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A Letter from the President >












@dannyakin >

A Reflection On Ten Wonderful Years >













On January 15th of this year I celebrated my 10th year

This statement guides us in all that we do. I believe it

at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. For

has helped a really good seminary to become an even

Charlotte and me, this is almost impossible to believe!

better seminary. It keeps us focused on the final march-

And yet at the same time, we have experienced so many,

ing orders of King Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20).

many things. As I pen this letter from Istanbul, Turkey,

2) The Lord has grown our school from just over

where we have the joy of being with students that God

2,400 to over 3,100 students, and the future looks even

has called to the nations, I am aware that during these

brighter. What a blessing!

years we have buried three parents, welcomed three

3) We have gone from having one endowed chair to

daughters-in-law, added 10 grandchildren and celebrat-

seven! This is a double blessing in that it honors won-

ed 35 years of marriage and ministry together. On a

derful servants of God and helps the seminary finan-

personal level, God has blessed us with a full and joyful

cially. I would love to see this number double in the next

life. With the psalmist I delight to sing, “Bless the Lord,

10 years.

O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” (Psalm 103:1). I can also sing that same verse as I think about all the

4) The Lord has graced us with as fine a faculty as you will find anywhere in the world. Our students have the joy of studying under godly men and women who are

ways our Lord has blessed the school I have the honor

churchmen, brilliant scholars and followers of King Je-

and privilege of serving. An exhaustive list would re-

sus who have a deep love for the church and a passion

quire a book! However, let me highlight a few of the

for the nations. Three of my own sons and a daughter-

good things our great God has done in our midst in the

in-law have studied or are studying here. As a dad, I

past decade.

could not ask for a better place of training for my chil-

1) The Lord led us to a very clear “mission statement” that defines who we are. The shorthand version is

dren. 5) We built the Prince Facilities Building and Patter-

“Southeastern is a Great Commission Seminary.” Ask

son Hall. Both buildings have been a tremendous asset

anyone on our campus who we are, and that is the an-

to Southeastern in terms of how we care for the campus

swer you will receive. The longer version simply says,

and teach our students.

“Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to

6) The Lord has blessed me with an incredible leader-

glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to

ship team that has taken Southeastern to the next level.

serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.”

Bruce Ashford, Jamie Dew, Ryan Hutchinson, Mark

Liederbach, Chuck Lawless and Art Rainer excel in their

10) Finally, and I could continue for a long time, the

areas of responsibility. They make me look better than

Lord Jesus has blessed our campus with a spirit of love,

I am! And, they are my brothers and friends who chal-

joy and gratitude. My friend Mark Dever calls us “the

lenge me to be more like Jesus.

happy campus.” I think he is right. Visitors often com-

7) Under the leadership of John Ewart, we launched

ment about the happy, joyful servant spirit they find on

EQUIP, which allows the seminary and local churches

this campus, and it bears much fruit. We know that over

to partner in doing theological education. The brilliant

90 percent of prospective students who visit our cam-

New Testament Scholar Don Carson said this model was

pus will choose Southeastern as their seminary or col-

a utopian dream. By God’s grace, we are making it a

lege. Why? Because students, staff, faculty and admin-


istration are happy to be here. We just can’t hide it, and

8) Shortly before his death, we instituted the L. Russ

we don’t want to!

Bush Center for Faith and Culture. Initially directed by

On a number of occasions I have been asked if I as-

Bruce Little, it is now led by Ken Keathley. This Center

pired to be a seminary president. The fact is when God

is simply stellar in engaging the cultural issues that the

called me into ministry in 1977 on the Papago Indian

church must face and addressing them with biblical

Reservation in Sells, Arizona, this boy from Georgia did

truth and conviction. I know Dr. Bush is smiling from

not know what a seminary was. I did not know they even

heaven at all the Center is accomplishing.

existed. No, all I have ever wanted to do since that day

9) We were able to receive and house the letters and

is please the Lord Jesus, preach the Bible, serve the

papers of Francis Schaeffer, one of evangelicalism’s

church and share the gospel. I am the most surprised

leading apologists in the 20th century. Words are not

of all that I get to do what I do. I am a blessed man far

adequate to express what a gift this is. Bruce Little

beyond what I could ever hope, imagine or deserve.

rightly deserves a huge “thank you” for making this

Thank you King Jesus for these wonderful years. If it be


Your will, I look forward to many more.

Daniel L. Akin President













Spring 2014 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, NC Daniel Akin President Bruce Ashford Provost Ryan Hutchinson Executive Vice President for Operations Art Rainer Vice President for Institutional Advancement














Alumni Staff Jonathan Six, Director Rebecca Taylor Sheldon Alexander Chris Allen Communications Staff Amy Whitfield, Director Ali Dixon Maria Estes Parker Griffin Sam Morris Bailey Shoemaker Ryan Thomas To inform us of address changes or if you would like to receive the magazine, please contact us at 919-761-2203 or e-mail
















Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperative Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention. Support comes through the gifts of the Cooperative Program and the individual friends of the seminary who provide assistance through wills, estates and trusts. The Great Commission Magazine of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (ISSN 2327-154X) is published by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary P.O. Box 1889 Wake Forest, NC 27588

Contents Spring 2014 >













Read and share online! >





























Story by Ali Dixon

13 15 16 18 19

Markings of a Great Commission President The Gift of Mrs. Akin by Kim Humphrey Building Projects from 2004-2014 Proposed Master Plan, Developed in 2011 The Blessing of Godly Mentors Mrs. Akin shares about those who have led and encouraged her husband. 20 The College at Southeastern in the Past Decade 21 Ten Years of Advanced Degree Development at Southeastern 25 Shooting Arrows at the Kingdom of Darkness: A Tribute to our Dad by Nathan, Jon, Paul and Timothy Akin



Reviews of Dr. Akin’s books. Each review is written by an individual that has been personally influenced by Akin throughout the years. 30 Ten Who Changed the World Reviewed by Brian Daniels 31 God on Sex: The Creator’s Ideas about Love, Intimacy, and Marriage Reviewed by Shane Shaddix 32 Engaging Exposition Reviewed by Jedidiah Coppenger



Kingdom Leaders Reflect on Southeastern’s Great Commission President 35 36 38 40 42



Walter R. Strickland II Instructor of Theology and Special Advisor to the President for Diversity Bruce Ashford Provost Ryan Hutchinson Executive Vice President for Operations Johnny Hunt Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, GA Chuck Lawless Dean of Graduate Studies & Professor of Evangelism & Missions

A Look Back at our President Photos of Dr. Akin and family throughout the years.


Southeastern’s fall 2013 graduates are addressed by Dr. Akin

Dr. akin signing the abstract of principles at his inauguration in october 2004

participating in a special chapel discussing racial identity and the gospel in january 2014



marks Daniel Akin’s 10th anniversary as president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). Under his leadership, the Seminary has experienced great advancements in missions, development, personnel and students. In looking back over the past 10 years, tangible results display the effective and loving leadership of this Great Commission seminary that exists to serve the church and fulfill Matthew 28:19-20.

