A year of unprecedented blessing

One of my most important responsibilities is to report regularly on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Thankfully, this is also one of the greatest privileges I experience as president of this institution. The past year has been one of unprecedented blessing for Southern Seminary. In part, the numbers tell the story. We are experiencing the largest enrollment in the institution’s history.

For the 2014-2015 academic year, there was a record non-duplicating headcount of 5,067 students — 3,546 in the seminary and 1,235 in Boyce College, the seminary’s undergraduate school (as well as 286 visiting students) — surpassing the previous record of 4,792 during the 2013-2014 academic year.

These enrollment numbers represent an incredible stewardship and a sign of God’s good pleasure. Further, we should remember just how significant these numbers are given enrollment challenges for higher education that are now being experienced across America, especially post-baccalaureate education.

Also, we should note that these numbers represent the largest number of students studying for the pastorate gathered at any one institution at any single time in the history of the Christian church. Above all else, this is cause for enormous thanksgiving for the blessings of God. We also thank God for the vitality of an institution, founded in 1859, that is experiencing such growth and momentum in the 21st century.

“We thank God for the vitality of an institution, founded in 1859, that is experiencing such growth and momentum in the 21st century.”

One of the most exciting developments in 2015 has been the launch of Southern Seminary’s Global Campus, which opens new doors as we seek to train, educate, and prepare the next generation of pastors, missionaries, church planters, and Christian leaders for service in the church and for the nations.

A number of other important events transpired over the course of this year. Ayman S. Ibrahim was appointed as the Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies. Southern Seminary also hosted a number of important conferences, summits, and lectureships, including the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors conference on Transgenderism and Homosexuality—the largest conference ever hosted at Southern Seminary.

The Lord has remarkably blessed SBTS over the past year and we have a responsibility to look closely at markers and milestones that help us understand the blessings of God and the stewardship required of us in these times. Please continue to pray with me that the ministry of Southern Seminary would be faithful to Scripture and to the Great Commission as we seek to prepare God-called ministers to preach the gospel in all of the nations of the earth.


R. Albert Mohler Jr.

President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dr. Mohler with Students

Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. meets with students after an October 29 chapel service.

Christopher Mohler's Graduation

Dr. Mohler and his wife, Mary, stand with son, Christopher, following the May 8 commencement. Christopher is the first child of a Southern Seminary president to graduate from the institution.

Dr. and Mrs. Mohler welcome Benjamin Barnes

On November 5th, Dr. and Mrs. Mohler welcomed their first grandchild when Benjamin Barnes was born to their daughter Katie and her husband Riley.



The Global Campus allows students who serve in ministry around the world to complete a Master of Divinity degree through distance learning options including online, Southern Seminary leaders announced February 12. Through the Global Campus, students can earn the M.Div. entirely through Southern Seminary Online or one of the institution’s nine extension centers. Other distance learning options include hybrid modular, conference, mission trip, or J-term courses, and the Ministry Apprenticeship Program. The Global Campus tagline, “From Louisville to Laos,” emphasizes Southern’s commitment to providing quality theological education wherever students are serving.


A recent report from the Association of Theological Schools ranked Southern Seminary fourth among peer institutions for producing faculty doctorates in the accreditation agency’s member schools. Trailing only Princeton Theological Seminary, Harvard, and University of Toronto, Southern improved 12 spots on the list since the previous report in 2001. According to the report, 103 faculty members teaching in ATS-accredited institutions last year listed Southern Seminary as the school where they earned their doctorate. Southern is among 25 schools producing 51 percent of the faculty in more than 270 ATS schools in North America.


D.Min. and D.Ed.Min. in Applied Apologetics

Southern Seminary now offers both Doctor of Ministry (32 hours) and Doctor of Educational Ministry (46 hours) degrees in Applied Apologetics to ministry leaders for equipping their churches to confront current issues and reach people with the gospel.

D.Min. in partnership with ERLC

Southern Seminary is partnering with the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission to offer D.Min. (32 hours) and D.Ed.Min. (46 hours) degrees in Christian Ethics for preparing Christian ministers to lead their church in engaging the public square.


