New Center for Christian Apologetics to continue Southern Seminary’s legacy of defending truth

Timothy Paul Jones will be the director of the center

Secular culture is more antagonistic to the Christian faith than ever before. In the last century, historic Christianity has often been criticized as outdated, outmoded, and out of touch. And at each step, the church has trusted The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to defend it.

A new Center for Christian Apologetics at Southern Seminary will continue that legacy by ensuring that today’s Christians are prepared to defend historic, orthodox Christianity. The center will give students opportunities to learn from leading apologists and theologians in an effort to underline Southern Seminary as a leading institution for the study of apologetics as a theological discipline.

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Southern Seminary’s extensive involvement at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting

Through its two booths, Southern Seminary and Boyce College connected with more than 1,200 prospective students, alumni, and friends during the week.

Southern Seminary was well represented at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, June 11-12. The school connected with more than 1,200 prospective students, alumni, and friends between both Southern and Boyce booths at SBC annual meeting. Southern also had nearly 800 people request more information from admissions, alumni, and SBTS Communications.

Highlights for the week at the annual meeting included President R. Albert Mohler’s annual seminary report, the seminary luncheon, alumnus Noe Garcia’s election as the second vice president of the SBC, and various panels featuring Southern Seminary administrators and graduates.

Below is a run-down of the news coverage from the week.

Southern Seminary’s calling remains ‘trust,’ said Mohler during president’s report

As he is about to begin his 27th year as the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr. emphasized the rich and deep theological training students are receiving at the school during his annual seminary report at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 12.

Southern Seminary is “unapologetically Southern Baptist,” and remains as committed as ever to train men and women for gospel ministry. Thus, every word of the school’s title carries weight, he said.

“Every single word in the name of Southern Seminary is vitally important,” Mohler said. “We are, without apology, a theological seminary for the training of pastors and ministers.”

In an age of quick-serve theological education, where many degree programs are entirely available online and the requirements for graduation are lowered, Southern Seminary is committed to providing the full depth of ministry preparation, Mohler said.

Mohler characterized Southern Seminary’s mission as a “stewardship of truth.”

“Southern Seminary is trusted for truth,” Mohler said. “There is no adventure like training young preachers. There is no joy like seeing them go out. There is no satisfaction like seeing a young man who is called to the preaching ministry and see his mind grow full and his heart grow even more full.”

Jimmy Scroggins announced alumnus of the year at alumni luncheon

Albert Mohler Jr. announced Jimmy Scroggins as the 2019 alumnus of the year during the alumni luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, June 12.

Scroggins, lead pastor of the Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a two-time graduate of Southern Seminary and former dean of Boyce College. Mohler presented Scroggins with the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award of Southern Seminary during the luncheon.

During the luncheon, Mohler expanded his thoughts from the seminary report. Mohler had referenced the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17 as inspiration for Southern Seminary’s calling.

Jesus prayed that his Father would sanctify his people “in truth” in John 17, thereby defining the nature and focus of theological education, and by extension the mission of Southern Seminary, Mohler said.

“The unity of the church is Christ, and the unity Christ brings is in truth,” Mohler said. “May all those living know that this seminary is to be trusted for truth.”

In the previous year, Mohler celebrated his 25-year milestone as the president of Southern Seminary. This anniversary was not just about the past, Mohler said, but the continued strategic witness of the seminary into the future.

“I want to continue faithful and strong and sweet and joyful to the end, preaching the gospel, even if the Lord allows, until I’m 102,” Mohler said.

Protecting abuse victims is central to church’s mission, leaders say at B21

Protecting sexual abuse victims is central to the mission of the church, said a panel of denominational leaders during the Baptist21 luncheon on June 11 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The panel featured Danny Akin, Albert Mohler, J.D. Greear, Jen Wilkin, Russell Moore, and Dhati Lewis, and was moderated by Nate Akin, the director of Baptist21. The six panelists addressed a broad range of issues, from sexual abuse in the church to complementarianism and racial reconciliation.

J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he is often told that emphasizing the protection of abuse victims distracts from the mission of the gospel. This mindset is “foolish,” he said.

“This is the mission,” he said. “The mission as a shepherd is presenting the church and the gospel and everything that is attached to it as a safe place for the vulnerable.”

