Answering the Call to Scholarship: A Conversation with Matisha Dentu

Because Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary exists to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission, Southeastern’s advanced degrees wed rigorous research and scholarship with everyday ministry application — all within a Great Commission framework. Southeastern’s advanced students are equipped to contribute to their fields of study, engage the academy, and apply their research in various ministry contexts to edify the local church and fulfill the mission of King Jesus.

Pursuing her PhD in Theology and Worship at Southeastern, Matisha Dentu embodies the spirit and discipline of a Christian scholar, combining excellence in her studies with a heart for discipleship and Great Commission ministry. Matisha started the program in 2016 and her dissertation topic is Examining Spirituals as Vehicles of Narrative Theological Expression for Nineteenth-Century African Americans. In the following Q&A, Matisha takes the time to share about her advanced studies at Southeastern:

How did Southeastern shape your Great Commission vision and strengthen your heart for the Church?

Participating in the genuine community atmosphere at Southeastern has given me a greater focus on my role as a disciple-shaping member of the local church. Through Southeastern’s high standard of academic excellence, I am equipped to live the Great Commission and confidently teach and encourage other believers to follow the commands of Christ.   

How did your advanced studies at Southeastern encourage you to develop the dispositions of a scholar?

The rigorous standards that are not only required but also facilitated at Southeastern have stretched and provoked me to desire and strive for excellence as a scholar. Each instructor conveys a love for learning and teaching that is contagious. Since I started at Southeastern, I have developed a greater appreciation for the privilege of becoming a scholar.  

How would you characterize the Southeastern community, and how was that environment uniquely enriching to your experience?

A few words that I would use to characterize the Southeastern community would be ‘kind’, ‘scholarly’, ‘provoking’, ‘true to the gospel’, and ‘down to earth’. The professors are humble scholars who charitably provoked me to be better than I thought I was. They have been examples of academic excellence worthy of emulating.  

Why should someone consider advanced studies at Southeastern?

The high standard of academic excellence and their fidelity to the gospel, the Great Commission, and the local church — along with their commitment to diversity — make Southeastern an excellent place to answer the call to scholarship.  

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