SBTS preparing to celebrate 150th anniversary

Communications Staff — April 25, 2008

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will celebrate its 150th anniversary with an array of events, opportunities for learning and updates for the seminary’s historic Louisville campus.

During its annual spring meeting, April 22, Southern Seminary’s board of trustees approved a $6 million project that will bring major new facilities to the campus over the next year. The project includes four major components:

· A 14,000 square-foot pavilion that will be built adjacent to Norton Hall and the Honeycutt Center facing Lexington Road. The exterior of the pavilion will feature a covered canopy and a dome atop the roof. Inside, the center will include a welcome desk, a small theater with a looping video and offices for the admissions department. Campus security offices will be located on the lower level.

· Development of the main campus entrance off Lexington Road that will include a gate house, tower and retaining walls. The gate house and tower will serve as the main entry point to Southern’s campus.

· A major expansion of Founders’ Café. Currently a small dining area, the café will expand at its current location to two stories, tripling its size.

· A new student, alumni and faculty area that will be named “Edgars” in honor of Edgar Young Mullins, Southern’s fourth president.

· New and improved signage and wayfinding across campus.

“We wanted to do something very special in the anticipation of the seminary’s 150th anniversary,” said Southern Seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr.

“What we have done is to realize that we want to meet the needs of the current student body and the visitors that come to campus and also to project into the future because one of the issues we now face is the challenge of arranging people on this campus in a way that is comfortable and natural and makes the kind of statement we want to make.”

Southern Seminary opened in 1859 in Greenville, S.C. and moved to Louisville in 1877. Southern will celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary with a full array of programs and events in 2009, Mohler said. The Southern Baptist Convention will hold its annual meeting in Louisville in June of 2009 to mark the seminary’s beginning.

“The 150th anniversary is not just an opportunity for the profile of the institution, it’s not just a birthday party, it is an opportunity for this organization to reclaim a tradition for a new generation,” Mohler said.

“It is interesting how many people in the last few years have, in their own way, come home [to Southern]. We look up and we see people on this campus who are drawn here because of the experience they had on this campus and because they want to be back and we want to welcome them back. We want them to understand what God is doing in this place and to rejoice in it.”

Groundbreaking will begin in mid-May with a target date for completion set at April 2.

Mohler also announced a new partnership between the School of Leadership and Church Ministry and FamilyLife Ministries of Little Rock, Ark. Southern and FamilyLife will team up to assist local pastors and students in conducting biblically-faithful family ministry in local churches. Two FamilyLife staff members have moved to Louisville to work directly with the School of Leadership and Church Ministry.

“FamilyLife is deeply concerned about how they are reaching pastors,” said Randy Stinson, dean of the School
of Leadership and Church Ministry.

“What they have realized is that they need a deeper partnership with what is going on in the local church. It makes sense for them to partner with us so that we can help them with what we are seeing, and they can help us in how we are training pastors to reach families…Ultimately, it will serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention for us to be able to change our curriculum as needed and to have the insight of other organizations that have spent a lot of time thinking about these things.”

In other business, trustees:

· Adopted a budget of $36.3 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

· Granted tenure to Gregg R. Allison, who serves as associate professor of Christian Theology.

· Promoted Eric Johnson to professor of pastoral theology, J.D. Payne to associate professor of church planting and evangelism and Brian Vickers to associate professor of New Testament interpretation.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.