Family Life In 1992, Akin first came to SEBTS as the associate professor of theology and dean of students and left in 1996 as the vice president for student services. In 2004, Akin returned to SEBTS from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. where he served as senior vice president for academic administration, dean of the School of Theology and professor of theology and Christian preaching. Akin earned a Bachelor of Arts in biblical studies from The Criswell College, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doc-


tor of Philosophy in humanities from the University of Texas at Arlington. Akin married his high school sweetheart Charlotte Tammy Bourne on May 27, 1978. They have been married for almost 36 years. “We are always very happy wherever we are,” Charlotte added. “The Lord’s timing was perfect for us coming to SEBTS. We have allowed the Lord to lead us, and it is amazing to see how the Lord wants to use us.” Charlotte grew up in the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home and has the opportunity to serve a denomination where she accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. “The Georgia Baptist Children’s Home is where I found the Lord,” Charlotte said. “As a sad and hurt young nine-year-old girl, I turned to Jesus and soon asked Him to be my Lord and Savior. I was able to know the Father that I had never had. Life at the Children’s Home was good for me. They took care of my siblings and me in a way that our parents never could have.” The Akins enjoy blessing others as they have been blessed. “We are grateful for the opportunity to give back through the Cooperative Program and especially

to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering because of our love for international missions,” Charlotte said. The Akin family has continued to grow over the years with four sons. The oldest, Nathan, is a pastor at Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C. Jonathan, Nathan’s twin, serves as the Senior Pastor of Fairview Church in Lebanon, Tenn. Jonathan and his wife Ashley have three children. Paul, the middle son, is a missions pastor at The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Ala., and he and his wife, Kari, have four children. Tim, the youngest, is a campus pastor at Family Church West in West Palm Beach, Fla. He and his wife Anna have three sons. Charlotte is a true supporter of Dr. Akin. “One of Danny’s strongest qualities is how well he loves his family, our sons, their wives and our grandchildren,” Charlotte added. “The way he loves me is amazing. I love the way he gently guides and leads me, builds me up and helps me see how valuable I am because I am a daughter of King Jesus.” As Charlotte reflected on life, she shared one of her favorite verses. “Psalm 91:1-2 is my life verse,” she said. “I am reminded to abide in the shadow of the Almighty, that His grace is amazing and His faithfulness never ends. This is such a vivid picture of my heavenly Father that became my earthly father as well. I have an image of the Almighty leading and guiding me.” “I am so thankful that the Lord brought us together,” Charlotte said. “I am married to the greatest man in the world; I truly believe that.”

Missions Vision casting for a Great Commission seminary began before Akin became president and his leadership solidified the movement. Scott Hildreth, director of Great Commission studies at SEBTS, said, “Missions is a whole movement at SEBTS, and Dr. Akin leads from a sense of passion. It is not a political or traditional move; he is genuinely compassionate and concerned that the nations hear the Gospel and respond. … When Dr. Akin preaches on missions, he does it with a broken heart. Not many men in leadership are like this.” Akin has been instrumental in establishing a very strong relationship between Southeastern and both Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) mission agencies, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and the

“The Lord’s timing was perfect for us coming to SEBTS. We have allowed the Lord to lead us, and it is amazing to see how the Lord wants to use us.”

International Mission Board (IMB). The mission boards come to SEBTS for assistance, and Akin has taught leadership training with the IMB. SEBTS students are challenged to be involved in missions by SEBTS leaders. “We have a very robust missionary vision for the Seminary,” Hildreth said. “Southeastern is a place where we are able to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of missions including training and sending out our students.” Every aspect of a student’s education is integrated with missions. “We have developed and improved our missions degrees from bachelor’s, master’s to doctorate levels,” Hildreth noted. “Southeastern was one of the forerunners to work with the IMB to set up a Ph.D. for



on Mission

in last 10 years

currently on the field 224 long-term 40 short-term

American NAMB North Mission Board

serving in


send cities in 2013

2 years on campus + 2-3 years on the mission field

Preparing to plant churches



other send cities

Over the past 10 years

275 175 41

familyhave units been

Now over


sent out



2 + 2 Program

In the Program

IMB International Mission Board 423 Total

Missionaries with SEBTS Coursework

North American and International Missions at SEBTS in the Last 10 Years



Short-term Trips

Through the Center for Great Commission Studies

Since Jan 2004

1,010 on 68


*some pins in Africa represent a region rather than a specific country


This data represents IMB and NAMB data only and does not include students serving with other missions organizations

international missionaries.” Extensive degree plans

tant to note that many students have worked with oth-

and classes as well as a change in education to meet the

er organizations as missionaries, so the total number

needs of mission agencies mark the curriculum at

would be much higher than this. Akin’s emphasis on missions contributes to a record

SEBTS. Additional missions faculty have been added along

number of students planning to serve overseas. Cur-

with missionaries in other areas of study. Every class-

rently, over 175 students, including students on campus

room is a Great Commission classroom as students are

and already deployed, are in the program and pres-

trained to think and act like missionaries.

ently impacting 41 countries.

The heart for missions extends beyond Akin to his

By the end of 2014, Southeastern will have helped

family. Akin and his wife often travel together on mis-

equip over 400 people through the ICP program alone.

sion trips. Two of Akin’s sons and their wives have

During the previous 10 years, 389 IMB missionaries

served in difficult places overseas as missionaries. The

have graduated from or attended Southeastern. Of the

family often participates on mission trips with their

current 4,851 IMB missionaries, 264 are from South-

local church body and SBC missions organizations. He

eastern, representing 224 long-term and 40 short-term missionaries.

also encourages his

SEBTS students are

grandchildren to go and

passionate about partici-

serve. Bi-weekly chapel ser-

pating in short-term

vices include a mission-

mission trips as well. In

ary spotlight and call the whole campus to pray about an area, people group or missionaries in North America and beyond. Sinc e

ser v ing


Southeastern’s president, Akin has partici-

Every classroom is a Great Commission classroom as students are trained to think and act like missionaries.

the past decade, 281 students attended trips in North America and 729 attended international trips, totaling 1,010 students overall on trips. In 2013, Southeastern students and graduates also made a large impact

pated in missions in Tai-

with NAMB. “God is

wan, Eastern Europe,

raising up workers to

Guyana, Liberia, Central

send into His North

Asia, Montana, Sudan,

American mission field,” said Mike Dodson, asso-

the Middle East, Kenya, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Asia and India. The Master of Divinity with International Church

ciate director for North American church planting for the Center for Great Commission Studies at SEBTS.

Planting is a specialized degree offered in partnership

Current and former SEBTS students and graduates

with the IMB. It is often called the 2+2/3 program

were serving in church plants in at least 14 send cities

where students have the opportunity to complete a two-

in 2013. NAMB is working to reach 32 send cities, large

year campus curriculum and choose between a two or

urban areas targeted by NAMB with the message of

three-year assignment on the mission field. “Dr. Akin

Christ as 85 percent of North Americans currently live

and Charlotte have a personal commitment to visit the

in or around major cities.

2+2 students,” Hildreth said.

Students and graduates are preparing for church

In the past 10 years, approximately 275 students and

planting in at least seven more send cities. Others were

their wives completed the International Church Plant-

serving in church plants in at least eight other key

ing (ICP) program from SEBTS. Also, the total number

North American cities.

of missionaries appointed by the IMB with prior SEBTS coursework is 423 missionaries. However, it is impor-

Akin is eager to lead and serve alongside his students across the globe. “For example in Montana, on a rodeo


mission, Dr. Akin cleaned bathrooms,” Hildreth said. “The Great Commission comes out everywhere we go.”

Student Body and Academics From 2004 to 2014, academic accomplishments at Southeastern include growth in student population, new faculty, a sharper focus for the mission of SEBTS and greater educational accessibility. In the past 10 years, the student body has grown 31 percent, and the Seminary has over 725 additional students. At the end of this past academic year, the total growth population went from 2,357 to 3,084 students. In 2006, the Seminary curriculum underwent major advances. Ryan Hutchinson, executive vice president for operations at SEBTS, said, “The curriculum changes allow for greater flexibility for the students through electives and degree offerings. The new degree offerings allow students to work on degrees that help equip them to fulfill the Great Commission.” An online program has been implemented as well as the modified residency Ph.D. programs and the Doctor of Education. SEBTS is also bringing theological education to locations outside of the United States through the establishment of the Global Theological Initiative. The addition of the Equip Program allows students to earn credits at local churches in the United States and continue in current ministry roles without relocating to Wake Forest, N.C. The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture was established as well as the Spurgeon Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching. Another foundational development was rewriting the Southeastern mission statement to lay the groundwork for the Great Commission seminary and its values. A particular emphasis has been placed on every class-

room being a Great Commission classroom. Of the 65 elected and appointed faculty at Southeastern, 57 percent were hired under Akin’s leadership. These top theologians and professors contribute on campus and beyond by teaching, mentoring and publishing work. The Kingdom Diversity initiative at SEBTS was launched in 2013 and aims “to make God’s Kingdom vision of people from every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping Christ together a reality on our campus and in our churches.” Spence Spencer, coordinator of institutional research and faculty support said, “Dr. Akin is approachable and works to engage different demographics than other seminaries. … SEBTS is effectively reaching people that might not go to seminary otherwise.” “The Great Commission emphasis of Dr. Akin is responsible for the increase in students and a higher energy level,” Spencer emphasized. He noted while most seminary populations are increasing in average age, the SEBTS average is in the mid to low 30s. The younger population at SEBTS gives young, well-equipped missionaries more years on the field. Southeastern is constantly striving to align the student body and academics to help fulfill the Great Commission.

