Mohler emphasizes centrality of theological education in convocation address

R. Albert Mohler Jr. delivers the fall 2014 convocation address, Aug. 19.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. delivers the fall 2014 convocation address, Aug. 19.

Biblical teaching and theological education that promotes it are essential to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in an Aug. 19 convocation address.

Seminary students are called to steward the gift of education in a way that honors God and works for the good of the world. Southern Seminary was established in order to fulfill and stand for teaching that serves the church, which “is a calling worth all that we do,” Mohler said.

More

New home of Boyce College dedicated in grand re-opening of Mullins Complex

President R. Albert Mohler Jr. leads a dedication ceremony of renovated Mullins Complex, Aug. 19. He is joined (left to right) by Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College; trustee chairman Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; and first lady Mary Mohler, who performed the ribbon cutting.
President R. Albert Mohler Jr. leads a dedication ceremony of renovated Mullins Complex, Aug. 19. He is joined (left to right) by Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College; trustee chairman Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; and first lady Mary Mohler, who performed the ribbon cutting.

The newly renovated home of Boyce College, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was dedicated Aug. 19 in a ceremony led by President R. Albert Mohler Jr.

“This is a day that marks a significant step forward for Southern Seminary and Boyce College and one we celebrate together,” Mohler said. The grand re-opening of the historic Mullins Complex comes after a seven-month project that totally renovated the interior of the 130,000 square-foot, nearly 90-year-old facility. The project was “retrofitted to the needs of college students and a growing, thriving college for the next generation,” he said.

Throngs of students, faculty, and trustees convened for the dedication service in Mullins Courtyard. Other seminary officials joining Mohler in the brief ceremony included trustee chairman Philip Gunn, speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives; Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College; Daniel S. Dumas, senior vice president of institutional administration; and first lady Mary Mohler, who performed the ribbon cutting. The event also featured an open house in Sampey Commons and a tour of a model dorm suite.

More

McConnell discusses religious liberty at forum with Mohler, evangelical leaders

Sen. Mitch McConnell shares his views on religious liberty, abortion, and immigration reform with an audience at Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Sen. Mitch McConnell speaks at an Aug. 14 forum with evangelical leaders R. Albert Mohler Jr., Bob Russell, and Paul Chitwood (left to right) at Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky (KBC photo by Robin Cornete).

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (SBTS) — Evangelical Christians in Kentucky have “a clear choice in the U.S. Senate race” to preserve religious values, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in an issues forum with Kentucky evangelical leaders, Aug. 14.

“Elections have consequences,” said McConnell, describing the challenges facing voters after President Barack Obama’s election in 2008 resulted in a trillion-dollar stimulus and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. “We ought to go in a different direction,” the five-term Republican senator said, “and there’s only one thing that can be done in 2014, and that would be to change the United States Senate.”

McConnell participated in a forum discussion at Eastwood Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention; and Bob Russell, retired senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic challenger for McConnell’s seat, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, did not respond to the invitation, which remains open for two other events.

More

Boyce College appoints four new faculty in key academic roles

Boyce College, the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has appointed four new faculty members to play key roles in leading academic programs, including the popular worldview degree and the new business management program.

Bryan Baise, 30, will oversee and direct the worldview and apologetics degrees at Boyce College and serve as assistant professor of worldview and apologetics. Baise graduated from the University of Kentucky, received his master’s degree from Southern Seminary and is a Ph.D. candidate at the seminary.

“Bryan provides an intelligent, energetic personality and a winsome voice that will excite young Christians to think carefully about their worldview and how to engage other beliefs with confidence,” said Dan DeWitt, dean of Boyce College. “I am excited for his leadership in our worldview and apologetics program.”

More

Southern Seminary faculty announced as members of new ERLC Research Institute

 NASHVILLE (ERLC/SBTS) — The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention announced Monday the launch of a new Research Institute under the direction of its president, Russell D. Moore, and the appointment of an array of new scholars and professionals as research fellows, including 16 faculty and doctoral students at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“The aim of the Research Institute is to be a catalyst to connect the agenda of the gospel to the complex questions of the day—and to do so at the highest levels of academic scholarship for the good of local congregations,” said Moore. “I am thrilled to get to work together with an exceptionally gifted band of scholars and leaders as we seek to be a persuasive, prophetic witness engaging the academy and equipping the church.

More

Southern Seminary professors urge churches to participate in missionary activity

Raymond Johnson moderates a discussion on global missions with Zane Pratt, Jeff K. Walters, and Adam W. Greenway during Alumni Academy, July 31.
Raymond Johnson moderates a discussion on global missions with Zane Pratt, Jeff K. Walters, and Adam W. Greenway (left to right) during Alumni Academy, July 31.

