Southeastern Joins the Metaverse
SEBTS Staff | April 01, 2022
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) announces its newest phase of the GO campaign, innovating theological education in the metaverse. With a mission to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission, SEBTS develops a virtual campus, faculty, staff, and student body to facilitate theological training within a fully realized digital world.
“There were many challenges to conceptualizing this task,” commented Danny Akin, President of SEBTS. “However, the IT department demonstrated their remarkable God-given gifts with technology and have proven yet again an immense blessing to the institution. Together, by God’s grace, we have made possible a new mode of theological education, reaching the ends of the earth—now, even the furthest reaches of the metaverse—with the world class education here at SEBTS.
Coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash,” the term “metaverse” has developed significantly over the last thirty years and has staked an indelible claim on the twenty-first century imagination. Once a futuristic trope of science fiction, the metaverse is now a heavily commoditized industry with major corporations like Microsoft and Meta (formerly Facebook) investing billions of dollars in what they hope to be the next great stage in human advancement.
As the next frontier of cross-cultural engagement, the metaverse presents an obstacle to traditional models of missions, requiring adaptive strategies for articulating and embodying the timeless truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the new shadowlands of a fully realized virtual reality. “These developments demand an urgent response,” stated Keith Whitfield, Provost of SEBTS. “I am thankful to our gifted faculty who have responded with grace and flexibility during these changing times. We are excited to offer a fully accredited Master of Arts in Virtual Counseling and a fully accredited Master of Divinity in Virtual Pastoral Ministry.”
“Southeastern continues to be a leading innovator in theological education while maintaining its confessional mooring,” notes Ryan Hutchinson, Executive Vice President of Operations at SEBTS. “We have broadened our reach while upholding our firm stance on the truth of God’s Word, the priority of the Great Commission, and the necessity to serve the Church.”
We have broadened our reach while upholding our firm stance on the truth of God’s Word, the priority of the Great Commission, and the necessity to serve the Church.
We hope you enjoy a fully realized April Fools’ Day and remain committed to the final marching orders of King Jesus.