In the past 10 years, the student body has grown 31 percent, and the Seminary has over 725 additional students.


Financial Development Over the last decade, God has been at work through President Akin in incredible ways. His heart for the mission of God has inspired pastors, missionaries and an entire convention of churches to evaluate all that they say, do, give and spend through the lens of God’s pursuit of the nations who will forever worship King Jesus.

Student Growth



increase in student population



Southeastern Fund


increase in annual giving



$219 per student



$310 per student




increase in endowed funds

2003 $17.5 million 2013 $27.3 Million


Richard and Gina Headrick Chair of World Missions Johnny Hunt Chair of Biblical Preaching Dr. M.O. Owens, Jr. Chair of New Testament Studies Ed Young Chair of Preaching endowed John Leadley Dagg Chair of Systematic Theology chairs W.A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching


Major Gifts

from 2003 to 2013

% Growth

Cooperative Program Receipts Southeastern Fund Gifts Endowment Value







83% 25,000+










Akin’s Great Commission leadership has produced a distinctively Great Commission seminary wherein the serious questions of the faith are never divorced from Christ’s pursuit of His bride. Students are challenged to not merely “consider missions” but to understand and live the reality that true Christians are truly missionaries. Akin’s convictional leadership is frequently cited as a leading factor in Southeastern’s overall student growth and in the increase of students serving overseas as part of the 2+2/3 missions training program. When a prospective student visits campus, Southeastern becomes the seminary of choice approximately 70 percent of the time. Akin’s leadership in creating a campus that majors on the mission of God has produced a climate and culture that captures the hearts of men and women who seek first the Kingdom of God. While God has clearly been at work to grow the student body and deepen students’ passion for reaching those with little to no access to the gospel, Akin’s contributions are not limited to student growth. Akin’s vision is likewise resonating with men and women who understand that no sustainable pursuit of God’s mission exists apart from strong support for a quality, Christ-exalting preparation of those who are sent. Southeastern has soared to new heights even while navigating the worst national economy in her history along with declining purchasing power of the Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program provides funding to support missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention. Our Great Commission God is

honoring our seminary’s Great Commission president by leading others to partner in producing well-prepared Great Commission graduates. The decade of growth in private giving under Akin’s leadership is evidenced by the installation of six new endowed chairs, the construction of Patterson Hall, numerous upgrades and renovations including the transformation of Binkley’s classrooms, $6 million in new gifts for the endowment, a rise in the number of major grants, an 83 percent increase in gifts to the Southeastern Fund, and a 69 percent increase in supporters of Southeastern. In the past 10 years, the Seminary budget has grown from $17.9 million to $24.1 million, an almost 35 percent increase. History will remember Akin’s first decade as president for its “rise in private support” which not only protected the institution from severe economic hardship but also provided a new baseline of funding to propel her forward for the glory of God. We praise God for President Akin’s leadership and for those who so deeply share his passion for the progression of the gospel to the ends of the earth. The financial generosity over the last decade is pivotal in Southeastern’s history and will continue to bear eternal fruit. Southeastern’s accomplishments under Akin’s leadership are significant and noteworthy. Greater successes are on the horizon as relationships continue to grow with the IMB, NAMB and the local church. SEBTS will continue to be relentless in equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission to bring glory and honor to King Jesus.

SEBTS will continue to be relentless in equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission to bring glory and honor to King Jesus.


Formed a godly executive cabinet with men that are kingdom minded, strong leaders and love the Lord, their families and SEBTS Helped in leading the Great Commission Resurgence that defined and renewed the strengths of the SBC

Focuses on helping people see their need for Jesus

Desires for all people to know King Jesus and is driven by his love for Him

Leads the seminary to be more Great Commission minded to reach the nations and its neighbors

Encourages diversity on campus and is respected as a wise leader

Uses his gifts of communicating and teaching to serve the SEBTS family and churches worldwide

Walks with the Lord in humility




The Gift of Mrs. Akin

by Kim Humphrey

Mrs. Akin brings a sense of hospitality and ity is evident to all as she gives from her heart. grace to Southeastern by welcoming all on cam- Whether it is a Sonic Happy Hour drink, a beautipus, around town or in her home. In January ful scarf or a piece of jewelry from a far away 2005, I moved to Southeastern to join my hus- place, Mrs. Akin gives gifts to anyone from a stuband Jay and I began taking classes in what was dent in her class to a lady at the dentist office. known at that time as the SEBTS Women’s CerOne of the most wonderful gifts Mrs. Akin has tificate Program. We studied topics such as theol- given to me is that of an example of a godly mothogy, spiritual disciplines and biblical foundations er-in-law. I have watched her welcome her sons’ for marriage and family. I was struck by how wives into her life and share holidays graciously genuine and warm Mrs. Akin was in a course I by realizing that the holiday can be celebrated was enrolled in taught by Dr. and Mrs. Akin. anytime the family is together, even if not on the For almost eight years, I have had the blessing specific date. We have had extensive talks on how of working in Dr. Akin’s office. One of the greatest to be a good mother-in-law by honoring one’s joys for me has been forming a friendship with daughter-in-law and not overstepping bounds as Mrs. Akin. She has never made me or others feel “mama.” as if we are just “employees.” Mrs. Akin loves JeMrs. Akin is a gracious president’s wife and her sus and is not ashamed to share her faith. It is desire is to be known and seen as a child of the evident that she loves Dr. Akin, her four children King, a wife to Danny, mom to her sons and wives, and her 10 grandchildren as she joyfully talks Lottie to her grandchildren and friend to many. I about their lives with others. Mrs. Akin’s generos- am blessed to call her my friend.







Energy-saving projects - saved 3.2 million gallons of water per year - saved $170,000 per year in utility costs

john and kay Prince facilities management building

patterson hall - 6 classrooms - 4 seminar rooms - academic program offices - the l. russ bush center for faith and culture - 25 faculty offices

broyhill hall renovations - hall of presidents - media services - campus security








steam system upgrades

binkley chapel steeple renovation

binkley chapel renovation - 2 lecture halls - 3 classrooms - common areas - window replacements - media upgrades

renovations - the manor house for perspective students - the hunt house for chapel speakers and special guests


proposed master plan developed in 2011

Existing buildings 1. binkley chapel 2. adams hall 3. broyhill hall 4. denny library 5. stealey hall 6. appleby hall 7. stephens-mackie hall 8. jaccumin-simpson missions center 9. simmons hall 10. goldston dorm


proposed projects 11. bostwick dorm 12. lolley dorm 13. prince facilities management building 14. physical plant building 15. ledford student center 16. patterson hall 17. magnolia hill 18. the manor house 19. shaw house

4. renovate denny library 5. renovate stealey hall 6. renovate appleby hall 9. renovate simmons hall 12. renovate and repurpose lolley Hall 15. renovate ledford student center 20. expand denny library 21. construct welcome center 22. construct campus center 23. construct classroom & office building 24. construct classroom & office building

the blessing of godly mentors Mrs. Akin shares about those who have led and encouraged her husband.

