Akin’s 10-year anniversary concluded with an evening of worship as an overflowing Binkley Chapel hosted 1,100 guests for the Keith and Kristyn Getty concert.
In addition to honoring Akin, during their spring meeting, Southeastern's trustees:
-- were introduced to new faculty members: Jason Fowler, director of library services and instructor of library services; Chip Hardy, assistant professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages; and Denise O’Donoghue, director of women’s life at SEBTS and assistant professor of ministry to women. Dwayne Milioni has been appointed as an assistant professor of preaching and has served as an adjunctive faculty member at SEBTS.
-- confirmed Chuck Lawless as vice president for graduate studies and ministry centers; and Jamie Dew as vice president for undergraduate studies and academic support.
-- presented six new Ph.D. tracks including apologetics and culture, theology and worship, systematic theology, historical theology, philosophy of religion and Christian leadership.
-- announced new majors at the College at Southeastern including 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.
-- approved the purchase of 13 acres contiguous to the seminary’s property.
-- elected Todd Linn as the new BOT chair. Ed Litton, the former chair, served for two years as chair, and 10 years on the BOT at SEBTS.
-- approved the 2015 budget of $25.5 million. Akin’s 10th anniversary of as president was also honored through a special edition of “The Great Commission Magazine of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.” This bi-annual publication of the seminary featured articles on Akin’s leadership and the seminary's growth since 2004.
To view photos from the BOV and BOT meetings, please click here.
To view photos of President Akin’s 10 Year Celebration, please click here.
To listen or watch portions of these events online, please click here.
Following is the full text of the resolution marking Daniel Akin’s 10th anniversary as president of Southeastern Seminary unanimously adopted by the BOT in its March 31 – April 1 bi-annual meeting.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES RESOLUTION – signed by Ed Litton (former) chairman of BOT
WHEREAS, in the providence and grace of Almighty God, the Board of Trustees unanimously elected Daniel Lowell Akin on January 15, 2004 to serve as the sixth president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary beginning; and
WHEREAS, Danny Akin has encouraged the extended Southeastern family – students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and ministry partners – to courageously consecrate themselves to the often dangerous and always joyous work of fulfilling the Great Commission; and
WHEREAS, Danny Akin has modeled faithfulness to Christ through his love and uncompromising devotion to Charlotte Akin, his bride of 35 years; and
WHEREAS, Danny Akin has urged pastors, students, and churches to embrace and enjoy the sufficiency of the Scriptures for life and practice through a consistent emphasis on expository preaching; and WHEREAS, Danny Akin has overseen tremendous growth in private support, dedicating Patterson Hall, a $7.2 million facility in 2008, and realizing more than $9 million in new documented planned gifts, $7 million for operations, and adding $7.7 million in gifts to the endowment; and
WHEREAS, Danny Akin has articulated an enduring vision for equipping graduates to make a significant, audacious, and everlasting Kingdom impact spurring growth in enrollment from 2,400 students in 2004 to 3,100 students in 2014; and
WHEREAS, Danny Akin has served King Jesus with distinction, expanding the seminary’s reach while navigating a challenging national economy and inspiring every professor to surrender their lives to training Great Commission graduates by building the Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission seminary;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in grateful recognition, expresses gratitude to God for Danny Akin and commends him for his outstanding service and leadership during his first decade as president, praying without ceasing for God’s continued favor in the work of preparing students to endure to the end as faithful and fruitful ambassadors for Christ who unashamedly declare the all-surpassing glory of King Jesus to the ends of the earth.
FACULTY RESOLUTION – Signed by Bruce Ashford, Provost and Dean of Faculty
WHEREAS, in the providence of God, Daniel L. Akin was elected as the sixth president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary on January 15, 2004; and
WHEREAS, President Akin and his wife Charlotte have regularly modeled a commitment to Christ-centered marriage and parenting for the Southeastern Seminary community and the watching world; and
WHEREAS, President Akin has cast a compelling vision for Great Commission theological education that has contributed to remarkable growth in Southeastern Seminary’s enrollment, endowment, spiritual vitality, and influence; and
WHEREAS, President Akin has led Southeastern Seminary to strengthen our programs of study, launch innovative new delivery methods for many of our programs, and partner more closely with Southern Baptist churches in providing theological education; and
WHEREAS, President Akin has established three new centers at Southeastern Seminary: The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, The Charles Spurgeon Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching and The Writing Center at Southeastern, all to serve faculty, students, and the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention; and
WHEREAS, President Akin has overseen a growth in the number of full-time faculty members at Southeastern Seminary, the recruiting of a large number of gifted adjunctive and occasional professors, and installation of six new endowed chairs; and
WHEREAS, President Akin has championed evangelistic faithfulness, missionary advance, expositional preaching, and warm-hearted orthodox doctrine in his leadership of Southeastern Seminary and the wider Southern Baptist Convention; and
WHEREAS, President Akin has been a leading voice calling upon all Southern Baptists to prioritize humble, but convictional cooperation around the Baptist Faith and Message (2000) for the sake of reaching the lost and planting healthy Baptist churches among the under-served and unreached peoples of North America and the entire world;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the faculty of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, in grateful recognition of God’s faithfulness among us, express our heartfelt gratitude to President Akin for his outstanding leadership of Southeastern Seminary, and to Charlotte Akin for her faithful support of her husband and the seminary community; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to ongoing fervent prayer for President Akin as we labor together to fulfill Southeastern Seminary’s mission to “glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.”
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.