Dr. Mohler and other professors walking at Convocation

The Resurrection of Christ Clarifies our Task Mohler says in Fall Convocation Address

Communications Staff — August 29, 2023

The opening convocation for the Fall 2023 term of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College was marked by a spirit of exuberance as the Southern Seminary community gathered in Alumni Memorial Chapel. As the faculty processed in to the opening hymn, the newly restored Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ was on full display.

Albert Mohler, Jr. delivered a commencement address that resonated with gratitude. In his welcoming remarks to the assembly of faculty, students, trustees, and families, he emphasized the profound significance of coming together to consecrate the upcoming semester to the Lord. Mohler’s address connected the activity of Southern Seminary and Boyce College back to the history of Christian faithfulness, even as the institution celebrates the present and looks forward to the future. “We are here for the prophets. We are here for the apostles. We are here for the evangelists and missionaries. We are here for the faithful throughout all the ages,” said Mohler.

Preaching from 1 Corinthians 15:19, Mohler placed emphasis on the cornerstone of Southern Seminary and Boyce College’s purpose: the resurrection of Christ. Building upon the Apostle Paul’s argument, Mohler expounded that if not for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the teaching, the studying, the singing, and all else we do would be meaningless. “On the third day, he rose from the dead. That makes all the difference in the world,” said Mohler.

The resurrection of Christ, Mohler affirmed, not only forms the core of Christian belief but also clarifies the stakes. “It’s a matter of life and death.” It is because of what is at stake that Southern Seminary and Boyce College exist as an institution in service to the church. Mohler concluded, “It is our task to raise up preachers and teachers of the word of God, servants of God in a multiplicity of disciplines – an invading force of young Christians going into the world to make a difference not just for time, but for eternity.”

You may watch the entire convocation services here.

During the service, three Southern Seminary and Boyce College professors signed the Abstract of Principles, the seminary’s founding confession of faith: Paul M. Akin, Associate Professor of Christian Missions, Provost, and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration, Kyle D. Claunch, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, and Adam J. Howell, Associate Professor of Old Testament Interpretation.

In signing the Abstract, professors agree to teach its doctrines “without hesitation, mental reservation, nor any private arrangement” with seminary leadership. All faculty sign the abstract before teaching at Southern Seminary and Boyce College, but those elected by the Board of Trustees sign the original document with ink and quill. The public signing of the Abstract of Principles in the original professors’ book clarifies the faculty member’s full commitment to this confession.

During the event, Mohler introduced four new faculty members: Erin E. Austin, Assistant Professor of Business and Marketing; Roberto A. Carrera, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies; Brent J. Small, Assistant Professor of Business Administration; Jason A. Thacker, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics. These new faculty members are a demonstration of the continued vitality of Southern Seminary and Boyce College.

The opening convocation was also the occasion for the seminary to welcome two new members of its trustee board: Christopher B. Davis of Reisterstown, MD, and D. Oran Woodworth of O Fallon, MO.

Following the convocation ceremony, faculty, trustees, students, and staff joined President Mohler in front of the Boyce Centennial Library to celebrate its reopening to students after a renovation that began in December 2021.

“The library at Southern Seminary has been central to this institution from its founding in 1859. This current building was built in 1959 and has now been updated as a state of the art and stunningly beautiful facility for students and faculty,” said Mohler. “The full opening of the library and dedication will take place in October, but we wanted students and faculty to have access to the facility as the new term opens. I am thankful to be president of an institution that considers books, learning, and serious study to be essential to our task. This was a great day at Southern Seminary and Boyce College.”

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