Some critics claim that complementarianism, the theological view that men have a unique leadership role in the church and the home, is more susceptible to sexual abuse and dysfunction.

According to Jen Wilkin, noted author and Bible teacher, there is no theological boundary line in sexual abuse cases. It exists in every theological camp and denomination, she said.

Yet the precise practices within complementarian churches are often insufficient, Wilkin said. Churches often misidentify abusive marriages as merely bad marriages

“Complementarianism [can] become just as dangerous a place for people who are in systems of abuse as in any other theological environment,” she said. “Just because we have a theological position that we are deeply convicted of does not mean our practice is good.”

Mohler added that the Southern Baptist Convention is not going to reevaluate its commitment to complementarianism any time soon. But, Mohler continued, all Southern Baptists should consider what faithful complementarianism has to say about the sin of sexual abuse.

“Since we believe the Bible teaches complementarianism, [the question is]: ‘How can we be most faithfully complementarian?’ Mohler said. “That is a good question, and it relates to the abuse question. You can’t be complementarian and cover up and facilitate abuse. You also can’t act like we come to the conversation with a blank slate.”

In other news during the annual meeting, Southern Seminary alumnus Noe Garcia was elected the second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Garcia has a doctor of ministry degree and executive leadership from Southern Seminary.

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Southern Seminary adds gifted biblical spirituality professor Matt Haste to faculty

Haste will also lead the strategic and rapidly growing Professional Doctoral Studies program.

Southern Seminary is hiring to its faculty noted author and experienced professor Matthew Haste, who joins Southern after four years of teaching at the seminary of Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced the hire today.

Haste will be Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies at Southern Seminary.

“Matt Haste is both a scholar and a leader, and that makes him just right for the job of leading our professional doctoral program,” said Mohler in a statement. “We eagerly welcome him to the Southern Seminary team, and I am thankful for the wealth of experience and vision that he will bring.”

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Leading theologian and worship pastor joins Southern faculty

Matthew Westerholm, a gifted theologian and worship pastor, is joining The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as the Associate Professor of Church Music and Worship, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced today.

Westerholm will continue Southern Seminary’s rich legacy of training men and women for music and worship ministry. Weeks after the seminary announced Matt Boswell’s hire to the Department of Biblical Worship, the addition of Westerholm highlights the seminary’s commitment to train faithfully the next generation of theologically sound worship leaders.

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Southern Seminary’s calling remains ‘trust,’ said Mohler during president’s report

As he is about to begin his 27th year as the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr. emphasized the rich and deep theological training students are receiving at the school.

Southern Seminary is “unapologetically Southern Baptist,” and remains as committed as ever to train men and women for gospel ministry. Thus, every word of the school’s title carries weight, he said.

“Every single word in the name of Southern Seminary is vitally important,” Mohler said. “We are, without apology, a theological seminary for the training of pastors and ministers.”

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Four professors join Southern Seminary and Boyce College faculty at key positions

Four new professors are joining the faculty of Southern Seminary and Boyce College for the fall semester, announced president R. Albert Mohler Jr. last week. Read about each of them below.

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Longtime educator joins Boyce College’s teacher education program

Barry Gibson, a veteran teacher and two-time graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is joining the faculty of Boyce College as the Associate Professor of Teacher Education, according to an announcement from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary.

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Seasoned missionary J. Keith McKinley joins Southern Seminary faculty

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has hired J. Keith McKinley, a seasoned missionary and veteran of the International Mission Board to its faculty, announced President R. Albert Mohler Jr. today. McKinley has been involved with missions with the IMB for more than 20 years, and he joins the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry as Associate Professor of Christian Missions. McKinley comes from a rich family heritage of missions. His father, Jim McKinley, was an IMB missionary in Bangladesh for 34 years.

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Southern Seminary adds Christian ethics and public theology scholar to its faculty

Baptist scholar and ethicist Andrew Walker is joining the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, according to today’s announcement from President R. Albert Mohler Jr.

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Matt Boswell, a leading figure in church music and worship, joins Southern Seminary faculty

Matt Boswell, a widely respected hymn writer and leading figure in church music, is joining the faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. announced today. Boswell, who is currently the founding pastor of the Trails Church in Prosper, Texas, will be assistant professor of church music and worship.

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