TRUSTEES: Endowed post, female board chair at SEBTS
The election of trustee officers marked a historic moment in the Southern Baptist Convention, with Becky Gardner believed to be the first female trustee chair for a seminary, according to the institution's examination of SBC Annuals.
Gardner, a trustee since 2010, is superintendent of Peoria Christian School in Peoria, Ill., and a member of Woodland Baptist Church in Peoria.
Also elected as trustee officers were Thomas Mach of Xenia, Ohio, vice chairman; Alex Gonzales of McKinney, Texas, secretary; and Charles Cranford of Charlotte, N.C., treasurer.
Another milestone during the trustee meeting was the election of Adrianne Miles as assistant professor of English and linguistics, the first female elected to the SEBTS faculty in 15 years. Miles was appointed to Southeastern's faculty in 2014, having been an adjunct professor since 2010.
Trustees approved a $29.1 million budget for 2018-2019, along with:
-- Curriculum revisions and new curriculum additions to include a doctor of education with an emphasis in biblical counseling, a master of arts in Christian studies in Spanish and an associates of arts in Bible and theology.
-- three new endowment accounts: Panichello Student Aid Fund, DeForest Student Aid Fund and Swann Missions Aid Fund
SEBTS President Danny Akin, in his report to trustees and Southeastern Society members, highlighted key marks of progress of the seminary.
"You are witnessing a miracle in what is today Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. It is a miracle worth believing in; it is a miracle worth praying for; it is a miracle worth supporting," Akin said.
Among the achievements he cited:
-- A 13.9 percent increase in enrollment during the past year, nearing 4,000 students by the end of the academic year.
-- An 8.4 percent increase in the non-white student population since 2010.
-- A 9 percent increase in the female population since 2010.
-- A 21 percent increase in accepted applications in the last year.
David Platt, president of the International Mission Board and pastor-teacher at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C., preached at Tuesday's chapel service.
Following Platt's sermon, 14 international church planting students were commissioned to serve in unreached parts of the world.
The seminary also honored two outgoing trustees, Daniel Godfrey and Todd Linn, during Tuesday's chapel.
On Monday afternoon, the Southeastern Women's Fellowship hosted a lunch to highlight scholarships awarded to female students. The goal of the Women's Fellowship is to provide multiple tuition scholarships each year and opportunities for participants to advance the support and encouragement of female students. The lunch honored the 2018 scholarship recipients, and attendees raised an additional $4,850 for more women to receive theological training and impact the Kingdom.
Southeastern Society members give at least $1,000 to SEBTS each year and partner with the school to help train students in living out the Great Commission wherever they go. To learn more, visit www.sebts.edu/ses.
The next meeting of trustees and the Southeastern Society will be Oct. 14-16.