By Jason Hall
News of an increase in enrollment was reported to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's trustees during their fall meeting at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus.
President Daniel Akin reported to the board that 653 new students began classes this fall, the second highest new class in the seminary’s history and a 25 percent increase over last fall’s new student count. The non-duplicating headcount for the fall semester stood at 2,128, up significantly from last fall’s headcount of 2,021.
Considering the economic climate, Akin said he was pleased with that crop of new students and believes it is reflective of a Great Commission focus at the heart of Southeastern.
“Students at Southeastern do not just talk about the Great Commission; they go and give in obedience to the Great Commission,” Akin said.
As evidence of this, Akin pointed out that earlier in the semester Southeastern students and friends of the school had given more than $60,000 in one week to a special chapel offering designed to offset the Lottie Moon Offering shortfall of 2008.
What’s more, Akin reported that while the trustees were meeting dozens of Southeastern students were engaged in short-term mission projects in New York City and Istanbul, Turkey.
“It’s a constant blessing to hear about what God is doing through our students,” Akin said.
During their meeting, trustees approved several new changes to Southeastern’s curriculum. They voted to add a new Master of Divinity concentration in Missiology. The new program is designed to supplement the Master of Divinity with International Church Planting, an existing degree at Southeastern.
While the M.Div. with International Church Planting includes in its degree plan two years of overseas work – in partnership with the International Mission Board – the new concentration would be completed on campus at Southeastern. The new program would be for those who have a heart for missions training at the highest level, but either do not qualify for the M.Div. with International Church Planting or do not want to go overseas as part of their degree.
Trustees also voted to add two new certificate programs: A Certificate in Corporate Chaplaincy and a Certificate in Workplace Ministry. These two programs would complement and feed into Southeastern’s Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership.
The two certificates would be for those who feel called to ministry in a non-traditional setting and who have a desire to serve and spread the Gospel in businesses and the marketplace at large.
The trustees also heard about two new appointments to the Southeastern faculty:
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.