Local churches must take ownership of the grand mission of God to the nations, said three professors at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during a learning intensive on global missions for alumni, prospective students, and leaders, July 31–Aug. 1, 2014.

The Alumni Academy event on global missions featured M. David Sills, professor of Christian missions and cultural anthropology; Zane Pratt, associate professor of missions at Southern and director of Global Theological Education with the International Mission Board; and Jeff K. Walters, assistant professor of Christian missions and urban ministry.

The experienced theologians and mission practitioners taught on fundamental elements of global missions and the local church. They recently co-authored the book Introduction to Global Missions, from which the conference sessions derived, allowing them to narrow in on important concepts.

More

McConnell, Grimes invited to ‘Issues Forums’ with Kentucky evangelical leaders

Three Kentucky evangelical leaders will host three “Issues Forums” with U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to explore matters of concern to evangelical Christians.

McConnell has accepted the invitation. Grimes is reviewing the invitation.

The forums will be hosted by R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention; and Bob Russell, retired senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville.

The Issues Forums will be held:

  • August 14 in Bowling Green at Eastwood Baptist Church (500 Eastwood Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42103).

  • August 20 in Louisville at Highview Baptist Church, East Campus (15201 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40245).

  • August 28 in Somerset at Somerset Christian School (815 Grand Central Blvd, Somerset, KY 42503).

More

Kody Gibson named Southern Seminary’s admissions director

Kody Gibson
Kody Gibson

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has named Kody Gibson its new director of admissions as the institution heads into an academic year marked by historic enrollment numbers.

Gibson, 29, graduated from Southern Seminary with his M.Div. in 2012, and most recently served as the seminary’s associate director of admissions. He replaces Ben Dockery, who held the role since October 2012.

“Ben Dockery has done an outstanding job leading the admissions team and we are very thankful for his service. I am confident that Kody Gibson is the right leader for this strategic team at this time, and I am looking forward to seeing his influence in our admissions process,” said seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. “For Southern Seminary and Boyce College, admissions is a ministry, not a marketing program. Both of these fine Christian leaders embody that vision.”

More

Hindu funeral pyre stokes Southern Seminary student’s passion for missions

Dennis McDaniel, a recent M.Div. graudate from Southern Seminary, sits with four Hindu holy men on the steps of a temple in South Asia.
Dennis McDaniel, a recent M.Div. graudate from Southern Seminary, sits with four Hindu holy men on the steps of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Smoke rolled to the heavens as the bodies of devout Hindus burned upon pyres in a religious ceremony at one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. Family members circled their loved ones and stoked the flames before shoving the ashes off the riverbank into the Bagmati. Across the street from the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, six students from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary witnessed a religious ritual they believed reflected a “sobering” spiritual reality.

“I felt so brokenhearted for these people who have no hope after watching them burn the bodies of eight people who recently died, probably mirroring what they were experiencing in hell,” said Dennis McDaniel, a student member of the mission team that traveled to South Asia this summer.

Compelled by the display of hopelessness, McDaniel approached four holy men on the steps of the ancient Hindu temple to establish a connection that transcended cultures.

McDaniel, of Corydon, Indiana, was one of 45 students who served on short-term trips with the Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization at Southern Seminary, which cultivates evangelism, missions and church planting across the world. Seven faculty-led teams comprised of Southern Seminary and Boyce College students spent two weeks on four different continents to reinforce the gospel work of alumni serving overseas.

More

ISIS conflict ‘annihilating Middle East Christians,’ says Islam expert at Southern Seminary

J. Scott Bridger, Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Seminary
J. Scott Bridger, Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Seminary

Violence erupting in Iraq and Syria as the jihadist group ISIS declares an Islamic state is “annihilating Middle Eastern Christians,” said the director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Sunni insurgent group sweeping across Iraq and Syria and taking control of its provinces announced June 29 that it established a caliphate, which is an Islamic state led by a religious and political leader — in this case, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The United Nations reports the death toll for the month of June in Iraq stands at 2,417.

“We need to raise our voices much louder on behalf of Middle Eastern Christian communities that have basically existed for 2,000 years,” said J. Scott Bridger, Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Seminary. “You have Christians in this whole area that are basically being exterminated.”

Christians, Shiite Muslims and Sunnis with more democratic ideologies are among the victims of indiscriminate violence ISIS has inflicted on those who disagree with their ambition to create an Islamic state. In June, ISIS released footage claiming to show the mass execution of 160 people.

More