2016: Year in Review

"We thank God for the vitality of an institution, founded in 1859, that is experiencing such growth and momentum in the 21st century."- R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Academic Developments

Miguel Núñez

Southern Seminary Launches Hispanic Initiatives

The addition of two influential Latino pastors to the faculty and significant discounts for online Hispanic students are key elements of a new initiative at Southern Seminary designed to serve more effectively those called to ministry in the Spanish-speaking world.

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Boyce to offer Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree

The new bachelor’s degree, available beginning in fall 2017, will prepare students to apply a Christian worldview in the areas of politics, international justice, and economic development. Bryan Baise, assistant professor of worldview and apologetics at Boyce College, will serve as program director.

Walker, Puckett, Richardson retire

T. Vaughn Walker, David L. Puckett, and Brian C. Richardson retired following the 2015-2016 school year with 64 combined years of service on the faculty of Southern Seminary. Walker, WMU Professor of Christian Ministries and professor of black church studies, was appointed in 1986 as the first black professor at any of the six SBC seminaries, and then the first elected to the faculty in 1997.

James W. Cox, longtime preaching professor, dies at 93

James William Cox, a renowned homiletics professor who taught at Southern Seminary for more than four decades, died Feb. 21 in Louisville, Kentucky, at 93. Cox trained generations of pastors and wrote several notable books on preaching.

Matthew J. Hall named Dean of Boyce College

Southern Seminary appointed Matthew J. Hall as dean of its undergraduate school Boyce College. Hall, assistant professor of church history, has served as vice president for academic services at Southern Seminary since 2013.

A two-time alumnus of Southern Seminary (M.Div. and Th.M.), Hall oversaw SBTS enrollment, library, and assessment initiatives in his administrative role in academic services. He also previously served as chief of staff in the Office of the President at Southern Seminary. He earned his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Kentucky and was co-editor of the 2015 book, Essential Evangelicalism: The Enduring Legacy of Carl F.H. Henry.

Record Enrollment Numbers

Enrollment at Southern in the completed academic year represented the largest number of students training for pastoral ministry at one institution at any single time in the history of the Christian church.


Total Students


Southern Students


Boyce Students


M.Div. Students

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Don Whitney Classroom

“Southern Seminary’s faculty is unparalleled in the evangelical world. Here you will find consecrated Christian scholars whose commitment to the gospel, to the church, and to the Lord Jesus Christ is translated into their love for students and the task of teaching.”

– R. Albert Mohler Jr.

C. Berry Driver Jr. and Michael S. Wilder signed the Abstract of Principles Aug. 23 after trustees elected them to the faculty at the board’s spring meeting.

Additionally, Randy L. Stinson, Gregory A. Wills, and Daniel M. Gurtner were elected to endowed chairs.
C. Berry Driver signing the Abstract of Principles
Michael Wilder signing the Abstract of Principles

Noted Scholars Join Southern Seminary and Boyce College Faculty

Gunner Gundersen

Gunner Gundersen

Associate professor of biblical counseling at Boyce College


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Michael Crawford

Associate professor of business administration at Boyce College

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Robert Jones

Robert Jones

Associate professor of biblical counseling


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Daniel M. Gurtner

Daniel M. Gurtner

Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of New Testament Interpretation

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Arnold Leading Augustine Honors Collegium, will oversee journal

The Augustine Honors Collegium launched in August 2016 under the direction of two-time University of Oxford graduate Jonathan Arnold, assistant professor of Christian theology and church history. The collegium provides an enhanced curriculum to encourage academic research and writing. In June 2017, the collegium will release the inaugural issue of its undergraduate research journal, the Augustine Collegiate Review.

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Influential New Books by Faculty in 2016

Theodore Beza

Theodore Beza: The Man and the Myth

Shawn D. Wright

John: Jesus Christ is God

William F. Cook III

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek

Rob Plummer

Baker Compact Dictionary of Theological Terms

Gregg R. Allison

The Unfinished Reformation

Gregg R. Allison

1 Peter for You

Juan R. Sanchez

Holman Bible

Tom J. Nettles

In the Arena

David E. Prince

Progressive Covenantalism

Stephen J. Wellum

Biblical Church Revitalization

Brian Croft

The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life

Jeremy Pierre

God the Son Incarnate

Stephen J. Wellum

Hearts, Heads, and Hands

M. David Sills

Eight Women of Faith

Michael A. G. Haykin

Four Views on Hell

Denny Burk

Live Smart

Live Smart

Dan Dumas

Confessing the Faith

Confessing the Faith

SBTS Press, $16.99

Written by Basil Manly Jr. in 1858 as the document on which Southern Seminary would be established, the Abstract of Principles sets forth 20 articles of faith that every professor is required to affirm and teach.

