Serving the Church and Fulfilling the Great Commission
There is not doubt that Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) is a special place. They believe in the infallible and inherent Word of God. Their professors teach in accordance with and not contrary to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. They are passionate about serving the church and fulfilling the Great Commission. Both of these aspects are interwoven throughout their teaching practices and incorporated into the student experience.
If you are looking for a school that will take you deeper in your faith, grow you in your ability to serve the church, and learn to become a better Great Commission Christian, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is the place for you. You will be challenged. You will be instructed through the lens of Scripture. You will be pushed to take the gospel to the nations. And, you will be graciously humbled.
A Humbling Encounter
Some of you may be wondering what I mean by how SEBTS can be a humbling experience. Perhaps a story about one of my final events there. Before I walked across the stage to grab my diploma and have my PhD hood placed over my head by my mentor and the president, I was invited and privileged to attend a supper with some of my peers and professors. Dr. Akin, the President of SEBTS, took the podium about midway through the dinner.
Akin came to the microphone and opened his Bible to the Gospel of Mark. He put on his readers and read Mark 10:43-44, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servant of all.” He looked up, took off his reading glasses, and made eye contact with all of us in the room. We sat in anticipation to see what he was about to say because this seminary president is one of the most godly leaders and teachers I have ever met.
He started by congratulating us on our academic accomplishment. He told us how proud he was of us. He said he was thankful that SEBTS was an integral part in our Christian journey. He told us that we earned the title, “Doctor” though hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Then, paused for what felt like a minute.
He spoke softly, but with conviction in what came out of his mouth next. He said, “Yes, you have earned this title, but you should not ever demand anyone to call you by it. If you leave here insisting that people call you “Dr. so and so,” we have failed you. We have taught you, discipled you, and challenged you, but we did so with the intention that you would take this training and serve others. That you would serve Jesus by doing everything you can to see the Great Commission fulfilled. In other words, that you would be a servant to those God has called you to serve in any context he calls you to do it in.”
He ended his speech by reading Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The point he was making is that our studies should have made us more like Christ, and if that was true, we are now being placed in a position to serve others rather than serving our own personal gratifications by being called, “Dr. Bell.” This moment has been forever engrained in my mind. Daily I ask the Lord to make that true to my heart and my life as well. That I would take this degree and knowledge I have gained to bring others closer to Christ so that he receives all the glory.
Considering Seminary? Consider SEBTS
It is godly leaders like Dr. Akin that make SEBTS a special place. My training there is what God continues to use to make me more like his Son and advance his kingdom. If you are thinking of going to seminary or pursuing theological education in any form, you should take a long and prayerful look at attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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