Record Enrollment Numbers

Enrollment at Southern represents 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

Professors Elected to Faculty

Douglas K. Blount and Joseph R. Crider signed the seminary’s Abstract of Principles on August 25 after the board of trustees elected them to the faculty at their spring meeting.
Douglas K. Blount Signing the Abstract of Principles
Joseph Crider Signing the Abstract of Principles

New Faculty


Assistant professor of Christian theology and church history at Boyce College


Professor of Christian philosophy and ethics

David Bosch


Associate professor of business administration at Boyce College

Ayman S. Ibrahim


Assistant professor of Islamic studies and senior fellow of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam.

Michael Pohlman


Assistant professor of Christian preaching

J. Stephen Yuille


Associate professor of biblical spirituality

Kevin Smith

Dr. Kevin Smith Elected as First African American President of Kentucky Baptist Convention

Kevin Smith, assistant professor of Christian preaching at Southern Seminary, was elected president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention with 71 percent of the vote on November 10. Smith, who is also teaching pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, is the first African American to serve in the KBC’s top post.


Veteran preaching professor Robert Vogel entered retirement following the spring 2015 semester after 12 years of faithful service to Southern and 37 years of teaching in the classroom. Before taking the role of Carl E. Bates Professor of Christian Preaching, Vogel served for 25 years at Western Seminary where he taught Southern Seminary professors Thomas R. Schreiner and Michael Pohlman.


A world-famous pianist and musicologist who was the longest-serving faculty member in the history of Southern Seminary died November 11 after a battle with cancer. Maurice Hinson, 84, was the senior professor of piano at the seminary and had taught courses for 58 years.

Maurice Hinson


Southern Leads Representation at ETS

More than 60 faculty, students, and alumni of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary presented papers or participated in panels at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 17-19, in Atlanta, Georgia. Southern’s representation at the evangelical scholarly organization outpaced other institutions.

This Year's Faculty Books

Engaging with Muslims

John Klaassen

May 2015

Jeremy Pierre

April 2015

Changing World, Unchanging Mission

David Sills

July 2015

Bound for the Promised Land

Oren Martin

February 2015

Faith Alone

Thomas Schreiner

September 2015

Essential Evangelicalism

Matthew Hall

September 2015

Longing for Home

J. Stephen Yuille

July 2015

The Baptist Story

Michael Haykin

August 2015


Thomas Schreiner

February 2015

Held in Honor

Robert Plummer and Matthew Haste

October 2015

Praying the Bible

Donald Whitney

July 2015

God's Kingdom through God's Covenants

Peter Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum

August 2015

Church with Jesus as the Hero

David Prince

June 2015

Owen on the Christian Life

Michael Haykin

September 2015


Russell Moore

August 2015

How We Got the Bible

Timothy Paul Jones

July 2015

Christ Died for Our Sins

Jarvis Williams

May 2015

Denny Burk & Heath Lambert

September 2015

We Cannot Be Silent Mohler

"Moral emergency" requires Christian Response, Mohler says in new book on sexual revolution.

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, issues a call for faithful, biblical witness in his latest book, We Cannot Be Silent, that he says is ever more urgent in the wake of many landmark news events of 2015.

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Academic Centers


The Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization sent 89 students to eight countries. The Center also organized the Crossover Columbus event June 8-13, which was a week of training and outreach to support local churches in the Columbus metro area. On October 17, more than 120 people participated in the Bevin Center’s annual Great Commission Race, which featured a 5K race and a kids obstacle course. In November, a video from the 2012 dedication service of the Bevin Center was viewed over 10,000 times after Matt Bevin, who with his wife, Glenna, endowed the center, was elected governor of Kentucky.

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The Mathena Center for Church Revitalization launched in the fall 2015 led by senior fellow Brian Croft, senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville. The center selected six students as interns for the 2015-2016 academic year to focus on pastoral theology, healthy ecclesiology, and personal soul care. Harold Mathena endowed the center in 2014 as an initiative to train ministers in reviving declining and dying churches.

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The Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam offered an internship designed to integrate classroom theory with practical experience as a researcher and academician. Its new senior fellow, Ayman S. Ibrahim, was appointed Bill and Connie Jenkins Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies in the fall trustee meeting. The center also hosted a roundtable fellowship November 13 with guest speaker David Bosch, a former missionary among Kurdish Muslims in northern Iraq and Boyce College associate professor of business administration.