In Confessing the Faith: The Living Legacy of Southern Seminary’s Abstract of Principles, 20 of the seminary’s faculty contribute chapters defending and applying the truths of each article of faith. The commentary illustrates both the convictional foundation of the seminary’s identity and the contemporary importance of affirming these doctrines.

Copies of the book can be purchased exclusively at Southern’s LifeWay Campus Store. For phone orders, call (502) 897-4506.

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Events, Conferences and Chapels


Together for the Gospel

The legacy of the Protestant Reformation must endure in the doctrine and ministry of the church, evangelical leaders said at the 2016 Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, Kentucky, April 12-14.

9Marks at Southern 2016

9Marks at Southern

“The Conversion” was the fourth annual 9Marks Conference at Southern and explored why truly understanding conversion is essential for building healthy churches, Feb. 26-27.

Counsel the Word

Counsel the Word

The Bible provides comfort and hope for people in the pit of despair, said speakers at the Counsel the Word conference, April 26-27. Speakers: Heath Lambert, Jeremy Pierre, Edward T. Welch, and Stuart Scott.

1937 Project

The 1937 Project

A record 450 volunteers from Southern and Boyce completed service projects across the city of Louisville during the fourth annual 1937 Project, April 23. Participants completed 23 projects totaling over 1,500 hours of service.


SBTS Chapel features leading evangelical pastors and scholars

Key Southern Baptist pastors, evangelical leaders, and distinguished scholars delivered messages at Southern Seminary chapel services in 2016, including IMB President David Platt, BCMD executive director Kevin Smith, and former SBC President Bryant Wright. The chapel lineup also featured new Hispanic Initiatives professors and SBTS alumni Miguel Nuñez and Juan Sanchez.

Chapel Videos
Driven by Truth

Driven by Truth

Secularization requires that Christians articulate their worldview in defense of the truth, evangelical leaders said at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s inaugural Driven By Truth conference, March 18-19.



Leaders at Southern Seminary challenged 646 middle and high school students to seek wisdom with a Christian worldview, March 5-6, at the Renown Youth Conference, hosted by Boyce College. Speakers: R. Albert Mohler Jr., Dan Dumas, and Dan DeWitt.

Doxology and Theology

Doxology and Theology

The third Doxology and Theology conference was held Nov. 3-5 at Southern Seminary. The theme, “Worship Reformed,” demonstrated how the Reformation impacted the worship of the church. Speakers: R. Albert Mohler Jr., Trip Lee, Scotty Smith, Matt Boswell, and Bob Kauflin.

Night of Valor

Night of Valor

Maj. Gen. Dondi Costin, chief of chaplains for the United States Air Force, encouraged military chaplaincy to equip soldiers with God’s Word for the trauma of war, Nov. 11.

Over 600 students graduate in 2016

During spring commencement exercises on the seminary lawn, 284 master’s and doctoral students from 44 states and 15 countries received their degrees. A week earlier, a record 150 Boyce College graduates received certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees. At the winter commencement, an additional 180 master’s and doctoral students received degrees.

What's in the Word?

What's the Word on Racial Justice

The evangelical church needs to stand against the continuing problem of racism in the United States with a message of reconciliation, said panelists at the What’s the Word forum, Sept. 26. The forums are sponsored by the ONE student group for racial reconciliation.

Andrew Fuller Conference

10th Annual Andrew Fuller Conference

Church historians focused on theologians Richard Baxter, John Owen, and William Kiffen, Sept. 19-21. The conference brought historians from four continents, including Herman J. Selderhuis (Netherlands), Crawford Gribben (Ireland), Tim Cooper (New Zealand), and David Sytsma (Japan).