charlie galloway


anny loves to refer to his mentors as heroes of the faith. His earliest hero was his granddaddy, Charlie Galloway. He was a simple but very godly man that made a major impression upon Danny. He has always thought of him as the godliest man he has ever known. Danny’s daddy was a hard-working man. He provided well for his family. He had a great sense of humor. He was a very faithful churchman and loved God’s people. Unless he was sick, he never missed church, usually arriving an hour early. Danny loved him very much. Jack Fordham influenced Danny as a teenager. When Danny rededicated his life to the Lord, Mr. Fordham taught us both the Roman Road and was a great mentor to lead Danny to refocus his life on Jesus. Danny has always referred to Dr. Paige Patterson as his “father in the ministry.” He preached at Danny’s ordination and made a true impact on him. Another one of Danny’s heroes of the faith is Dr.

dr. adrian rogers

Adrian Rogers. Dr. Rogers set the bar high, and Danny was able to watch him and see how anything he did brought glory to our Savior. I remember how hard it was when Dr. Rogers died. Danny mourned for him for a long time, and still misses him greatly to this day. Danny thinks of Tom Elliff as one of his heroes of the faith. They were on a committee together early on in Danny’s ministry and they connected well. Danny loves Dr. Elliff’s godly heart and he learns from his gentle leading. Danny is refreshed and encouraged every time Dr. Elliff speaks into his life. He also sees Dr. Jimmy Draper as a hero of the faith. Danny looks up to him because of his Christ-like heart. Dr. Draper often sends Danny encouraging and uplifting notes and those are treasures and gifts that the Lord uses to refresh him. Two of Danny’s peers are like brothers to him. Dr. Al Mohler and Dr. James Merritt love and encourage him.



he College at Southeastern has grown and thrived under President Daniel Akin’s visionary leadership to better equip students to fulfill the Great Commission. Student enrollment at the college has increased from 206 students during the 2003-2004 academic year to 760 students in 2013-2014. The college was founded in 1994 as Southeastern Baptist Theological College. In 2000, the Southeastern Board of Trustees elected to change the name to Southeastern College at Wake Forest, and eight years later it became the College at Southeastern. In February 2005, Southeastern hosted its first annual 20/20 Collegiate Conference, an event that annually draws over 1000 college students. In 2006, faculty and staff examined the degree programs in the college. The faculty drafted five Core Competencies for the college and seminary programs: spiritual formation, biblical exposition, theological integration, Christian leadership and ministry preparation. The curriculum changes are designed to develop these competencies in every Southeastern graduate. Bruce Ashford was installed as dean of the college in January 2009. He made several foundational changes during his first few months, which led to new programs in the college curriculum, including minors in leadership and student ministry. In January 2013, Jamie Dew succeeded Ashford as dean of the College at Southeastern. Under Dew, the college has continued working to give students greater flexibility in their academic pursuits. “We have a top shelf degree program that includes majors in pastoral ministry, English, philosophy, theology, and global studies,” Dew said. “The Global Studies program matches the quality of our seminary at an undergraduate level.” Specifically, the History of Ideas program gives students the opportunity to research and read classical works that have shaped the world from a Christian perspective. New majors have been added such as global studies, history/pre-law, biblical studies and worship ministry.


“In the past, the degree offerings were limited,” Dew said. “The new model retains the highest quality and theological depth that we have always offered, but now gives students greater curricular flexibility. This approach allows students to prepare to for a wider variety of ministry contexts.” The college also has opportunities specifically designed for students who are called to non-vocational ministry. An upcoming one-year program equips students to earn a 24-hour “tentmakers degree” for those who plan to go into non-vocational ministry. “It was Dr. Akin’s vision to move towards a broader curriculum,” Dew emphasized. “He encouraged the ability for dual enrollments and a one-year certificate program.” “We are always looking for ways that we can enable students to earn their undergraduate degree in a quicker, more efficient way,” Dew added. “In the future, we will continue to implement new programs and ideas.” For more details, please contact the office of Admissions at SEBTS by phone: 1-800-284-6317, email, or visit


n the past decade, the advanced degree programs at Southeastern have become more attractive due to flexible degree options while maintaining academic rigor. The total number of students in the D.Min., Ed.D., Th.M., and Ph.D. programs has more than tripled, increasing from 144 to 448 students. Bruce Ashford, provost of Southeastern, said, “Southeastern Seminary possesses a world-class faculty, a fact which is increasingly being recognized not only in the United States and among Baptists, but worldwide and among other denominations. This recognition is reflected in the rapid growth of our doctoral programs. Although the majority of our doctoral students are Southern Baptists who reside in the United States, an increasing number are international students and Americans who live abroad.” Southeastern continues to strive for academic excellence and increasing accessibility in advanced degree tracks.

Ph.D. Over the past 10 years, the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program at Southeastern has grown in scope and student enrollment. Ninety-one students were enrolled in the program in 2003-2004, while 146 students were enrolled in 2013-2014. The Ph.D. program trains pastor-theologians to teach and minister in North America and the majority world context. With its strong academic reputation, the Ph.D. program encourages engagement with the academy. The works of Southeastern students appear in some of the top publications in the world including works published by B&H, T & T Clark, Baker Academic and InterVarsity Press. Southeastern also has had a strong placement record in colleges and universities throughout North America in the past 10 years. Heath Thomas, the director of Ph.D. studies, said, “Dr. Akin has given us the freedom to allow the program to grow. He has established positive, influential relationships with other institutions to expand student placement and increased collegiality with like-minded

institutions around the world.” In Akin’s tenure as president, the Ph.D. program has expanded to include nine areas of study in both residential and modified residential format. In the fall of 2015, Southeastern will launch six new areas of study in its Ph.D. program including apologetics and culture, theology and worship, systematic theology, historical theology, philosophy of religion and Christian leadership. Chuck Lawless, dean of graduate students at SEBTS, said, “Not only will we offer the highest level of academic rigor, but we will offer these studies to students who remain in their place of ministry. That combination — deep study with practical relevance — is what seminary ought to be.” “Dr. Akin recognizes the value of finding effective modes of delivery to train people around the world for the sake of the Great Commission,” Lawless added. The one and two week intensive format provides an opportunity for students and professors to have lunches and dinners together daily and to remain in face-toface conversation with one another during that period. The program brings stories and experiences of relevant ministries around the world to campus. “We talk about what it is like to lead a church in the 21st century and lead a ministry in an increasingly difficult world,” Lawless said. “It is a cohort model of education as students get to know, pray, support and push each other toward their best work.” “These new areas of study add to an already exciting and growing program,” Thomas said. “We invite qualified students to make application so that together we can work to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and fulfill the Great Commission.”

Ed.D. The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a 60 credit hour, terminal research degree that focuses both on the theory and the praxis of education, leadership and administration. In the fall of 2006, the first cohort entered


the Ed.D. program. The spring of 2014 marks the 16th cohort in the program, bringing the total number of program participants over the eight years to 129. The modified residency format of the program is designed to be commuter-friendly. Students with various cultural and vocational backgrounds represent 15 states as well as areas of Latin America, Asia and Africa. The Ed.D. program has increased from 19 students in 2006-2007 to 73 students in 2013-2014. Ken Coley, director of Ed.D. studies, said, “Many of our students’ first introduction to our program and the overall emphasis of Christian education at Southeastern has come from students meeting President Akin long before they meet me. Dr. Akin is a very significant ambassador for our program.” Fif t y-three graduates from the program serve in ministerial, non-profit, K-12 education or higher education positions. Several SEBTS students are pursuing an Ed.D. degree in order to strengthen urban ministry, communication and discipleship. The core curriculum emphasizes cross-cultural teaching and leadership to prepare graduates to lead in educational settings around the world. Many are using the degree as a platform to enter closed countries. Also woven into the program are teaching, curriculum and planning skills devoted to online teaching. Graduates will likely enter higher education through the doorway of the virtual classroom.

and techniques for ministry to increase effectiveness and expand ministry opportunities. The D.Min. program has grown from 23 students in 2004 to 160 students in 2014. Akin’s leadership has led to significant strides in these areas with the aim of achieving more academic successes in the future. John Ewart, the former director of the D.Min. program, set the direction for an upgraded D.Min. by establishing a new framework for offerings and initiating new specializations. In 2011, Charles Harvey became the first full-time director of the D.Min. program. Harvey has built on the development work of Ewart by expanding the recruiting efforts and upgrading the existing program offerings to include specializations in expository preaching, disciple-making and church revitalization. Other improvements under Harvey include expanding the D.Min. faculty and establishing a reputation for a student-friendly environment. “Dr. Akin is a popular teacher in the Expository Preaching specialization and a great advocate in recruiting for the program,” Harvey said. “He is also an outstanding supporter for continued program development and a key initiator for the current D.Min. leadership.” “The programs have developed significantly in numbers and quality as Akin has been instrumental in securing the needed leadership, vision and resources for this development,” Harvey said. “Akin’s leadership, involvement and recruitment have paved the way for unprecedented growth in all four of the advanced degree programs during the last 10 years.” For more details, please contact the office of Admissions at SEBTS by phone: 1-800-284-6317, email, or visit

Akin’s leadership has led to significant strides in these areas with the aim of achieving more academic successes in the future.

