Trustees and donors celebrate launch of For the Mission Campaign, Akin 15th anniversary as president

The public launch of the For the Mission campaign is just one way among many in which President Danny Akin is continuing to cultivate an enduring, Great Commission vision at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) as he marks his 15 years as president of the institution.

These significant highlights, along with many other decisions, were among the many items discussed and celebrated at the Spring 2019 Board of Trustees (BOT) and Southeastern Society (SES) meetings April 7-9.

“We will now, in the year 2019, prepare ourselves for continued growth because faithfulness to Christ and love for the nations demands it,” said Akin at a banquet held Monday night for donors and trustees.

The campaign is being publicly launched to raise $20.5 million for the purpose of funding four strategic initiatives in four years. These initiatives include funding a new dining hall, renovations to Simmons Hall to provide campus housing, student aid, the Southeastern Fund and faculty endowments.

Other business approved by BOT members included:
• The 2019-2020 $31.2 million budget
• The election of Walter Strickland to the faculty as assistant professor of theology
• The election of Scott Pace to the faculty as associate professor of pastoral ministry and teaching
• The promotion of John Ewart to professor of missions and pastoral leadership
• The promotion of David Alan Black to senior professor of New Testament and Greek
• The promotion of Steve McKinion to professor of theology and patristic studies
• Curriculum changes to include an M.A. in ministry to women and biblical counseling, an M.A. in church revitalization, a certificate in student ministry, a certificate in ministry to women, a certificate in church revitalization, an M.Div. in church revitalization, a D.Min. specialization in Ministry to Women and a D.Min. specialization in pastoral care and counseling
• The creation of three new scholarship accounts to include the Catherine Hall Memorial Student Aid Fund, the Arthur Lewis Brown Student Aid Fund and the Sweatman Missions Aid Fund
• The approval of Becky Gardner, Thomas Mach, Charles Cranford and Alex Gonzalez to serve another term in their respective offices

Outgoing BOT members included Erik Estep, Marty Jacumin, Doug Jividen, Sam Wheat and Don Warren, all of whom were honored for their service during Tuesday’s chapel service.

During a Sunday gathering for dinner and worship, SES and BOT members heard from Johnny Hunt, outgoing pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock, Ga., senior vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board and former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president from 2008-2010. Preaching from 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, Hunt encouraged SES and BOT members to utilize their lives for kingdom purposes. He explained that believers should give away their possessions sacrificially, go to places where the gospel is needed and invest in those who need to be discipled, all for the glory of God.

“I want God to initiate some things in my life that will outlast me,” said Hunt.

SES members heard an update about the school from Akin Monday morning. He celebrated that SEBTS has continued to see growth as enrollment has risen to more than 4,500. Akin also noted the growth occurring in The College at Southeastern and The Global Theological Initiative at SEBTS.

“Training students and sending them out is what we’re all about, both nationally and internationally,” said Akin.

Jonathan Six, director of financial and alumni development, laid out the vision for the For the Mission campaign for SES members Monday morning.

J.D. Greear delivered Tuesday’s chapel sermon, preaching from Colossians 1:24-29. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, gave a sobering reminder to attendees of the call believers have on their lives to joyfully sacrifice so that others can know Christ, even if in death.

“Joyful sacrifice is when you give up something you love for something you love even more,” said Greear, explaining that this is the way in which believers are spurred on to the mission of God.

Following Greear’s sermon, Akin commissioned and prayed for students serving in the 2+2 program as well as those serving on short-term trips this summer.

SES members give at least $1,000 to SEBTS each year and partner with the school to help train students in living out the Great Commission wherever they go. To learn more, please visit

The next BOT and SES meetings will be held Oct. 13-15.

To learn more about the For the Mission campaign or to make a gift, visit

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