Expositor's Summit

Expositors Summit and The Mullins Lectures

The Mullins Lectures on Preaching was held in conjunction with the fifth annual Expositors Summit, Oct. 25-27. Steven Lawson, founder and president of OnePassion Ministries, led the Mullins Lectures and focused on heroes of the pulpit George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

Fall Festival

Fall Festival

“Three, two, one…”

Fireworks lit up the night sky for 10 minutes as a voice recording of astronauts and a reading of Genesis 1 capped the 2016 Fall Festival, “The Heavens Declare,” which featured a space theme.

A record 7,500 guests entered the lawn through a space port. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams prerecorded a welcome video from the International Space Station, and encouraged attendees to give God glory for all of his creation. Guests enjoyed free “space food” like Moon Pies, Capri-Sun drinks, and walking tacos, and took a trip on zero-gravity carnival rides.

Fall Festival
Fall Festival
Fall Festival
Fall Festival

Events and Resources Served Women at Southern


One of the discipleship programs offered to women at Southern was Women of the Word, a weekly in-depth Bible study. Candice Watters, author and founder of Boundless.org, led the spring 2016 Bible study, focusing on the book of Colossians. In the fall, Jaylynn Cook, wife of professor Bill Cook, taught the ladies how to do an inductive Bible study through Ephesians.


Koinonia provided four events over the course of the year to encourage relationship building among the women at Southern. Events focused on themes ranging from women’s ministry to spiritual growth, and a welcome to Louisville. The spring Koinonia event included dessert at the Mohlers’ home. Mrs. Mohler also opened up her home to host a special evening of fellowship for single women at Southern.


Equip seminars focused on training specifically for women in ministry and how to apply theology to real-life situations. In the spring, Trillia Newbell shared on the topic of fear. In the fall Nora Allison taught on how to study Scripture and teach it to other women. Women may also apply for the Student Life Ministry Leaders Internship.

Seminary Wives Institute

Seminary Wives' Institute

The Seminary Wives Institute (SWI), led by Mary Mohler, is celebrating its 20th year training women to come alongside their husbands in ministry. SWI served 324 ladies over the most recent completed academic year with the opportunity to learn from professors and faculty wives who taught from their rich experience. This certificate program is a vital part of the seminary wife’s experience at Southern Seminary.

In March, SWI hosted its 10th annual Seminar Saturday, where more than 170 women gathered for a full day of talks and fellowship. And in September, SWI held its 20th annual Family Life Conference continuing its tradition of investing in couples to reinforce the importance of marriage.

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New and Redesigned Resources Introduced

Southern Seminary Magazine

Southern Seminary Magazine

The spring issue of Southern Seminary Magazine marked a prominent transition to feature expanded content on faculty and alumni and offer an innovative online version. The alumni magazine also changed its release schedule from quarterly to biannual.

Read Online

Boyce Website

In September 2016 Boyce College launched a newly redesigned website. The easy navigation provides resources for prospective students and their families, featuring news and announcements, and highlighting academic programs and faculty.

Visit Now


Veritas Quarterly Publication

In June Southern Seminary launched the first issue of its quarterly mailer Veritas, which provides vital messages on biblical truth, Christian worldview, and gospel ministry. The publication’s first run included a message from R. Albert Mohler Jr..

Subscribe Now

More Faithful Service

Southern Seminary professors and leading pastors emphasize the importance of faithfulness in a new ministry workbook released by SBTS Press. “The pastor who gives his mind and heart to the Bible will serve with greater effectiveness and greater faithfulness,” writes SBTS President R. Albert Mohler Jr. The book contains three sections, focusing on faithfulness, persistence, and excellence. It provides lessons and strategic plans for pastors to put in place in order to become more faithful to the tasks before them.

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More Faithful Service

Biblical Worship

Biblical Worship

Several music groups now tour on behalf of Southern Seminary, including Doxology Vocal Ensemble, Norton Hall Band, Lexington Road, and Boyce Vocal Band. A new band formed in fall 2016 known as Cannons Lane Collective, which has seven different countries represented.

