Akin gives 10-year vision at Southeastern Fall 2017 Convocation

Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), laid out his 10-year vision for the school at the fall convocation service on Aug. 17.

“We will focus not just on good things, but we will focus, rather, on the most important things,” said Akin.

At the beginning of his address to students, Akin read Matthew 28:16-20, the verses that guide the school’s focus and passion.

“When seminaries do their job well, they provide an invaluable service to the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is our calling and that is our mandate,” said Akin.

The driving question of Akin’s address was, “What are the marks of a Great Commission seminary?”

These four marks for SEBTS included an emphasis on having a global focus, clear doctrinal convictions, expansive ministerial preparation and spiritual vibrancy.

In the context of having a global focus, Akin also shared Southeastern’s goal of seeing the number of minority student rise from 18 percent to 30-35 percent in 2027.

But while Akin noted that while minority students on campus have increased, SEBTS is “not satisfied.”

Akin also made Southeastern’s stance against racism clear.

“We stand steadfastly against any type of evil or wickedness that exalts any type of racial superiority, white supremacy, neo-Nazis, bigots and racists” said Akin…”We will never divert from the clear affirmation of the Bible that we as believers in Christ all have the same father, we are indwelt by the same savior and we also are empowered by the same Holy Spirit of God. That is who we are.”

During his address, Akin made clear that Southeastern aligns itself with the following statements: the Abstract of Principles, the Baptist Faith & Message 2000, the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy and the Danvers Statement of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

“Our confessions are solid foundations for a sound theology for a convention of churches that avoids the pitfalls and quicksand of liberalism on the one hand and what I call a straitjacket theology on the other,” said Akin.

Akin emphasized the importance of the Master of Divinity program for future pastors, noting that the number of pastors 40 and under had dropped from 33 percent in 1992 to 15 percent in 2017, according to a Barna study.

“There is no greater or higher calling among the body of Christ than the calling of a pastor,” said Akin.”

One way that SEBTS is working toward a greater spiritual vibrancy is through its emphasis on prayer, which will be primarily led by Dr. Chuck Lawless, who was named vice president for spiritual formation and ministry centers in June.

“Just as the Great Commission is the air we breathe at Southeastern Seminary, we want prayer to be the air we breathe as well,” said Akin.

Sam Williams Chair

During this year’s convocation service, Dr. Sam Williams, professor of biblical counseling, was installed in the ninth faculty chair, the Fulp Chair of Biblical Counseling. This is the first biblical counseling chair at SEBTS and was established by longtime donors of the school, who desired to see the mission and purpose of SEBTS continued through its counseling programs.

Provost Bruce Ashford introduced Dr. John Burkett and Dr. Chip Hardy, who were elected to the SEBTS faculty in April, to sign the Abstract of Principles and the Baptist Faith & Message. Burkett is an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, and Chip Hardy is an assistant professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages.

To view convocation photos, click here.

To view the full convocation service, click here

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