On August 20, 2013 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary took a monumental step toward fulfilling our mission of “Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission” with the official kick-off of our Kingdom Diversity initiative.
Here is a recap of our three-part Kingdom Celebration:
First, Southern Baptist Convention president Fred Luter addressed the seminary in chapel for Convocation (the first chapel of the semester). Click here to see pictures.
Second, immediately following chapel a luncheon was held with 85 local pastors and community leaders. The luncheon highlighted a panel discussion entitled The State of Diversifying the SBC and Southeastern Seminary that featured President Luter, and Southeastern president Danny Akin.
Lastly, that evening several hundred people from the Southeastern family, and local church members gathered to celebrate the unity in the midst of diversity that is made possible through the cross of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit with a night of worship and discussion.
This event also featured a panel that was geared toward making Kingdom Diversity a reality in the local church.
This panel featured:
- Dr. Norman Peart, founding and teaching pastor of Grace Bible Fellowship in Cary, NC, and author of Separate No More.
- Rev. James White, Senior Pastor of Christ our King Community Church in Raleigh, NC. He also serves as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at the Triangle YMCA.
- Dr. Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Seminary.
- Edgar Aponte, Director of Hispanic Leadership Development at Southeastern Seminary.
What is the Kingdom Diversity Initiative?
Southeastern Seminary believes that racial unity and equity are necessarily part of fulfilling the Great Commission. This statement is not made to be provocative, it is deeply theological. God inscribed the unity and diversity of the Godhead into his good creation. In the fall of Genesis 3, the divine reflection that was embedded in creation was distorted. A symptom of humanity’s fallen state is strife along the lines of difference, including race and gender.
This is the good news: Through Christ and by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God’s people are enabled to display God’s redemptive power by simultaneously embracing and transcending the differences that enrich the tapestry of God’s people.
To that end, Southeastern seminary desires to become a school that recruits and equips students from every corner of the Kingdom to serve in every context of the Kingdom. To help hold ourselves accountable in our Kingdom Diversity initiative, the following benchmarks have been established because they are indicative of a campus that seeks to equip the people of God to be a foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven.
1. Southeastern strives to foster a campus environment that encourages God-honoring interaction across racial and cultural lines.
2. By 2022 SEBTS aims to be comprised of 20% non-white students, 15-20% non-white faculty, 15-20% non-white staff, as well being 35% female
3. Southeastern will conduct faculty development and curriculum reform to assist students to minister to people who do not share the same ethnic and cultural background.
4. Southeastern hopes to build and strengthen partnerships with diverse churches, church networks and educational institutions.
5. Southeastern desires to emerge as a servant to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention and beyond, as well as becoming a resource to help foster diversity within the church and the broader denominational environment.
As SEBTS continually positions itself to better fulfill its mission, we covet your prayers and partnership. Our hope is that we can sharpen each other as we pursue this Kingdom-sized goal in our seminary and in the Church.