Tour Highlights

The Norton Hall Band led worship for the LifeWay Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee. The Doxology Spring 2016 Tour Southeast United States included concerts in Destin, Florida, for the SBTS Foundation. The Fall 2016 Tour Midwest United States included worship concerts in Minnesota at Bethlehem Baptist in the Twin Cities and the University of Northwestern St. Paul.


Doxology, the a cappella vocal ensemble of the Department of Biblical Worship, released a music video for “Nearer My God to Thee.” The video can be viewed at BiblicalWorship.com.


Norton Hall Band released its second album, “My Hope and Stay: Hymns Project, Vol. II,” featuring five worship songs. All songs and lead sheets are available on the Institute of Bibilical Worship website. The album can be downloaded on iTunes.

Academic Centers Enriched Classroom Learning

Jenkins Center

The Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam offered internships, Impacting the World of Islam seminars, and tutoring opportunities for refugee homes to integrate classroom theory with practical experience.

Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization

The Bevin Center sent 160 students on 14 different mission teams. More than 250 people participated in the annual Great Commission Race on Oct. 15.

Mathena Center for Church Revitalization

The number of interns doubled to 12 for the 2016–2017 academic year. The center trains students for revitalization, mentors pastors involved in revitalization, and counsels churches needing revitalization.

Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies

The center published the first volume in the Andrew Fuller Works Project through Walter de Gruyter. This volume, edited by Nathan Finn, includes Fuller’s response to Sandemanianism.

The Center for Gospel and Culture

The center’s blog generated more content this year than any previous. Denny Burk is the director of the center and traveled to Canada to deliver the keynote for the “Apologetics Canada” conference in Vancouver.

The Commonweal Project

TCP sponsored a series of free lunch lectures, two academic colloquia, a faculty retreat, a conference hosted by Highview Baptist Church about connecting one’s work to God’s work, and student reading groups led by four different faculty involving 50 students.

The Center for Christian Preaching

Hosted the fifth annual Expositors Summit with Steven Lawson, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and Alistair Begg. Additionally, in partnership with doctoral studies, the Expository Preaching D.Min. has been rebuilt and is set to launch in 2017.

Mohler and other seminary faculty quoted in major news outlets

Mohler and other seminary faculty quoted in major news outlets

R. Albert Mohler Jr. and the faculty of Southern Seminary are at the forefront of engaging the culture with biblical answers to challenging moral questions. Leading news outlets of all kinds across the nation — and beyond — regularly seek comments from Mohler and the faculty. During 2016, leaders from Southern Seminary have appeared in well over 2,700 news articles and television and radio news programs as respected voices on topics including the presidential election, cultural issues, pastoral ministry, and more.

In addition, Mohler’s podcasts “The Briefing” and “Thinking in Public” have experienced continued success, covering topics like the 2016 presidential election and the transgender revolution. Daily episodes of “The Briefing” were downloaded more than 8.2 million times this year. On “Thinking in Public” Mohler interviewed key intellectuals like Yuval Levin, Mark Oppenheimer, and Alan Jacobs.


Students came to Southern from all 50 states and 56 nations

A record total of 4,177 students (1,762 M.Div. students) were enrolled at Southern Seminary for the fall 2016 semester. Those students represent all 50 states and 56 nations, including Canada, South Korea, China, Brazil, Nigeria, and the Dominican Republic.

Latevia Priddy

Latevia Priddy

A longing to see social justice done for the glory of God led Latevia Priddy to Southern Seminary for theological education. Likeminded individuals, black and white, such as Southern students A.J. Davis and Nicole Pearson, joined with Priddy to form ONE, a student organization which exists to “reconcile people and ideas through cross-centered conversations and to bear one another’s burdens across racial and gender lines,” according to its website.
Through her own suffering and heartache, Priddy says God sovereignly directed her life toward working to unite his people and seeking his justice.

Ben Akers

Ben Akers

Ben Akers, a senior forward from Danville, Kentucky, was the first Boyce player to win the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, given annually to the most outstanding student-athlete in NCCAA men’s basketball.
Akers averaged 15.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in his senior season. He finished with the third-best free throw percentage in the NCCAA at 84.2 percent, and his 44.5 percent 3-point shooting percentage was eighth in the country.
Akers says he believes his time with the Bulldogs prepared him for ministry as a youth pastor.

