Afshin Ziafat

The spiritual health of elders affects the spiritual health of the church, says Ziafat at SBTS chapel

Ministers of the gospel must prepare their own souls for the good of their congregations, Afshin Ziafat said yesterday in Southern Seminary’s chapel service. The goal of an elder is to preach God’s Word, encouraging believers to follow Christ in all things, he said.

“What is truly profitable is to teach the whole counsel of God’s Word,” said Ziafat, lead pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas. “My aim isn’t to get people to follow me, but to follow the Word of God.”

Ziafat, who grew up in a Muslim home in the United States, became a Christian in high school, preached from Acts 20 on the role of elders in the local church, prioritizing the character of an elder as they lead the people of God.


More than 300 Boyce College students network with local businesses at inaugural Career and Internship Expo

More than 300 students attended Boyce College’s first-ever Career and Internship Expo, doubling the organizers’ expectations. The Nov. 8 event, an initiative by the college’s new Office of Vocation and Career Development, allowed students to network with local ministries, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

Boyce College is the undergraduate school of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.


Southern Seminary gathers pastors and theologians for a conference about the legacy and importance of the Reformation

“Where this gospel is not preached there is no church,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr. But, “where this gospel is preached there is a church.”

Preaching on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his famous 95 Theses to the castle church door, Mohler addressed a full Alumni Chapel for Southern Seminary’s Here We Stand conference, Oct. 31. The conference, a joint effort of the seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary and Ligonier Ministries, gathered theologians and pastors to celebrate and reflect on the quincentennial of the Protestant Reformation. The event spanned three days and included pastors and scholars from across Reformation traditions.


Southern Seminary hosts Greek scholar Bill Mounce for a panel discussion about the importance of Bible translation.

On its 500th anniversary, the Reformation serves as a reminder that Bible translation is embedded in the history of Christianity and the heritage of Protestantism. Hosted by the 1892 Club, Bill Mounce, Greek scholar and president and founder of, along with panel members, Brian J. Vickers, Jonathan T. Pennington, and Peter J. Gentry discussed the hard work of Bible translation with students, faculty, and staff at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky on October 24.

“Christianity regularly and beautifully regulates itself, not in the qualification of its truth, but in its cultural adaptation,” said Pennington, the associate professor of New Testament interpretation and the director of research doctoral studies at Southern Seminary. “It truly is a religion for all nations and reaches people in their own cultural situations. Bible translation is a huge part of that. We believe, and Christians have always believed, that the Bible should be translated into the language of the people to whom the gospel is going forth.”


Southern Seminary publishes collection of Reformation-era writing

SBTS Press today released Here We Stand: Enduring Truth and the Reformation of the Church, a collection of significant writings from the Protestant Reformation. Edited by Michael A.G. Haykin, professor of church history and biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the volume is a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The book is from the publishing division of Southern Seminary.

“[In the book] one can read the words that shook European churches and society to their very depths and brought about the profound recovery of biblical Christianity that marked the Reformation era,” Haykin said.

Whether through scathing critique of the 16th century Catholic Church or wise instruction for believers, the selections for Here We Stand offer a call for Christians of all eras to stand with other believers in faith.


MEDIA ADVISORY: Albert Mohler to Host Conference Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Oct. 31 at Southern Seminary

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is hosting a conference celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Southern Seminary’s Alumni Memorial Chapel. The conference, titled Here We Stand, will feature numerous evangelical pastors and scholars on the Reformation, including Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Stephen Nichols, Derek Thomas, Steve Lawson, and Gregg Allison. The three-day conference will include seven plenary sessions presented by these speakers, along with two seminars.

“Was the Reformation necessary? Was it a failure? Was it effective? Is it over? Those are huge questions — questions that we rightly face at any time, but especially as we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation,” said Mohler during his Oct. 30 episode of The Briefing, his daily podcast analyzing news headlines and cultural conversations from a Christian worldview. “So while millions and millions of Americans get ready to celebrate Halloween, we’re going to commemorate one of the most important events in the history of the Christian church. While millions get ready to celebrate paganism, we’re going to celebrate the recovery of the gospel.”

The ninth president of Southern Seminary, Mohler is a widely sought commentator on evangelical convictions on theology, politics, and cultural issues. In addition to his daily podcast “The Briefing,” Mohler has authored numerous essays and books, including most recently We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong.

For more information on this event, contact media relations director Colby Adams at (502) 897-4000 or


Lean on God’s strength, says H.B. Charles during SBTS Heritage Week chapel

God’s strength is real, and he provides it to those who need it, said trustee and pastor H.B. Charles during an October 10 chapel message during Heritage Week at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“God’s strength is real, available, and sufficient. One who follows Jesus truly has ambidextrous faith,” said Charles, pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. “They can take trouble on one hand and blessings in the other hand and hold the two in tension — trusting that all things really do work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. God will give you strength if you trust him in your time of weakness.”


Southern Seminary trustees vote to adopt ‘The Nashville Statement’ as an official confessional document

The Board of Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously approved a recommendation to adopt “The Nashville Statement” as an official part of the school’s confessional documents yesterday during its fall meeting. The Board also responded to two additional motions, heard financial reports, and celebrated record student enrollment from the previous academic year. The recommendation about “The Nashville Statement” came from seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr.

The Nashville Statement is a document that affirms biblical teaching about gender and sexuality and seeks to clarify Christian beliefs on some of the most pressing cultural issues. It was published earlier this year by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and signed by evangelical leaders across the United States, including each Southern Baptist seminary president. That Southern Seminary adopted it, according to Mohler, is a matter of responsibility.

“Southern Seminary takes its confessional responsibility with great significance,” Mohler said in an interview immediately following the Board’s public session Monday evening. “Years ago, our Board of Trustees recognized the need of adopting certain statements that clarify and establish the meaning our longstanding confessional documents: the Abstract of Principles, adopted in 1859, and the Baptist Faith and Message, as revised in 2000.”


Scroggins encourages students to serve where they are at SBTS chapel

Service in the local church renews students as they prepare for full-time ministry, said Jimmy Scroggins in his Sept. 28 chapel address at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Scroggins, lead pastor of the Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida, two-time graduate of Southern Seminary, and former dean of Boyce College, said students should not get discouraged by where God has placed them, and should serve the church with the time and resources God has given them.

“You may see other people getting opportunities that you’re not getting,” Scroggins said. “You may not be the brightest student in your classes, or because of your work schedule or family life, you may not be able to put as much time into it as others can. You may feel overlooked all the time. You may spend your entire seminary experience wondering if God is ever going to do anything with your pathetic attempt to go into the ministry.”


Billy Graham School creates apologetics program, Blount appointed chair

Academic institutions have long paired apologetics with classical disciplines like philosophy and history, but the defense of the Christian faith requires the apologist to prove not only why Christianity is true, but also why it should be believed. The goal of Christian apologetics should not merely be the assent of the mind, but the confession of the heart, said Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Put simply, apologetics is ultimately about evangelism and discipleship.

“We want leaders and teachers in our churches to be able to tell people not just how to become a Christian, but why they should become a Christian,” Greenway said.

Toward that end, seminary leadership has consolidated two distinct apologetics programs into a single Master of Divinity degree in apologetics for the 2017-2018 academic year. While Southern used to have separate apologetics concentrations — one each in the School of Theology and the Billy Graham School — the institution now offers a single apologetics program under the Billy Graham School.