D.Min. The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) is a 32-hour advanced degree program designed for those in active vocational ministry seeking further training. The Great Commission motif runs through each specialization as students acquire new ideas, tools, strategies

Ph.D. office: 919.761.2491 | Jake Pratt,, or Ed.D. office: 919.761.2490 | or

D.Min. office: 919.761.2216 | or

Th.M. Office: 919-761-2160 | or


Danny Akin | Thabiti Anyabwile | Alistair Begg | Mark Dever | Ligon Duncan | Jonathan Leeman


September 26-27, 2014



Shooting Arrows at the Kingdom of Darkness A Tribute to our Dad By the Akin boys: Nathan, Jon, Paul and Timothy


t Danny Akin’s inauguration dinner at Southeastern Seminary almost 10 years ago, Jonathan read from Psalm 127 in tribute to his dad. Danny Akin has lived out this Psalm in his life and ministry, viewing children as a blessing and seeing family as an assault on the gates of hell. His public ministry and personal parenting have not landed him in the middle of a “culture war;” they have landed him in the middle of the cosmic war between the kingdoms of darkness and light. Pastors often look to Psalm 127 to preach on the “blessing of children and family,” and they are right to do so – more right than they may even realize. For the Bible answers the ultimate question of history—How will God defeat his enemies, rescue his people, and establish his rule on earth as it is in heaven? – with “family” and “children” (Genesis 3:15; 2 Samuel 7:12). In this Psalm of Assent, Solomon points Israel to their return from captivity and the invasion of the Messianic Kingdom through the fruitfulness of a husband and wife that will ultimately bring about the Messianic line. It is not surprising that in addition to fruitfulness, this Psalm refers to family as the construction of a house, since the author was the initial fulfillment of God’s promise to David: “You will not build me a house; I will build you a house.” The Lord promised a dynasty to David that would usher in the Kingdom of God (2 Samuel 7). Psalms 127 and 128 are looking forward to the fulfillment of this Messianic promise when God’s kingdom is established in Jerusalem, all his enemies are under his feet and peace reigns in Israel. But this also is a warfare Psalm. Family and children

are not just for companionship, but cosmic warfare (Gen 3:15; 1 Tim 2:15). Children are not just blessings; they are weapons to unleash on our enemies and secure the kingdom. We see in Genesis 3:15 that God’s adversary will be crushed by the birth of a child. This is why history has been stained with the blood of children; through Pharaoh, Herod and modern day abortion clinics, the dragon has continually hurled his assaults at children (cf. Revelation 12). He rightly sees children as a threat against his kingdom, and even though the executed and resurrected Messiah has defeated him, he is fighting all the more against God’s institution of the family.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward (Psalm 127:3) Psalm 127 makes clear that children are an inheritance to be stewarded. The TV show “The Rifleman,” which aired from 1958-1963, shows a man living out God’s design of stewardship of his children. Chuck Connors starred as a widowed father who taught his young

Timothy, Jon, Nathan and paul with their dad in 2012


inauguration, october 2004

son to be an honorable man. The Akin boys (though we are grown men, we are still sometimes called “Akin boys,” but we are okay with that!) remember spending Sunday afternoons on the couch watching that show with our dad – Tim all decked out in his cowboy hat and boots holding a toy rifle – while the Rifleman and his son, Mark, defeated every foe that came their way. During the commercials, our dad would train us in what it means to be honorable men. Over the years the programs on the TV changed, but the couch was always there. We would sit there together and Dad would teach us. One day while watching Reggie White play football, we asked, “How can someone be a Christian and a football player?” He responded, “If Jesus played football He would be the hardest worker, the greatest teammate and the most-respectful player on the team. You must strive to live like Jesus in every area of your life.” Our father took what we all loved and used those things as opportunities to point us to Jesus. Danny Akin viewed his children as an inheritance from the Lord, and he took that stewardship seriously.


He taught us what it means to be men who love Jesus, our families, our churches and our neighbors across the street and around the world. Throughout our lives he has fulfilled Deuteronomy 6 by investing in his four sons within the rhythms of everyday life, sharing wisdom from the couch, in a car ride back from a basketball game and even today through a phone call. It is because he was a good steward with his inheritance that we get the opportunity with our own children, our own heritage given by the Lord.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth (Psalm 127:4) By God’s grace, Danny Akin views his children – and now grandchildren – as arrows to be shot into the world for the advancement of the Great Commission and the crippling of the kingdom of darkness. The goal was always for us to love God and make his name known in the world. Instead of pushing us to make money or to be successful in the eyes of the world, he simply encouraged us to consider how our lives might best be used to honor God and fulfill his global purpose.

2013 Christmas photo

He never forced or even expected any of us to commit to full-time vocational ministry. He simply said, “Guys, whatever you do in life, do it all for the glory of God.” Through our Dad’s influence, prayers and God’s grace, all four of his sons have chosen to be involved in fulltime, vocational ministry. We serve as shepherds over congregations, preach the Bible, train missionaries and strive to advance the gospel through our spheres of influence. Without question, all four of us continue to look at our Dad as the greatest influence in our lives outside of Christ. Our Dad is also praying and hoping to influence the world for Christ through the future ministry of his grandchildren. A few years ago, he began setting aside money from each paycheck for a “grandchildren missions fund.” This fund was setup so that each of his grandchildren, after turning 18, would be able to spend an extended period of time serving the Lord around the world. This money is not for a tourism trip or a study abroad trip; this money is set aside specifically for participation in evangelism, church planting and global mission. Therefore, like the psalmist, Danny Akin sees

his children and grandchildren as blessings from God and as arrows to be shot into the world to pierce the serpent’s head and extend the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth.

He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:5) Psalm 127 ends with children going to the gate with their dad when he faces his enemies. These are sons who are unashamed to stand with their father. We are often asked, “What’s it like being the son of a seminary president” or “what’s it like being an ‘Akin?’” It’s not difficult to answer that question, not because our dad is someone important, but because we love being Akins! We are not ashamed to bear our father’s name because he is a man of integrity, and that was true long before he became a seminary president. Ever since we can remember, we wanted to be just like him: to shave like him, mow the grass like him, even dress like him— crocks and all! As we have grown older the things we wanted to imitate from him have changed, but what has not changed is that we want to be like our dad.


Danny Akin is known as a family man. People often seek him out to ask, “How did you do it? How did you raise your family the way you did?” Psalm 127 makes clear that God’s grace builds families – our efforts are vain without the Lord’s intervention. That’s true at the Messianic level, but that is also true with individual families that are to be microcosms of God’s family. Yes, we strive in this task, but it is a grace-saturated striving because the Lord is the one who is working in us (Hebrews 13:21). This means that only in believing the gospel of a Messiah who lays down his life to bring his sons to glory can we become parents who lay down our lives for our children and get them to glory. Because this gospel of grace has been poured out on our father, Danny Akin, he will stand at Judgment Day and proclaim with his Savior, “Here I am with the children God gave me” (Hebrews 2:13).