Learn More


This initiative hosted a series of free lunch lectures throughout the academic year. Highview Baptist Church Fegenbush hosted a Commonweal Seminar November 7 about defining and helping poverty. The Commonweal Project, funded by the Kern Family Foundation, is an academic initiative at the seminary to foster a theology of work and economics.

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The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies hosted its ninth annual conference September 15-16, focusing on “Persecution and the Church.” The two-day conference featured lectures from scholars in a variety of disciplines, including New Testament professor Thomas R. Schreiner and church historians Nathan A. Finn and Jason Duesing.

Learn More


Boyce College’s Center for Gospel and Culture hosted Sam Allberry for a lecture series about homosexuality and ministry. Allberry, the author of Is God Anti-Gay? And Other Questions about Homosexuality, the Bible, and Same-Sex Attraction, shared his testimony, including his struggle with same- sex attraction, and discussed Christian engagement with homosexuality.

Learn More

Campus Improvements

Legacy Hotel Lobby


The Legacy Hotel received major renovations to the lobby and guest rooms. Finishes have been replaced from the ceiling, walls, and floor to provide an updated design concept without altering the layout and function of the existing lobby.

Founders' Café


Founders’ Cafe reopened April 13 after three weeks of renovations, during which crews finished the concrete flooring, added fresh painting, and improved the seating capacity. Artwork inspired by the seminary hymn “Soldiers of Christ” was added on the first and second floor.


The remodeled Dining Hall opened January 22. The room seats 232 people but looks more spacious with additional booths and bar seating.


Southern Seminary upgraded its live-stream to high-definition video quality on YouTube. The stream features improved scalable delivery, including mobile and Apple TV accessibility, and a DVR feature allowing viewers to rewind live events.


A grant from the Keesee Educational Fund allowed for 10 classrooms to receive desks with outlet plugins and new media services, including Smart Boards and lecterns with touch screen computers.

Help equip future gospel ministers

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Boyce College Adds Soccer Program

The Boyce College Bulldogs’ soccer team finished 6-9 in its inaugural season. The work to start the program began more than a year ago with the persistence of three students who had a vision for playing soccer to glorify of God and share the gospel with others. Sophomores Nicholas Kanpouris, a Business Administration major from Stoughton, Massachusetts, Luiz Moreira, of Campo Grande, Brazil, and Samuel Johnson, of Buchanan, Michigan, sensed the desire to start the program as a means for ministry early in their freshman year. Moreira said soccer “can break barriers and in filtrate societies for missions” because it is the world’s most popular sport.


HB Charles Jr.

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 2015, including ERLC President Russell Moore, former SBC President Jim Henry, and Bob Russell, pastor emeritus of Southeast Christian Church. The chapel lineup also featured new preaching professor Michael Pohlman and outgoing preaching professor Robert Vogel, who retired in May.

9Marks at Southern


Leading evangelicals discussed the nature and consequences of the gospel at the 9Marks at Southern conference, February 27-28. The conference featured Mark Dever, Trip Lee, Dave Gobbett, Ligon Duncan, Ray Ortlund, and R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Renown Youth Conference


Nearly 600 junior and high school students attended Boyce College’s Renown Youth Conference, March 13-14. Speakers included R. Albert Mohler Jr., Rick Holland, Dan DeWitt, and several breakout sessions about various topics in worldview and Christianity, aimed to help students think critically about the world around them and the issues they encounter.

Counsel the Word


The second Counsel the Word Conference centered on “Confident Parenting” at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, May 2. Speakers included Tedd Tripp, Heath Lambert, and Stuart Scott.

Greens Lectures


ERLC President Russell Moore presented the Gheens Lectures March 18–19. In a series of lectures titled “Onward Christian Strangers: The Gospel and the Public Square in Changing Times,” Moore said Christians should celebrate their new relationship with American culture, knowing the gospel will no longer conform them to culture but distinguish them from it.

The 1937 Project

More than 300 volunteers assisted 20 nonprofit organizations and ministries in Louisville. The 1937 Project is a campus-wide outreach as part of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s Give A Day week of service, which Southern Seminary has participated in since 2012.




Over 600 students graduate in 2015

During spring commencement exercises on the seminary lawn, 297 master’s and doctorate students received their degrees. A week earlier, 107 Boyce College graduates received certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees in a historic commencement that marked the first time a child of a Southern Seminary president graduated from the institution. At the winter commencement, another 232 master’s and doctorate students received degrees.

