Mohler: Southern serves churches by preparing Gospel ministers

Communications Staff — June 17, 2006

Developing mature, faithful Christian workers to serve in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ is why Southern Baptist Theological Seminary exists, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said June 14 at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro, N.C.

Mohler said the seminary strives to uphold Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to continue in the faith.

“We do not pass on a new and reformed Christianity,” Mohler said. “We work to pass on, intact to future ministers, the truth once for all delivered to the saints.”

During the seminary report to messengers, Mohler said more than 4,000 students headed for churches around the world are now enrolled at Southern. He said the faculty and administration of the seminary, established in 1859, work to prepare these students to minister to every tribe, tongue and nation on earth.

Mohler highlighted four main concerns the seminary has established as guideposts as it faithfully trains Gospel ministers. First, Mohler said the seminary seeks to defend the truth of God’s Word.

“We live in a time when people are looking for a new truth that works for them and has no absolute standard,” Mohler said. “At Southern, we teach the timeless truth of God as revealed in His Word.”

Second, the seminary exists for the church, Mohler said.

“We serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. We serve you,” Mohler said. “The churches do not work for the seminary, rather the seminary works for the churches. Our task is to prepare ministers to serve in churches.”

Mohler said Southern trains students for church ministry by emphasizing the centrality of congregationalism and regenerate church membership, and by teaching them to preach the Word and shepherd their church members.

“You will not have healthy churches if you do not have trained Gospel ministers who will faithfully shepherd God’s flock,” Mohler said.

Third, the seminary trains students to be ministers for the world, Mohler said.

“One question we always ask ourselves at Southern is, ‘Do we have the fervor and commitment to send our best and brightest students to plant and establish churches in countries around the world?’” Mohler said.

Finally, the ultimate reason the seminary trains students to be faithful Gospel ministers is for the glory of God, Mohler said.

“At the end of the day, we exist not for people, not for institutions, not for the Southern Baptist Convention and not for statistics, but for the glory of God,” Mohler said. “The central question is this, ‘How can we maximize our proclamation of the glory of God?’”

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