Southeastern Society holds fall meeting at Southeastern
January 19, 2017
The Southeastern Society (SES) of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary held its semi-annual meeting on October 11-13. Members received current updates on Southeastern and heard how their gifts allow students to go.
SES members give $1,000 or more per year to support the work of training students. “The investment Southeastern Society members make in our school is vital,” said Art Rainer, vice president for institutional advancement. “It has a significant impact on every single one of our students. We could not be more grateful for them.”
The meeting opened on Sunday, October 11, with a message on 3 John from Southeastern President Danny Akin. He commended SES members for their generous support of Southeastern students. “Because you support Southeastern, we can send students all over the world,” he said. “Everywhere these students are, you are there with them.”
On Monday, Scott Hildreth, director of the Center for Great Commission Studies, invited the SES members to travel to India to visit Southeastern students and alumni living throughout the country. The trip is designed especially for donors and trustees to have the opportunity to see how current and former Southeastern students are engaged in ministry.
SES members also had the opportunity to meet a few students who are planning to be pastors and church planters. After hearing about the students’ future goals, SES members gathered around these students to pray for their ministries.
Akin reported encouraging financial and enrollment numbers to the SES members. Last year was another record year of enrollment with 3,431 students. He also mentioned that Southeastern passed one million dollars in annual giving for the first time and thanked SES members for faithfully giving each year.
To address concerns many have about recent changes at the International Mission Board (IMB), Akin expressed his confidence in IMB president David Platt and current IMB leadership. “The IMB has had to make hard choices,” he said. “But they are absolutely necessary. I am convinced that the best days are in the future.”
Akin also assured the SES that the school’s current 2+2 and 2+3 programs that send many students to minister overseas with the IMB will continue. “David called Southeastern one of the finest missions training institutions in the world,” Akin said. “Southeastern will do everything we can to serve both the IMB and the North American Mission Board.”
SES members had the opportunity to participate in discussion forums with Southeastern professors. They chose from three sessions: “Baptist View on Religious Liberty” with Brent Aucoin, “How to love our LGBT Neighbor” with Sam Williams and “Civil Disobedience: When to Bake the Cake” with David Jones. All of these sessions focused on key issues in American culture and how Christians should respond.
Tuesday’s SES meeting included messages from Southeastern directors and further updates about the school. SES members joined Southeastern students and the board of trustees for chapel with guest speaker J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Durham.
Over the three-day event, 103 SES members visited Southeastern. The next SES meeting will be held in April of 2016.
For more on the Southeastern Society and how you can be part of sending Southeastern students to minister all over the world, visit https://www.sebts.edu/giving/get_connected/southeastern%20society.aspx.
If you are an SES or board of trustees member interested in traveling to India with Southeastern, contact Dayna White at 919.761.2230 or [email protected].