Llambes Family

Llambes family comes together at Boyce College

As children of missionaries with the International Mission Board, the Llambes siblings have seen ministry up close. After spending the early years of their lives in Miami, Florida, Sarah, Charles, and Bianca Llambes became missionaries in the Dominican Republic with their parents, who have taken classes at Southern Seminary through Global Campus. Now, each of the three siblings have studied at Boyce College and become members of Sojourn Community Church, and flourished in music ministries at both places.

Alumni Flourishing in Ministry

Russell Moore

Alumnus of the Year

R. Albert Mohler Jr. presented the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award to Russell D. Moore at the seminary’s June 15 alumni luncheon during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
“This school didn’t just educate me,” said Moore, president of the ERLC. “I can’t thank Southern Seminary enough for being our family.

Alumni Academy

Alumni Academy

During the Jan 7-8 winter Alumni Academy, Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju led sessions based upon their co-authored 2015 book, The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need.
Ayman Ibrahim and John Klaassen led sessions to focus on Muslim engagement at the Alumni Academy Aug. 8-9. Bruce Ware, Michael A.G. Haykin, and Stephen J. Wellum, discussed the doctrine of the trinity at the Sept. 29-30 Alumni Academy

Jamaal Williams

Jamaal Williams

In January the elders and executive team of Sojourn Community Church installed Jamaal Williams (M.A. 2014 and current Ed.D student) as campus pastor of Sojourn Midtown. Sojourn is one of the fastest-growing churches in the United States. SBTS.edu/alumni.

Dondi Costin

Dondi Costin

Maj. Gen. Dondi E. Costin says teaching he received from Southern Seminary with his Ph.D. in Leadership was a “Godsend in every sense.”

Today, Chaplain Costin serves at the Pentagon as chief of chaplains for the Air Force and delivers prayers that stir crowds. The ordained Southern Baptist minister’s primary role as chief of chaplains involves clearing obstacles and equipping the teams with the resources they need to do their work.

Jeremy Yong

Jeremy Yong

In Hacienda Heights nearly 80 percent of its population is Asian or Hispanic, the two fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States. Since coming to First Baptist Church of Hacienda Heights, Jeremy Yong has seen the church’s membership increase sixfold with believers of various Asian and Hispanic ethnicities, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Yong says pastors must be mindful of cultural barriers when seeking to build multiethnic churches.

Greg Thornbury

Greg Thornbury

Greg Thornbury is president of The King’s College in the financial district of Manhattan. Thornbury is changing the landscape of Christian higher education as he shapes students to be culture-makers in spheres of influence. Imbuing students with a Christian worldview and mobilizing them to make serious contributions in politics, business, and entertainment is the “secret sauce” of King’s, Thornbury says.

Coming in 2017

Renown Youth Conference

Renown Youth Conference

Join us March 17–18, 2017, as speakers R. Albert Mohler Jr., Eric Geiger, and Dan Dumas guide students toward maximizing their early years for the sake of eternity.

Heritage Golf Classic

Heritage Golf Classic

Southern Seminary’s Heritage Classic charity golf tournament is one of the largest charity tournaments in the state and was recently crowned “Kentuckiana’s #1 Charity Golf Tournament.” Visit theheritageclassic.org for more information about playing, donating, sponsoring, or volunteering for the next Heritage Classic August 2017.

Aiming High

Aiming High

Make your mark on the next generation of gospel leaders by supporting the Aiming High Sporting Clay Shoot, May 26, 2017. All proceeds benefit the Southern Seminary Annual Fund, which helps lower student tuition. There will also be events held in California and Texas in 2017.

Martin Luther

500th Reformation Celebration

Southern Seminary will partner with Ligonier Ministries in August 2017 for the Land of Luther Study Tour, with church historians teaching in the places Luther lived and taught. The seminary also will host a Reformation Conference Oct. 31 – Nov. 1, 2017.


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“Given the size of our enrollment and the faithfulness with which these men and women are undertaking their studies and pursuing God’s call, this campus contains enormous gospel momentum and ministry potential.

The question is not whether or not God will call out his servants. The question is: Will we prove faithful to train and support those whom the Lord has called? Will you join me in supporting those training for ministry by investing in Southern Seminary today?”

R. Albert Mohler Jr.
SBTS President

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