Ambassadors serve the seminary that serves them

Communications Staff — February 23, 2009

As The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrates its 150th anniversary, the seminary’s ambassador program is entering its fifteenth year of service to the storied institution.

Ambassadors work to put a name and a face to Southern Seminary, past Ambassador president Clift Ward said, representing the institution to prospective students, new students, alumni and friends of the seminary.

Ambassador president Will Jackson, master of divinity student in the Billy Graham School, said he embraces the opportunity to serve the institution he is attending.

“It is amazing to hear all the different ways that God leads prospective student to consider Southern,” he said. “To be able to play even a small role in this process is quite humbling.

“We also talk to alumni from all generations letting them know some of the great things God is doing among the students and also encourage them to be apart of the lives of the students.”

Jackson serves as a missions intern at his local church, Cedar Creek Baptist, where he is working closely with his pastor to help the church adopt an unreached people group in South Asia. Jackson and his wife are in the early stages of applying to be career missionaries with the IMB, with a goal of taking the Gospel to unreached people groups in South Asia.

From 2002-2004 Jackson worked as a Journeyman in Nepal with the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board. During his first year as a Journeyman, Jackson said he used sports as a method to plant churches.

After a year, Jackson joined with a team focused on reaching the Sherpa people in the Everest region of Nepal. Jackson’s work researching the people, culture and religion of that region, helped him learn the 1 Corinthians 3 principle of doing faithful Gospel planting while trusting God with the growth.

“During this time, it was hard as I felt like any Gospel we were able to share was falling on hard soil,” he said.

“However, now, five years later, some fruit is finally growing amongst these people. The Lord taught me that it is about His timing and His plan for bringing them to Christ.”

Jackson said being an ambassador involves working with the
admissions office at Southern, promoting the school and recruiting prospective students. Ambassadors share their story with prospective students through emails and phone calls, and on trips to other colleges and conferences.
Ambassadors also work with Southern’s alumni office, helping alumni and friends connect, or re-connect, with the seminary, and encouraging them to take a greater role in supporting the institution, Jackson said.

Ambassadors assist student services during new student orientation and graduation activities, Jackson said, helping new students get acclimated and directing guests to where they need to go.

The Advisory Committee will be conducting interviews for the next group of Southern Seminary ambassadors, April 13-17. Ambassador applications are available at Institutional Relations office, which is located in the Foundation House (near the Music School). The application deadline is March 20.

An information session will be held at 10 a.m., March 18, in Legacy Center, Room 303. All applicants are strongly encouraged to attend. Ambassadors are required to be full-time students and live within 30 miles of campus. For more information, contact Carol Thompson at ext. 4143.

Serving as an ambassador has provided helpful knowledge, advice and experiences Jackson said he would otherwise not have had.

“I have learned so much more about the seminary and its long heritage through being an ambassador,” he said. “Being able to talk to graduates from 50 years ago who are still serving in ministry is a great encouragement to me as I get ready to begin my ministry. Another unique feature is having the opportunity to meet many of the faces of those Southern Baptists who are giving above and beyond because of their love for what Southern is doing.

“Talking with alumni has been a big source of encouragement for me in my training. Many of them have offered advice on things that they would have done differently while here knowing what they know now.”

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