This week Southern Seminary goes through its re-accreditation process that happens once every ten years. Think of it as the educational equivalent of your visit to the doctor for a physical. Or, to put it in spiritual terms, think of the accreditors as our “educational accountability partners.”
This site visit has required months of preparation. We’ve cumulatively written hundreds of pages of documents and gathered thousands more. So, why is Southern Seminary accredited? In other words, if the process takes so much time and energy, then why is it worth it?
Accreditation allows Southern Seminary to more effectively signal several important facets of our core identity as a school:
- Southern Seminary is a quality institution – Re-accreditation helps to ensure that Southern maintains high quality academic standards. By evaluating the credentials of our professors and the strength of our academic programs, the accreditors can affirm the quality of a Southern education.
- Southern Seminary is a trustworthy institution – Re-accreditation helps to ensure that Southern can be trusted for your education. By reviewing our academic offerings and our campus experience, the accreditors can validate the reliability of a Southern education.
- Southern Seminary is an innovating institution – Re-accreditation helps to ensure that Southern seeks to advance its mission through innovation. By analyzing our institutional effectiveness and mandating intentional areas for growth through a Quality Enhancement Plan, the accreditors ensure that we continue to improve as a school.
- Southern Seminary is a biblical institution – Re-accreditation helps to ensure that Southern operates consistently with its biblical convictions. By evaluating our mission and core values and reviewing the beliefs of our faculty, the accreditors cause us as an institution to ensure that our faculty and training are biblical.
Of course, accreditation is not essential to be a quality, trustworthy, innovating, and biblical institution. However, the outside accountability provided by the accreditation agencies helps to ensure these facets of our core identity are central priorities in our educational efforts.
It’s that time of year again: March Madness is here! Just like last year, Southern Seminary invites you to join our bracket challenge (password: Southern) because we are serious about March Madness.
But this year we are introducing a twist: in addition to the standard SBTS bracket challenge, the Admissions and Student Life teams invite you to take part in “Book Bracketology.” We have randomly assigned a Southern Seminary professor’s book to each team in the bracket. When that team advances, someone who retweets details about our “Book Bracketology” challenge will win a copy of the book. 60+ books in total will be given away! More details are available on the Book Bracketology webpage.
Joining the frenzy of March Madness isn’t an accident. The Southern Seminary Student Life and Admissions teams join forces in this effort to magnify the uniqueness of Southern’s academics while building campus community. The goals of Southern Seminary’s March Madness are:
- To highlight our professors – The Book Bracketology competition highlights one of Southern’s greatest strengths: our professors. One of the most attractive features of SBTS is the ability to study with the authors. At other seminaries, you’ll read our professors’ books. At Southern, you get to study with them too. So, join the Book Bracketology challenge to celebrate them.
- To foster campus community – When hundreds of students, staff, and professors participate in anything together, it helps to build community. But in basketball-crazed Kentucky, that’s especially true if it involves March Madness.
- To involve online and extension students – While most student life opportunities are limited to residential students, the SBTS March Madness efforts are available to online and extension students as well. This gives our distance students a chance to feel more involved in campus life.
- To keep Dr. Mohler humble – Everyone knows Dr. Mohler is not into sports, even though he joins us by filling out a bracket. So, our annual March Madness competition gives students a chance to defeat Dr. Mohler in the only arena possible.
It’s not too late to join us for our SBTS bracket (password: Southern) or our Book Bracketology challenge. At Southern Seminary, we are serious about March Madness because we are serious about the gospel.
Leadership development does not occur by accident. No one ever “just so happened” to grow as a leader. That’s why we are very intentional at Southern Seminary in the way we train the next generation of leaders for the evangelical world.
We have multiple leadership development outlets including our ambassadors who support the efforts of our admissions and advancement offices, our interns who support the efforts of various professors or administrators, and our Student Leadership Council who support the efforts of our student life team.
Here’s the who, what, when, where, why, and how of our leadership development strategy at Southern:
- Who – Southern’s leadership development strategy happens by investing in the top students on campus. By enabling them to cross-pollinate with students, staff and faculty across campus, they gain a better identity as future leaders.
- What – Southern’s leadership development strategy happens by mobilizing students to work on substantive projects. By enlisting students to work on key initiatives such as the 1937 Project, recruiting efforts, or student enhancement initiatives, they gain great experience that will shape their future effectiveness.
