New ‘Southern Seminary Magazine’ features print redesign, innovative online version

Communications Staff — April 12, 2016

SSM-Spring-2016-coverLOUISVILLE, Ky. (SBTS) — The spring issue of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s alumni magazine, which released today, marks a prominent transition for the publication, featuring expanded content on faculty and alumni while offering an innovative online version, leaders said. Southern Seminary Magazine has also changed its release schedule from quarterly to biannual and has updated its format and design beginning with the Spring 2016 issue, which opens the 84th volume in the alumni magazine’s rich history.

“The new magazine format provides us a better avenue for telling the Southern story well,” said Steve Watters, vice president for Communications. Watters noted the free online Southern Seminary Magazine, available at, is responsive to all digital devices, contains a linked table of contents, and adapts many of the design features found in the print version.

The new issue of the magazine includes feature articles on two leaders with significant contributions to the seminary’s recent history: Greg Thornbury, president of The King’s College in New York City and two-time Southern alumnus, and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a seminary benefactor whose donation made possible the Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization. The issue also includes a thematic section exploring the future of Christian higher education in light of the sexual revolution’s challenges to federal funding for religious schools.

With its roots in 1888, the final year of founder James P. Boyce’s presidency, Southern Seminary Magazine has experienced a fair amount of changes, not unlike the institution it represents. In the 1930s, Southern Seminary News released six issues a year, then starting in 1951 was called The Tie, after the well-known John Fawcett hymn “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” The publication became Southern Seminary Magazine in 1994 after R. Albert Mohler Jr. assumed the presidency.

The most recent iteration of Southern Seminary Magazine received two awards at the Evangelical Press Association’s annual convention, April 6-8. Creative director Eric Jimenez received a first-place award for Original Art in Digital/Mixed Media in Higher Goals in Christian Journalism for the Winter 2015 issue, and the magazine received an organizational Award of Merit.

“We joined the Evangelical Press Association as an opportunity to grow in our stewardship of the Southern Seminary Magazine and we’re encouraged that the EPA honored the quality of journalism and design that the seminary has committed to this publication,” Watters said.

The Office of Communications also promoted S. Craig Sanders to executive editor of the magazine, following the departure of James A. Smith Sr., who is now vice president of communications for National Religious Broadcasters. Sanders, who served as managing editor the magazine for six issues, began his new role as director of news and information March 1. Prior to Southern, he worked in local television news for six years, most recently WDRB-TV in Louisville.

To receive a free subscription to Southern Seminary Magazine, email To read the online version of the magazine, visit

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