Scott Kellum engages with SEBTS students to fulfill the Great Commission
January 19, 2017
Scott Kellum, a professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), equips students through his experiences and expertise to fulfill the Great Commission.
Originally from Mississippi, Kellum attended the University of Mississippi and received his degree in Greek by accident. “I knew I was going to go to Seminary, but I didn’t want to take a year of non-credit Greek,” he said. “The loophole is that if you had it in college you could get advanced standing. So I took as much as I could, which amounted to the degree.”
Chuck Quarles, another New Testament professor at SEBTS, and Kellum were roommates in seminary and have known each other since high school. As a senior Quarles had the opportunity to preach a special chapel sermon on Ezekiel 33. “It was very effective and called every one hearing to consider the call to the nations,” Kellum emphasized.
Kellum attended Seminary with a desire to be a church planter but had no desire to be an academic. However, God was directing him towards teaching, especially through Quarles’s senior sermon. “It was not something that I wanted to do but I am of course totally at peace with that now,” he noted.
Kellum’s ministry to the nations is not just by proxy through students. For the past 10 years, he has elected to go overseas every other year and hopes to go annually in the future. Kellum has been to Romania twice to teach and participate in a pastor’s conference. “Romania has special place in my heart,” Kellum said.
In Uganda, he taught twice at the Uganda Baptist Seminary (UBS) accompanied by family members. One of his trips was scheduled two weeks after the Kampala bombing. “When I got there students were surprised that I came,” Kellum said. “It is always an honor to be among them. They are about the Father’s business. Some go back to villages and become mayor because they have the highest education.”
Kellum and his wife, Cathy, have four children, Hannah, Rachel, Josh and Eli. Kellum is eager to promote the Great Commission in front of his students and children.
In the future, Kellum hopes to plan a trip to Japan with his daughter, Rachel, as a place for her to be active in ministry. “My daughter loves … everything Japanese,” he said. “This blesses me more than anything I can tell you and I am so proud of her for considering it.”
A former student of Kellum’s is working with his wife translating the New Testament. They are creating a written language for a people group that does not have one and are giving them a Bible in their language. “In class, I mention them as often as I can to encourage students to be willing to do the same work,” he said.
Kellum notes that other former students aren’t professional translators but are using the exegetical skill gained at SEBTS in places that are quite hostile to the gospel. “Their willingness to a radical obedience certainly should be heralded among our students,” he said.
The 2+2 program also encourages Kellum. “Every year at the commissioning ceremony, the best and brightest students [are] going to the uttermost parts of the earth,” he said. “It is the highlight of my year.”
The professor noted that the environment at SEBTS is filled with conversations directed towards missions. “This is the first seminary that I have been to that actually has a heart for the nations,” Kellum said. “Academics are in service to God’s goal to fill this earth with God worshipers. … Our faculty encourages me greatly, their interest in missions is one that keeps my fueled.”