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Board of Trustees conduct virtual spring meeting

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BY SEBTS STAFF   04/21/2020

On April 20, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) held a virtual, condensed Board of Trustees meeting.


On April 20, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) held a virtual, condensed Board of Trustees meeting. SEBTS President Danny Akin informed trustees on the steps the administration has taken to adjust operations at the seminary in light of COVID-19, noting that it plans to “move forward wisely, carefully and cautiously.” Akin celebrated the tremendous growth SEBTS has seen in student population with enrollment surpassing 5,000 from dual enrollment to advanced degree students. Despite the recent setbacks in the culture at large, a positive spirit remains throughout the Southeastern community, Akin told trustees. “The Lord has shown himself to be gracious and kind and faithful.” 

Trustees approved the following items concerning SEBTS faculty: 

  • Kristen Kellen’s election to the faculty as assistant professor of biblical counseling
  • Sabbatical request for Matt Mullins, associate dean for academic advising and assistant professor of English and History of Ideas
  • The faculty promotions of Dwayne Milioni, Matt Mullins, Stephen Eccher and Steven Wade. Milioni was promoted to associate professor of preaching. Mullins was promoted to associate professor of English and History of Ideas. Eccher was promoted to associate professor of church history and Reformation studies. Wade was promoted to professor of pastoral theology.
 

Trustees approved new curriculum for undergraduate and graduate programs to include: 

  • An introductory vocation and calling course added to the core curriculum at The College at Southeastern. This course is designed to help students understand their identity and responsibility as part of Christ’s church. 
  • A new certificate in worship ministry, beginning in August 2020. The program will aid students in developing a biblical and systematic theology of worship for the local church, constructing worship services with biblical elements, and understanding different worship styles and traditions. 

Trustees approved two items that directly relate to the seminary’s response to COVID-19. These include: 

  • The rescheduling of budget approval to occur on or before June 15, 2020, allowing for SEBTS administration to gain a better understanding of how the current pandemic will affect the economy for the 2020-2021 budget. 
  • Authorization to move forward with the Paycheck Protection Program. This program is part of a larger piece of legislation, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which President Trump signed into law on March 20, 2020. 
  • Full provisions of the CARES Act for the SEBTS staff Retirement Plan. 

Participation in the CARES Act is part of a multi-faceted revenue plan to offset potential revenue losses of up to 30%. This precautionary measure was approved to protect the financial integrity of the school, as well as assist in an overall goal of weathering unexpected financial turmoil caused by COVID-19. 

Commenting on the CARES Act assistance, Dr. Akin said, “Our country and our school are facing unprecedented times. This is not the first time in the course of my tenure that we have faced economic hardship due to forces outside of our control. Just as before, we want to show our rock-solid commitment to care for our people in this time of need. By participating in this program [PPP], we hope to ensure that those employed by Southeastern are able to remain employed with their benefits intact. King Jesus has called us to love our neighbor. Doing whatever we can to love our employees well in this difficult time is one way to do that.” 

Other items approved include: 

  • Trustees nominated Tim Dale to serve as the next chairman of the Board of Trustees. Trustees also nominated Brett Golson as vice chair, Charles Cranford as treasurer and Alex Gonzales as secretary. 
  • Authorization for SEBTS to create The Curt and Marjorie Ball Student Aid Fund. 
  • An update to the Master Plan Priority List to include the renovation of Bostwick Hall for student housing.  

Campus renovations are just one of the many ways that Southeastern’s For the Mission campaign is seeking to make a difference in equipping future leaders for Great Commission work. Southeastern’s four-year campaign includes initiatives that will more effectively support students, faculty, campus enhancements and the overall mission of Southeastern. To learn more, visit forthemission.com

The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for October 12-13, 2020. 


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