Theology Conference


Leading evangelical scholars defended the “Five Solas,” central themes of the Reformation, at the 2015 Theology Conference at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, September 24-25. Speakers included Carl Trueman, Thomas R. Schreiner, Stephen J. Wellum, Matthew Barret, and David VanDrunen.

Expositors Summit


Southern Seminary hosted the Expositors Summit, October 27-29 with sermons from R. Albert Mohler Jr., H.B. Charles Jr., and Derek Thomas. The Expositors Summit is designed to instruct and equip preachers and students for the glorious task of expository ministry.

Fall Festival


A record 7,000 attendees attended the 11th annual Fall Festival September 11. Guests entered the Imagination Station and traveled through the Telehopper into the land of Odyssey on the Seminary Lawn. The theme was based on “Adventures in Odyssey,” the Christian radio drama series created and produced by Focus on the Family.

Night of Valor


In support of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s second annual “Week of Valor,” Southern Seminary hosted a “Night of Valor” November 11, Veteran’s Day. The event provided a forum for biblical principles on Christians in combat and offered spiritual guidance for combat veterans and their families.

ACBC Conference

ACBC Conference

A record 2,300 guests attended the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors conference “Homosexuality: Compassion, Care, and Counseling for Struggling People” October 5-7. R. Albert Mohler Jr., Heath Lambert, Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, Stuart W. Scott, and Robert Jones discussed biblical care for those with same-sex attraction.

Following Mohler’s address, Lambert presented Mohler the ACBC award for Biblical Counseling Excellence. It was only the second time a non-ACBC member received the award.


Albert Mohler AppSouthern Seminary launched a new mobile app and redesigned website for R. Albert Mohler Jr. in October, offering users more convenient ways to engage with the evangelical leader’s content. Among the new features, users can now listen to and share individual segments of “The Briefing” rather than accessing a single audio file of the daily podcast.

The free Albert Mohler app is now available in the App Store (iPhone only). The app and website also feature a “News to Watch” section aggregating noteworthy articles illustrating various worldview issues.

In the past year, more than 1.6 million people visited AlbertMohler.com for the seminary president’s essays, his daily podcast “The Briefing,” and “Thinking In Public” conversations, resulting in 6.4 million pageviews.

Download on the App Store




SBTS.edu Redesign


In April, Southern Seminary launched a redesigned SBTS.edu designed to be more mobile friendly and to better serve prospective students, current students, alumni, and supporters.

A Guide to Church Revitalization


Featuring chapters from R. Albert Mohler Jr., Mark Dever, Kevin Ezell, and more, this guidebook defines critical components needed for church revitalization to occur and provides a roadmap for revival efforts.

Download Now

The Spurgeon Reader


Released in conjunction with the 2015 Expositors Summit, The Spurgeon Reader is a unique collection of famed British preacher Charles Spurgeon’s sermons and articles. The collection was compiled and edited by retired Southern Seminary professor and Spurgeon biographer Tom Nettles. The book includes a foreword penned by R. Albert Mohler Jr. and a substantial biographical introduction from Nettles.

Alumni Stories


Southern Productions released a mini-documentary on the life and ministry of alumnus John Powell, who serves as pastor of First Baptist Church, Hamlin, Texas. In the video, Powell shares the challenges of rural church ministry and how an intervention from friends at SBTS renewed his pastoral calling.

Choose a Faculty


When he’s not serving on the mission field or teaching in the classroom, what exactly does your seminary professor’s day look like? Southern Productions featured a day in the life of New Testament professor Robert Plummer, who says his goal is for students to leave the classroom saying, “Not only am I equipped for ministry, I love God more.”

Norton Hall Band





Mohler and Other Faculty Quoted in Major News Outlets


The Courier JournalR. 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 2015, leaders from Southern Seminary appeared in well over 2,200 news articles and television and radio news programs. Also, the release of Mohler’s new book, We Cannot Be Silent, has brought significant media coverage.

