Knowledge of Christ is the center of true education, says Mohler at Southern Seminary’s fall convocation
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — There is no true education when Jesus Christ is not recognized as the center of all learning, said R. Albert Mohler Jr. at his August 29 convocation address for the 2017-2018 academic year at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Preaching from Colossians 1:13-23 in an address titled “And in Him All Things Hold Together: Jesus Christ as Beginning and End of Knowledge,” Mohler said that Jesus Christ is not only the source of a “coherent” Christian faith, but the source of all coherence.
Pastors should endure amidst ministry challenges, said leading voices in church revitalization at the summer Alumni Academy, August 3-4 at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Despite the challenges and trials involved in church revitalization, ministers who are turning around congregations should maintain their vision for a healthy, biblically sound local church. They need to focus on God’s plan instead of being discouraged when people scowl at biblical preaching, said Andy Davis, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Durham, North Carolina and author of Revitalize: Biblical Keys to Helping Your Church Come Alive Again.
“The greatest thing I can do is help you lift your eyes off the immediate circumstances you’re facing, and see with the eyes of faith what it is you’re doing and where you are heading, and just how glorious the church will appear on that final day,” said Davis, who earned a doctorate in church history at Southern. His church in Durham underwent its own process of recovery in the wake of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention.
A two-time graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is joining its faculty, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced this summer, appointing Kyle Claunch as assistant professor of Christian theology.
“Kyle Claunch is a bright scholar who has already emerged as one of the most promising young theologians of his generation,” Mohler said. “We are proud of his appointment to the theology faculty of Southern Seminary. He will be joining a department of great strength and international reputation, and he will now make his own contribution, both in the classroom and in the world of scholarship.”
With classical education on the rise and virtually no colleges preparing their education students to teach it, Boyce College will provide a minor in classical education, starting in the 2017-2018 academic year. Boyce professors Melissa Tucker and Tyler Flatt are at the forefront of the new program, which will be an emphasis within the teacher education program and a minor available to all other Boyce students.
“The resurgence of classical education is one of the most promising developments on the broader American education landscape in quite some time,” said Matthew J. Hall, dean of Boyce College. “Christian institutions are rightly at the forefront of this recovery of ancient wisdom, answering basic questions about what it means to be human, what it means to truly learn, and the very essence of education itself. However, few Christian colleges have taken on the task of preparing graduates to teach this way. This is the right kind of minor for Boyce College at precisely the right time.”
With the daunting search for a career right around the corner, all college students need a resource that encourages them to think about life after their studies. A new office on campus will help students at Boyce College determine their calling, grow in their understanding of vocation, and find a career, Boyce Dean Matthew J. Hall announced earlier this summer.
“Part of what it means for a student to succeed at Boyce College has to be their ability not only to discern their vocation, but grow in their ability to identify strategic opportunities to pursue that vocation in a way that serves the kingdom of Christ and honors God,” Hall said.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — Charles W. Draper, a professor of Boyce College and chair of the school’s department of biblical studies, died from a heart attack during the early hours of Sunday, June 25. He was 70.
“Professor Charlie Draper was a cherished member of the Boyce College and Southern Seminary faculty, and he will be greatly missed,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College. “He has taught an entire generation of students, and he was known in the classroom for his passion for the Bible and his love for students. Time after time, I would hear from Boyce students about the influence of Dr. Draper on their lives. His personal investment in them and in their ministries is a timeless gift.
At last week’s meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, Steve Gaines, who is president of the convention, appointed a task force to study how Southern Baptists can be more effective in personal evangelism. Among the appointees is Adam W. Greenway, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“When we are at our best as Southern Baptists, [evangelism] is what we're known for.” said Greenway, who is also William Walker Brookes Associate Professor of Evangelism and Apologetics at the seminary, "We want to do everything we can to help motivate and mobilize Southern Baptists to do personal evangelism, because at the end of the day, that manifests our Great Commission obedience."
Boyce College added faculty members in two key areas, R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced today. Joining the college faculty is Old Testament scholar Adam Howell, who will serve as an assistant professor of Old Testament interpretation, and counselor Andrew Rogers joins Boyce as an assistant professor of biblical counseling and program coordinator for the biblical counseling major.
"I’m thankful that Adam Howell has taken on this new responsibility for Boyce College in teaching Old Testament,” said Mohler, president of Boyce College and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which houses the college. “He comes with a great combination of pastoral experience and experience in the classroom. He is a scholar of the Old Testament with a proven ability to inspire college students to want to know more about God’s Word."