We have a close relationship to this day with our father. When we need advice as pastors, fathers and friends, he is one of the first people we call. He is our hero, and this is not said with hyperbole. We mean it, so we are not ashamed to stand with our hero at the gates against the enemy! We still want to be like our father. We want to be the kind of man he is – a man that has continually pointed us to a greater Man than he and a greater Name than Akin. That is a man worth standing with and emulating. It’s a joy to be an Akin, but more than that it’s a joy to be a son of our father’s hero, King Jesus! By God’s grace may we continue this heritage by waging this cosmic war and bringing our children safely to glory realizing that “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (Romans 16:20)

book reviews President Daniel Akin has made a significant impact on others as the author or editor of 17 works. Preaching, missions, biblical studies and theology are the main focus of his writings. Reviews of three of Akin’s books are highlighted in the pages to follow. Each review is written by an individual that has been personally influenced by Akin throughout the years.


Ten Who Changed the World Daniel L. Akin | Reviewed by Brian Daniels Dr. Akin’s recent volume “Ten Who Changed the World” is much more than just a printed collection of sermons by a gifted preacher and teacher of the Word. It is a manifesto of sorts, a statement of the vision that Dr. Akin has sought to place at the center of Southeastern’s work and a written embodiment of his heart for the salvation of the nations. I can remember what he said when I was part of the seminary’s team of student ambassadors: as promoters of the school, our message was simple—Southeastern is, first and foremost, a Great Commission seminary. This book captures that idea in its focus on biblical exposition and missionary biographies. As a strong supporter of expositional preaching, Dr. Akin builds each chapter around a central Scripture text that he uses to drive the discussion of a significant figure in the history of Christian missions. The book strives to showcase biblical truth as well as the grace of God manifested in the lives of his servants. The stories of these missionaries are a testimony to God’s grand plan of worldwide deliverance from sin as well as a means of promoting the cause of missions within the church. As he says, “There are no Lone Rangers in this race. . . . [In Hebrews 11] we find men and women who have already run the race and crossed the finished line. Their lives are recorded to help us so that we ‘won’t grow weary and lose heart (12:3 HCSB). God gives us heroes of the faith to encourage and inspire us as we run. This is one of the reasons I so love missionary biographies. They always encourage me” (125). The first chapter explores the life and ministry of William Carey—who in Akin’s words “rightly deserves the honor of being known as ‘the father of the modern missions movement’” (1)—alongside what is without a doubt the foundational biblical missions statement, the Great Commission of Matthew 28. Also present in this work are notable missionary heroes Adoniram and Ann Judson (discussed with Romans 8:28–39), Bill Wallace (Philippians 1:21), Lottie Moon (Romans 12:1), Jim Elliot (Psalm 96), George Leile (Galatians 6:11–18), David Brainerd (2 Timothy 1:8–12), Eric Liddell (Hebrews 12:1–3), John and Betty Stam (Psalm 67), and James Fraser (Revelation 5:8–10). “Ten Who Changed the World” has both encouraged and convicted me, and I hope it has the same effect on others. Dr. Akin’s passion for the proclamation of the gospel to all people is evident to anyone who has spent much time under his teaching, and this volume spreads that vision. I pray the Spirit uses it in all our lives as he sanctifies us and molds us to do his will. May we all be as Jesus-saturated, Jesus-loving and Jesus-proclaiming as the godly individuals in these pages.

Have a global impact through your institution 32

God on Sex: The Creator’s Ideas about Love, Intimacy, and Marriage Daniel L. Akin | Reviewed by Shane Shaddix While it seems that a new marriage book is published every week, few will be as biblically saturated and practically helpful as Dr. Danny Akin’s “God on Sex.” Most marriage books for Christians are plagued by a certain pragmatism that scarcely rises above the level of pop psychology, while other, more helpful works approach marriage from the theological and systematic perspective, seeking to explain the purpose and meaning of this divine institution. In contrast, Akin has provided in “God on Sex” a densely packed volume that relies predominantly on biblical exposition. Akin certainly does not ignore practical tips and theological synthesis, but rather allows these to rise out of the text of the Song of Songs as he walks through it with verse-by-verse exposition. Simply put, Akin seeks to let the Creator speak for Himself in order to reveal what He intended when He designed love, sex and marriage. This results in a frank and lofty discussion that is always edifying and often a little awkward. Readers beware: “God on Sex” is not for the faint of heart. Akin establishes confidence in this expository approach from the very beginning, asserting that “sex was God’s idea” (1). It follows, then, that the “manual” He has provided in the Song of Songs is the best and most solid foundation for knowing how we as His creatures ought to rightly engage in intimacy within the context of marriage. Indeed, the Scriptures provide the solid backbone of “God on Sex,” as each chapter predominantly walks through a portion of the Song of Songs. Akin illustrates the given passage with stories, cultural statistics and his own personal experience. Additionally, the chapters are loaded with practical insights that flow from the text. This often looks like lists and quizzes designed to help married and engaged couples talk through how they will obey and embody the Lord’s design for marriage. And, because sexuality, gender, marriage and family are all at the forefront of many of today’s cultural battles, Akin graciously and forthrightly engages in a good bit of cultural analysis as well. Akin speaks prophetically in arguing for the goodness of God’s distinction in gender (chapter 4) and the beauty of marriage over the deceptive substitutes of cohabitation and the hook-up culture (chapter 6). Advice for raising kids in the context of a healthy marriage even shows up from time to time! In all, “God on Sex” is a thoroughly biblical and unapologetically frank discussion of one of God’s greatest creations. Akin himself explains, “This side of heaven, outside of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I believe the best thing going is marriage and family. When we do marriage and family God’s way, it is great. It is awesome. It is wonderful. The Song teaches us to do it God’s way, and it leaves nothing out” (3). Here and throughout the book, the reader is struck by the passion Akin has for gospel-saturated, biblically faithful marriages. And, as I have had the privilege of knowing the Akin family over the past few years, nothing is more clear than his desire to faithfully embody the type of man he commends and the type of family he describes. This example of godliness, more so than any book possibly could, attests to his own submission to the Father’s intention for the gospel-displaying, grace-conveying, culture-shaping power of love, which ultimately points us to Christ Himself. Anyone who would likewise seek to surrender to the lordship of Christ in his or her marriage and family would be well served to pick up a copy of this book.

for $4 a month. @SEBTSAlumni


Engaging Exposition Daniel L. Akin | Reviewed by Jedidiah Coppenger Like a hunger relief organization, Daniel Akin, Bill Curtis and Stephen Rummage partner together to address what they perceive to be a great famine of the word of God that exists in churches today. With over half a century worth of collective, preaching experience, the authors’ are well qualified to help equip preachers to better feed a starving church. At its heart, “Engaging Exposition” calls for expositional preaching that is “Christ centered, text driven, Spirit led preaching that transforms lives” (2). To this end, the book is divided into three parts: Discover, Develop and Deliver. Curtis writes Part 1, Akin writes Part 2, and Rummage writes Part 3. In the “Discover” section, Curtis details hermeneutical practices every preacher needs to employ. He touches on issues related to providing historical and genre-specific treatments, Christological interpretations, and more, as he helps his readers identify the main idea of the text, or MIT (38). In Part 2, Akin focuses on how to develop an expositional sermon, providing a “bridge” from one’s discovery to one’s delivery. He helps readers identify the MIM—the main idea of the message (132). Akin’s method of development is structured in a way that gives priority to the inspired text, from structuring the message to developing illustration and application and finally addressing the introduction and conclusion, with a special focus to giving an invitation. This section ends with helpful chapters about “Preaching on Special Occasions” and “20 Common Questions and Answers in Developing Biblical Messages.” Finally, in Part 3, Rummage coaches readers on how to deliver a sermon. Far from being a mere add-on, he contends that “no matter how careful you were in your exegesis and interpretation and no matter how skillfully you put together your message, your sermon will be evaluated on the basis of how you deliver it” (249). Rummage examines how speech is produced, how preachers can use their best voice and what kind of gestures preachers should use. He also trains readers to make a delivery that makes a lasting impact. “Engaging Exposition” is worthy of a unique level of attention. To begin with, the book speaks to an unusually wide range of preaching issues. While many books on the subject of preaching zero in on a few key areas, this book is able to make compelling cases for everything from the need to offer soul-winning invitations at the conclusion of a sermon to interpreting the Bible Christologically. The variety of topics addressed in this brief book serve a greater number of the tribes of pastors that exist in evangelicalism. Readers of “Engaging Exposition” enjoy the authors’ abilities to be both unshakable and flexible on the many issues that preachers face. On the one hand, their commitment to expository preaching and the need for the preacher’s life to be marked by private and public holiness is unshakable. On the other hand, their view on the role of technology and the type of delivery system the preacher uses is flexible. Their ability to discern the difference between mountains and molehills strengthens the message of the book. Further, the book handles its subject in both an accessible and comprehensive manner. The writing and formatting makes this book perfect for an introductory level class on preaching or someone interested in learning about preaching. Yet, it also handles each topic comprehensively enough to challenge even the most experienced preacher or preaching professor. In each part of the book, the authors include influential writers’ works in each of the respective areas to join the book’s discussion meaningfully and skillfully. When one reads this book, one reads 15 books. Whether one is a seasoned or novice preacher, “Engaging Exposition” is worthy of every preacher’s attention.