Mohler, Southern Seminary faculty, alumni, and students were quoted in such major news outlets as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News Channel, CNN.com, The Associated Press, The Economist, The Atlantic, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dallas Morning News, and many other newspapers. Additionally, national Christian news outlets WORLD Magazine, Christianity Today, Baptist Press, as well as national journals, like National Review and First Things, also regularly cite Mohler and others. In the Louisville area, major coverage of Southern Seminary has appeared in The Courier-Journal, all the local television network affiliates, as well as many local television and radio news broadcasts across the nation.

Student Stories

Chris Wong

Student Chaplain

A growing number of Southern Seminary students are serving as chaplains in the Louisville area while they earn their degree. Chris Wong, a Master of Divinity student from Miami, Florida, serves as an associate chaplain with the Kentucky Racetrack Chaplaincy, which involves ministry to the jockeys, exercise riders, hot walkers, horse grooms, blacksmiths, security staff, and countless others who work at the backside of Churchill Downs in Louisville throughout the year.

Hyo-Gil and Mikyung Kong


are completing an M.Div. in Biblical and Theological Studies and an M.A. in Discipleship and Family Ministry. While serving as missionaries in India, the Korean couple realized the need for theological training in South Asia and hope to return there after graduation and teach the truth of God’s Word.

Eric Iverson


arrived on the campus of Southern Seminary in 2013 from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pursue his M.Div. after 28 years of youth ministry experience. He felt called to pursue formal theological studies through his church’s affirmation of his ministerial calling and his reading of Scripture.

Kristi Noah


is a seminary student who wants to reach women in the sex industry. She realizes that there are multiple women trapped in the industry and are overlooked by their community. She said, “My passion is to see them come to know Christ and come to be women who want to go back into the clubs and minister to other women and bring them out of the club.”

Steve Kunkel


says his autism is a gift from God. The son of international missionaries, Kunkel was diagnosed with autism at an early age after he hadn’t spoken for three years. The Boyce College student now speaks seven languages and is preparing for future missionary service as a Global Studies major.

Alumni Stories

Since 1993, Southern Seminary has deployed over 9,800 ministers of the gospel.
Paul Chitwood


Kentucky Baptist leader Paul Chitwood was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award at the seminary’s June 17 alumni luncheon during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, Ohio.

Chitwood has served as executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 2012 and membership has grown each year under his emphasis on church revitalization.

Bryce Butler


Mercy entrepreneur Bryce Butler supports numerous Louisville ministries with the mindset of business as mission. Most notably, Butler helped save the Louisville Rescue Mission from deep financial debt and has been a catalyst for its success.

Through his investment group Access Ventures, Butler is assisting with the January 2016 opening of Scarlet’s Bakery, which is part of a ministry to women in the sex industry.



Peter is a missionary kid who plans to follow his parents’ example by pastoring a church that will be intimately involved in planting churches internationally, specifically in restricted places. He believes that one of the reasons the gospel has a hard time flourishing in difficult places is because there is a difference between sending missionaries and establishing healthy, discipling, evangelizing local churches.

*Name withheld for security reasons.

Coming in 2016

Counsel the Word: How Long, O Lord?


Counsel the Word will equip counselors, pastors, and anyone caring for others with theological insight from Scripture and practical ways to apply it to hurting people in its next conference April 26–27, 2016. Featured speakers include Heath Lambert, Jeremy Pierre, and Stuart Scott.

Learn More

Driven by Truth


The inaugural Driven by Truth worldview conference March 18–19, 2016, will feature Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., ERLC President Russell Moore, King’s College President Gregory Thornbury, and Boyce College Dean Dan DeWitt.

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Renown Youth Conference


This annual conference is designed to help middle school and high school students build into the foundation of their lives with biblical wisdom for life. Join us March 4–5, 2016, as speakers R. Albert Mohler Jr., Dan DeWitt, and Dan Dumas guide students toward maximizing their early years for the sake of eternity.

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Southern Seminary Magazine

A completely redesigned version of the Southern Seminary magazine will debut Spring 2016. The new version of the magazine will provide an expanded format that will include more faculty, alumni and student stories and will be distributed to a larger circulation of current students and seminary friends. Beginning with the new issue, the magazine will appear bi-annually, in Spring and Fall.

“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.
President, SBTS

Help equip future gospel ministers

The Annual Fund was established to ease the financial burden students have to bear by offsetting the overall operating costs of the institution. Every dollar given to Southern Seminary’s Annual Fund is a dollar that a student will not pay in tuition and fees.
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