Howell, a master of divinity (2007) and doctor of philosophy (2015) graduate of Southern Seminary, has served as an adjunct instructor of biblical studies at Boyce College since 2013 and as an adjunct instructor of Old Testament interpretation at Southern Seminary since 2014. He has taught Hebrew extensively at both the college and seminary level. His research appeared in several academic publications, including the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament and the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and he presented a paper at the 2015 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. Howell teaches an adult Bible fellowship group at Ninth & O Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.
Mohler presents two major awards at annual reunion of alumni and friends at the Southern Baptist Convention
Rick Lance receives E.Y. Mullins Award; Jason K. Allen named alumnus of the year
As several hundred alumni and friends gathered in Phoenix June June 13-14 for the Southern Baptist Convention, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. presented two major awards and a report on the seminary at the school’s annual reunion luncheon, June 14.
Rick Lance presented E.Y. Mullins Award for Distinguished Denominational Leadership
Mohler presented the E.Y. Mullins Award for Distinguished Denominational Leadership to Lance, who is executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention.
This represents the first time the seminary has issued the E.Y. Mullins Award, the highest honor bestowed by the seminary, since LifeWay president Thom Rainer received it in 2014. Previously, the seminary honored denominational giants Paige Patterson (2001) and James T. Draper (1998). Mullins, the fourth president of the Southern Seminary, exerted massive influence within the SBC, including serving as president of the Convention, president of Baptist World Alliance, and chairman of the committee that introduced the denomination's confession of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message. Mullins, who Mohler called “the most well-respected Baptist theologian of his generation,” also helped shape what became the Cooperative Program.
When he presented the award to Lance, who pastored multiple churches in Alabama before assuming leadership of the state’s Baptist convention, Mohler described why Lance's career is significant. The award notes Lance’s “example of commitment” to the Southern Baptist Convention and its work, and his long commitment to pastoral ministry and theological conviction.
Mohler highlighted the seminary’s gratitude for the generosity of Alabama Baptists through the Cooperative Program. Alabama Baptists, Mohler explained, own a long history of supporting Southern Seminary. In fact, the largest single donor to the seminary in its history is the Alabama Baptist Convention, according to Mohler. He also expressed his personal gratitude for Alabama Baptists and the role they played in his own attending of Birmingham’s Samford University.
Jason K. Allen named Alumnus of the Year
In addition to the Mullins Award, Mohler presented Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with Southern Seminary’s Alumnus of the Year Award. Allen is a two-time graduate of Southern (master of divinity, 2004; doctor of philosophy, 2011), and, according to Mohler, he “stood out from the very beginning.”
“We knew the Lord had some very big plans for Jason Allen,” Mohler said. “He came on staff in my office, and then vice president for institutional advancement. And just think about the last five years, when he became president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary — nothing less than what we might call a renaissance has taken place at Midwestern.”
Under Allen’s leadership, Midwestern Seminary has grown to record enrollment.
“It makes us proud that [Allen] is filling this role and fulfilling this responsibility so well” Mohler continued. “He has emerged as a statesman in Southern Baptist life. He is now one of my cherished colleagues as a seminary president in the Southern Baptist Convention, and it’s just right to recognize Dr. Allen as Alumnus of the Year of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the year 2017.”
In addition to the two awards, Mohler reported to alumni and guests that Southern Seminary’s enrollment now exceeds 5300 students on campus and online, including 2000 men in the master of divinity degree program — the largest collection of M.Div. students in the history of higher education. He told those gathered that the seminary this spring celebrated awarding its 2000th doctor of philosophy degree.
Mohler also recognized some distinguished guests at the luncheon, including pastors James Merritt, Al Jackson, and Matt Chandler, along with alumnus and current president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Russell Moore.
Published the same year as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a new book from SBTS Press focuses on one of its most enduring legacies: the faithful proclamation of the Word of God. Essential Reading on Preaching, released today, encourages and equips pastors toward more fruitful preaching ministries.
Drawn from Southern Equip, a service from Southern Seminary that extends faculty training beyond the classroom, the book is a collection of articles about preaching written by SBTS faculty and instructors. In its first chapter, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. describes the urgent problem facing modern Christianity: that secular pluralism has driven the church to the margins of cultural discourse. Its only way to survive, according to Mohler, is the unapologetic exposition of Scripture.