Follow us. /sebts /sebts



Discover us. | | | |

kingdom leaders reflect on southeastern’s great commission president



Walter R. Strickland II serves as Instructor of Theology and Special Advisor to the President for Diversity at Southeastern.

kingdom diversit y at southeastern I

n a panel discussion in the fall of 2013, Dr. Akin was asked, “Southeastern is on the path toward a sixth year of record-breaking attendance in a row, the seminary is arguably as healthy as it has ever been, why ‘rock the boat’ with a diversity initiative?” His immediate answer was, “Because it could be better!” Dr. Akin’s simple response was not empty optimism; his answer was deeply theological. In the course of a decade, Dr. Akin’s unwavering passion and leadership has transformed Southeastern into a Great Commission college and seminary. We read of this Commission’s fulfillment in Revelation 5 and 7 when the nations are united in the worship of our Lord. At present, the people of God, gathered as the Church, are appointed to serve as a ‘preview’ of that coming reality. This conviction has led Dr. Akin to state publically that “Southeastern Seminary is too white and too male,” not that either characteristic is shameful, but homogeneity paints an incomplete picture of those Christ came to seek and to save. American history has erected dividing lines across the national landscape that Christian schools and churches too often reflect. To combat this problem, Paul’s admonition in Philippians 2:3-4 exclaims: Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

The American status quo favors the desires of the powerful over the weak. In contrast, Dr. Akin has truly embodied the humility of Christ by looking out for the interests of those that society has historically overlooked. The testimonies of fellow believers awoke Dr. Akin to the reality that not only people, but institutions carry the residue of prejudice, and Southeastern is no exception. Dr. Akin began to rid Southeastern of institutional bias with more intensity by hiring a special advisor for diversity and a director of Hispanic leadership development and by launching the ‘Kingdom Diversity’ initiative in fall 2013. The following benchmarks of the initiative were established because they are indicative of a campus that seeks to equip God’s people to fulfill the Great Commission and cleanse our culture of racial discord: 1. Southeastern will strive to foster a campus environment that encourages God-honoring interaction across racial and cultural lines. 2. Not only is Southeastern seeking to be comprised of a 20 percent non-white faculty, staff, and student body by 2022, it is also working to be 35 percent female institution-wide. 3. Southeastern desires to develop the faculty and the curriculum to equip students to serve in every ministry context. 4. Southeastern will build and strengthen partnerships with diverse churches, church networks and educational institutions.



Bruce Ashford is the Provost at Southeastern. He is also an Associate Professor of Theology and Culture as well as a Fellow for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture.


’ll never forget the first time I met Danny Akin. When

in achieving that vision. Through his preaching, teach-

I was introduced to him, he was standing in the foyer

ing and personal influence, he has helped move South-

of a hotel one year during a meeting of the Evangelical

eastern Seminary and the churches of the Southern

Theological Society. At that time, he was Dean of the

Baptist Convention toward a Great Commission Resur-

Faculty at Southern Seminary and I was a newly-hired

gence. Over the course of a decade, I have seen him

faculty member at Southeastern. It had been rumored

press forward with this deeply biblical vision even

that he was a leading candidate to be the next president

when he met resistance or otherwise encountered dif-

of Southeastern, so I was pleasantly surprised at how


friendly and accessible he was. I found myself grateful

Third, Dr. Akin is genuinely friendly. He easily en-

that he took the time to talk with me and even share a

gages in conversation with a broad variety of people—

few laughs.

regardless of age, race or socio-economic class—and

The positive impression, which I took away from my

those types of conversations reveal how down-to-earth

first encounter with Dr. Akin, has only increased with

he is. Some of my best memories of him involve ordi-

time, as I have now known him as my president for a

nary things, such as shooting hoops together, talking

full decade. Of the many positive aspects of his life and

about college football or having conversations about

leadership, I now wish to mention five. First, he has led

family life and ministry.

our seminary by instilling in us a grand and powerful

Fourth, his greatness as a leader involves a paradox-

vision: Southeastern Seminary is a Great Commission

ical blend of professional resolve and personal humil-

Seminary. Every professor, every staff member and ev-

ity. During cabinet meetings, he gives cabinet members

ery student knows that Southeastern Seminary exists

the freedom to debate a point or to give honest feedback

to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.

of any type and even to do so repeatedly. He consis-

Second, he has demonstrated an unwavering resolve


tently comes across as being more concerned with solv-

ing problems and making good decisions than with proving that he is right. Further, he is willing to admit when he is wrong. In my experience, this trait is exceedingly rare, even—and especially—in religious circles. Fifth, he leads his family well. As Paul reminds us, a church leader must first lead his own household, loving his wife and raising his children in the way of the Lord (1 Tim 3:4-5; Titus 1:6). This admonition applies also to seminary leadership, and no one at Southeastern doubts that Dr. Akin has led his family well. In this way, he has served as a very tangible model for our faculty, staff and students as they approach their ministry callings. As I look back over the past decade, I find myself being profoundly grateful for Dr. Akin’s leadership and friendship. His godly leadership has borne fruit in many ways, including the ways mentioned in this article. I think I can speak for the seminary community as a whole in saying that we look forward to following his leadership over the next 10 years, just as we have for the past 10 years.


Ryan Hutchinson is the Executive Vice President for Operations at Southeastern.


n Jan. 14, 2004, I sat in a booth in the corner of Applebee’s in Wake Forest with Danny and Charlotte Akin. This was a significant day because it was the day before the election of Dr. Akin by the Board of Trustees as Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s (SEBTS) sixth President. Whenever a new faculty or staff member starts at SEBTS, there are many pieces that must fit together to make the start smooth. However, when it is a new president starting, the number of pieces that must come together are exponentially more complicated. The main purpose of the lunch on Jan. 14th was to ask a lot of questions of the Akins to make sure all of the pieces that must come together were identified. While I had a lot of questions, there was one that I really couldn’t ask without things becoming awkward. The question that was most pressing for me was what about my job? When a new leader transitions into an organization, many times that leader has his own people with whom he is most comfortable working. However, what came early in the lunch, without me having to ask, were words from Dr. Akin that I have treasured since, “I want you to stay here at SEBTS.” I serve at the pleasure of the president, but it has been my pleasure to serve Dr. Akin for all of his 10 years as president of SEBTS. I like to study people, and over these past 10 years I have enjoyed studying Dr. Akin and learning from him. While I could write much more than space allows, following are five things I have learned from Dr. Akin on leading an organization well. 1. The leader of an organization can make the work-