- When – Southern’s leadership development strategy happens year round. The semesters provide opportunities for weekly growth through meetings and project development. The breaks provide chances to reload and grow.
- Where – Southern’s leadership development strategy happens in residence. There’s a lot of things you can learn through an online classroom, but you can’t learn how to lead people through pixels alone. So, we maximize the benefit of having one of the most beautiful seminary campuses in the world to train our leaders.
- Why – Southern’s leadership development strategy happens for a reason: we are serious about training leaders. Our goal is to raise up the next generation of front line gospel warriors who are prepared to equip the church for ongoing spiritual warfare. That happens both in the classroom and outside of it.
- How – Southern’s leadership development strategy happens through an intentional plan. We evaluate the needs of our students and the keys to growth and customize a strategy for intentional investment.
One of the ways we invest in our student leaders is happening this weekend through our first annual Southern Seminary Student Leadership Conference. We will take some of our student leaders to Nashville for a fun-filled, intentional time of leadership development including:
- A lunch with Southern Seminary alumni
- A chance to hear from Lifeway president Thom Rainer
- A tour of the SBC executive committee building including a word from president Frank Page
- A visit to the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission to hear from executive vice president Harold Harper
- A stop by Baptist Press to meet with associate editor Michael Foust
- A dinner with host families
- A panel discussion on marriage and ministry at the Southern Seminary extension center
- A tour of Vanderbilt’s campus to hear from Mark Coppenger on issues related to leadership and religious liberty on the campus
- And, last but not least, a trip to the Grand Ole Opry for a concert including Steven Curtis Chapman, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Charlie Daniels, and Ricky Skaggs!
We can’t wait for this weekend! Southern Seminary is serious about leadership development and the 1st annual Student Leadership Conference is one way we do it.
Howdy! It’s my pleasure to invite you to a dessert reception for Southern Seminary faculty, staff, students (and their families) with Texas ties on March 21st at 3:30-5:00 PM in Legacy 310. This will be a great chance to catch up with old friends, make new Texas connections, and reminisce about the great Lone Star State.
Our student life team is partnering with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention to have an all-you-can-eat Blue Bell ice cream Sundae bar and drinks. Several of my friends from the SBTC will be on campus for this event and to host a seminar on how to find a ministry position the next day, March 22nd from 1-2:30 PM in Norton 102. So, if you or someone you know would be interested in that seminar, make sure they are aware of the seminar details.
If you plan to attend the dessert reception, please take 20 seconds to fill out the form at this link, so we can have an estimated headcount. With the possibility of families coming, we want to make sure we don’t run out of Blue Bell!
Also, if you’d like an individual appointment to discuss ministry options in TX with Lance Crowell or Heath Peloquin of the SBTC on 3/21 or 3/22, email our Ministry Connections Coordinator Matt Haste at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to come and go from the dessert reception whenever you need too, and wear your wranglers and boots if you like. Please pass this info on to any other Texans you know. We’d love to have a big lone star contingent at the event!
On April 20th, Southern Seminary will hold the first annual 1937 Project. The 1937 Project is a one day gospel-centered service project designed to build community while serving the community.
Students, faculty, staff, and friends of Southern will gather on campus in the morning for an opening event, launch out in teams to do service projects lasting 2-3 hours, and seek to serve the community with the gospel while doing gospel-centered service.
Why is it called the 1937 Project? During the great flood of 1937, Southern Seminary was a hub for community care with the mayor’s team operating from Norton Hall and seminary students helping throughout the city through rescue missions and other means.
That legacy of gospel-centered mercy ministry takes on the new form of the 1937 Project. In partnership with the Louisville Mayor’s office, the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board, Southern Seminary will pioneer a new way for SBC seminaries to serve their communities intentionally.
Southern Seminary wants to train our students in mercy ministry while in school so that they will be able to equip their churches to do the same in the future. The call to “love the least of these” doesn’t begin after students walk the stage at graduation.
Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and friends of Southern Seminary will gather for one day to give back to the Louisville area. Will you put together a team and join us? For more info on the 1937 Project and how to get involved, see the 1937 webpage.
This morning’s Southern Seminary chapel service featured the debut of the Norton Hall Band. This is Southern’s newest worship group, led by Devon Kauflin. This band models exactly what SBTS is seeking to produce: biblically sound, musically excellent, pastorally minded worship leaders. You can learn more about Norton Hall in this video: