“Kingdom diversity is a core value at Southeastern. Building a student body that reflects the beauties of ethnicity designed by our God is a goal we are pursuing with passion,” said Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).
In August 2013, Southeastern launched its Kingdom Diversity initiative to make God’s Kingdom vision of people from every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping Christ together a reality on its campus and in churches.
“Southeastern is convinced that every voice that will sing ‘holy, holy, holy’ at our God’s throne is a voice that needs to be heard on our campus,” said Walter Strickland, Special Advisor to the President for Diversity and Instructor of Theology.
The Kingdom Diversity initiative addresses cultural and gender diversity on campus.
“As a Great Commission seminary, Southeastern desires to seek and equip students from every corner of the Kingdom to serve in every context of the Kingdom,” Strickland emphasized. “A diverse campus benefits everyone as we sharpen each other with our God given uniqueness to better serve our Lord wherever He may send us.”
The new Kingdom Diversity scholarships at Southeastern have been awarded to 23 students. Gifts range from nine full-time, 13 part-time, and one 1000-dollar partial scholarship. Seven scholarships were awarded on the doctoral level, 10 on the master’s level and six on the collegiate level.
Students selected are from places including Central America, Korea and the Dominican Republic and represent a variety of cultures such as African-American, Asian and Hispanic.
Eight of the scholarships were awarded to women and 15 to men. Two of the most sought after scholarships went to African-American and Hispanic women one pursuing a Doctor of Education and the other a Master of Divinity.
Currently, 26 percent of the students at Southeastern are women and the seminary is seeking to increase that number to at least 35 percent.
The one-time gifts are awarded based on merit and need for the duration of one year. Students can apply for the scholarship every semester and re-apply for the scholarship the next year. Previous recipients will be heavily considered for the following year, especially if their enrollment at Southeastern is dependent on the scholarship.
“On average, students of color tend to be more financially in need and Southeastern seeks to help relieve the financial burden of ministry preparation,” Strickland said. “These scholarships are another way to demonstrate that the recipients are valued on Southeastern’s campus.”
Southeastern has drawn national attention in response to giving away the Kingdom Diversity scholarships. “I think we are finally putting actions to the desires of our heart as an institution,” Strickland said.
A Kingdom Diversity scholarship fund has been created in honor of Akin. “Few things have honored me more greatly than having a scholarship established in my name for this very purpose,” Akin said.
For additional information on how to contribute to this fund, please click here.
or contact Daniel Palmer, director of financial development at email@example.com or 919-761-2203 or visit www.sebts.edu/give.
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.