place enjoyable. We have recently settled on three core values that describe the kind of employees we desire to serve alongside at Southeastern. The leadership at SEBTS believes these values are not what we hope will exist, but what do exist at SEBTS. The three core values are light-hearted, others-focused and missions-oriented. Why do these three core values exist among the faculty and staff at SEBTS? The simple answer is because Dr. Akin embodies them. Over these last 10 years, Dr. Akin has set the tone that has systematically affected those who work for SEBTS. 2. The leader of an organization is able to set the tone by being accessible. The core values that are represented among our faculty and staff were able to spread across the institution from the top because of Dr. Akin’s accessibility. It is by Dr. Akin’s availability that the faculty and staff can get to know their president and then imitate his demeanor in their areas. 3. The leader of an organization encourages his people to push forward. I am frequently asked about Dr. Akin’s leadership style in the arena of the development of new ideas. The question is whether or not Dr. Akin is a leader that throws out new ideas and expects everyone to jump on board or if he is a leader that encourages new ideas be brought to the table by those working for him. The answer is not “either or,” it’s “both and.” However, Dr. Akin leans towards the latter, which puts more responsibility

on a staff member but allows them the joy of exploring new ideas. 4. A leader is not averse to valid criticism. When someone begins to lay valid criticism in my direction, my initial flesh response is to defend my decision and actions. What I have learned from Dr. Akin’s leadership over the past 10 years is to welcome valid criticism, admit something should have happened differently and fix it. I have seen leaders handle criticism in decent fashion before, but Dr. Akin’s leadership has impressed upon me, in a particularly exemplary manner, how to receive and respond to criticism in a godly way. 5. A leader must show boldness in decisions. If a leader really wants buy-in concerning directionchanging decisions for an institution, he must show boldness. Bigger decisions often result in bigger criticisms. The leader must have a willingness to display boldness against unwarranted criticism. Dr. Akin has made some important decisions for our institution that define the kinds of relationships and goals he would like to see fulfilled at SEBTS. Many times these decisions have come with significant undeserved criticism. Dr. Akin has shown boldness because his desire is to please King Jesus rather than man. I pray that God might give me many more years to study and learn from Dr. Akin’s leadership. I am thankful for these leadership lessons I have seen displayed in his life. May God continue to bless Dr. Akin’s ministry for the glory of King Jesus.


Johnny Hunt is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, GA.




t has always been my passion to make a difference for Jesus Christ in this life. In addition, I desire to partner with others who desire to use their leadership platform to make a difference for Christ. That being said, what an incredible partnership and joy have I known in my relationship through the years with Dr. Danny Akin. He is an influential leader, and I have always believed that you cannot lead those you cannot influence. Dr. Akin has indeed influenced others, in particular our great Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). In order for a person to do this, he must lead with character and integrity. Proverbs 20:7 states that “the righteous man walks in his integrity and his children are blessed after him.” I am grateful to God for Dr. Akin’s influence through character and integrity in my life, in the lives of those at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) and the life of our SBC. The account you are reading today was made possible because of major decisions that were embraced by our denomination three and a half years ago. We began by simply realizing that what we desired to see happen could not happen without shocking the system. That being said, there was rhetoric used that probably offended some. The truth is it did offend some, but that was not the basis of the shock. We desired to take a deep look at what we as Southern Baptists were committed to. Dr. Akin led that charge in a message he preached in chapel at Southeastern. While I was president of the SBC that message resonated in my heart. As a result, state conventions today are committing more percentage of their dollars outside the state than ever before. Our North American Mission Board has put church

planting on the forefront like never before. Our International Mission Board is receiving the largest percentage of funds going to foreign missions from our cooperative program than we have ever known. I have never heard such talk of embracing the unengaged, unreached people groups of our world. Dr. Akin’s challenge has boldly imprinted this on our hearts and minds. Now, boldly on the radar of our denomination is the fact that we must carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Many are considering their part in the mission of God, particularly that the nations may hear and know. I believe the reason Dr. Akin’s influence has been so powerful is that his exhortation was preceded by his emulation. He realizes that you cannot transport that which you do not possess, and Dr. Akin possesses a passion for what he has presented. You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are. Dr. Akin’s commitment to the mission is clear for all of us to see. The commitment of Dr. Akin’s own children to the mission is clear. SEBTS’ commitment to the mission under Dr. Akin’s leadership as president is obvious as well. Those who are, or have been, influenced through the life, ministry and mission of Dr. Akin can clearly see his life imprinted on their own. I am one of the thousands that have been blessed, encouraged, influenced and led by Dr. Akin. Dr. Akin you are loved, my friend, by the Hunt clan. We love you, Charlotte, your four boys and their families. Thank you for your contribution to the Great Commission Resurgence. Things are more different now than I have ever known in my years as a Southern Baptist. We owe much of that redirection to you.



Chuck Lawless is the Dean of Graduate Studies & Professor of Evangelism & Missions at Southeastern.

DANNY AKIN: A GREAT COMMISSION LEADER t has been said that the “shadow of a leader falls long” on an organization. In few educational institutions is that more apparent than at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, under the leadership of President Danny Akin for the past 10 years. Southeastern’s mission is “to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission,” and our commitment is for “every classroom to be a Great Commission classroom.” Dr. Akin lives that mission in his personal life, in his family, and in the institution he leads. The Great Commission is, it might be said, in his DNA. Indeed, Dr. Akin has traveled in more than 15 countries while serving as president. He typically travels at least once a year to teach classes, work alongside missionaries and encourage students, missionaries and nationals. Many of us have been blessed to hear him tell the stories of missionary sacrifice, whether through sermon illustration or personal testimony. Seldom does he speak without pointing to the needs of the 1.7 billion people who still have little or no access to the gospel. Speaking at the 2013 Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Akin verbalized his personal burden to reach the nations. There, he challenged Southern Baptists to ask these questions, among several others: - Do I model Great Commission Christianity before my children and grandchildren? - Do I pray that God would call my children and grandchildren to be international missionaries? Dr. Akin offered those questions not only as a seminary president and gospel preacher, but also as a parent whose own children and grandchildren have lived on the mission field. Two of his four sons and their


families have served as international missionaries, and the other two have traveled extensively to support missionary work. The Akin offspring are Great Commission leaders because they were raised in a Great Commission home. Dr. Akin’s influence is also obvious at Southeastern. Building on the missions foundation that previous president Paige Patterson established, Dr. Akin has led us to strengthen that commitment. The Lewis Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies coordinates several North American and international trips each year. The Great Commission Equipping Network works to prepare students for practical ministry through partnerships with local churches and pastors. The Global Theological Initiative is designed to employ the resources of Southeastern to benefit theological education through strategic partnerships around the world. Most recently, our Kingdom Diversity initiative is striving to make a reality on our campus and in our churches God’s Kingdom vision of people from every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping Christ together. Moreover, the faculty Dr. Akin has assembled reflects a commitment to the nations. In fact, we have professors in the areas of Old Testament, New Testament, theology, ethics and missions who have served as full-time missionaries or were born on the mission field. Many others have led short-term trips. Some, including professors in our philosophy, counseling, and church history areas have returned often to the same location because God has burdened them for a particular country or people group. Through a Great Commission faculty, Southeastern Seminary is influencing the world for God’s glory – precisely what Dr. Akin would want his faculty to do.


Doctor of Philosophy

Systematic Theology | Historical Theology | Theology and Worship Philosophy of Religion | Apologetics and Culture | Christian Leadership


A Look Back at our President


Photos of Dr. Akin and family throughout the years.


inauguration in october 2004 with parents, emma and lowell akin, and sister, joy king



dr. akin receiving the ed young chair of preaching in october 2013



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Meet us in Baltimore! SEBTS Alumni & Friends Luncheon at the Southern Baptist Convention Wednesday, June 11, 2014 12:00 - 2:00pm | Oriole Park at Camden Yards | Suite B $20 per person, $10 for kids 12 and under, $60 max for families of 4 or more Go to to register. Email or call 919-761-2177 with any questions.


The Great Commission Magazine of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary: Spring 2014  

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the G...

The Great Commission Magazine of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary: Spring 2014  

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the G...