In recent weeks, the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries celebrated graduates during their fall commencement ceremonies.
See reports from each of the six seminaries below:
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Texas Baptist College celebrated 245 graduates this spring with 158 attending the May 6 commencement ceremony to receive their diplomas, the seminary reported. “You are being sent out into what many have regarded, and rightfully I think, as a Romans 1 world,” SWBTS President Adam W. Greenway said to the spring 2022 graduates. “Where everything that is wrong is being declared to be right and what is right is declared to be wrong. …You look at what’s happening in terms of our broader socio, cultural, political agenda — it is a Romans 1 agenda,” Greenway said. He urged graduates to address these challenges as those with a Romans 12 ministry. He noted a Romans 12 ministry includes living faithfully and fruitfully as followers of Christ and stewards of what has been entrusted.
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
During their 229th, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary honored 347 graduates with 262 walking across the stage, the seminary reported. In total, Southern Seminary and Boyce College — the seminary’s undergraduate school — cumulatively conferred 526 degrees during the May 13 ceremonies. Preaching on the call of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah from Jeremiah 23:23—29, Southern Seminary Albert Mohler said faithful proclamation of God’s Word is both a hammer and a fire that breaks and burns and transforms the hearts of sinners. “Here is the mandate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: Go set fires. Open your mouth and let fire come out,” Mohler said.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern celebrated the graduation of 319 college and seminary students in Binkley Chapel. Danny Akin, SEBTS president, delivered his commencement address on Matthew 28:16-20, charging graduates to submit their lives and ministries to the final marching orders of King Jesus. “Southeastern believes that because these are the final marching orders of the Lord Jesus Christ, they must drive us, define us and determine who we are,” he noted. Akin urged graduates to prioritize fulfilling the Great Commission in its entirety — including teaching disciples the content and priority of the Great Commission.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College conferred 24 doctoral degrees, including seven doctorates, two doctor of musical arts, one doctor of education degree and 15 doctor of ministry degrees, and 106 master’s degrees. Leavell College graduates received 94 undergraduate degrees and certificates. Jamie Dew, NOBTS president, urged the May 2022 graduates to consider the question that would impact their lives and ministries as they step into a new chapter in life. “What is essential for you, now?” Dew asked. Pointing to Deuteronomy 6:5, which Jesus drew from when confronting questions from religious leaders, Dew urged graduates to “Love God, above all and with all” as the move forward in life and ministry.
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College celebrated another record-breaking number of graduates this spring, as the school held its 71st commencement exercises on May 6, the seminary reported. During the ceremony, more than 300 students received their diplomas. Midwestern Seminary President Jason Allen addressed graduates from Proverbs 3:5-6, stating, “In the midst of economic fear, cultural change, religious liberty concerns and global tumult, the world these graduates are going into may indeed look daunting. But that’s a world in which it’s exhilarating to represent the Lord Jesus Christ. … God is not merely directing your way; He has designed your path.”
During its spring commencement services on May 20, Gateway Seminary President Jeff Iorg urged graduates to obey the Great Commission regardless of hindrances. “Your circumstances may refine your mission and the methodology you choose to complete it, but [they] never define your mission,” Iorg said. “Our mission has been defined by the Lord Jesus Christ — he has commissioned us and told us what he expects us to do.” Iorg referred to the Book of Philippians in which Paul says his imprisonment advanced the gospel. “It would have been so simple for him, and perhaps even justified by the rest of us, if he had said, ‘Well, I’m in prison and I’ll just wait here until the circumstances change, then I’ll start to fulfill my mission once again.’ But he didn’t do that. He found a way to fulfill his mission,” Iorg said. “Gateway graduates, whether you find yourself in a Roman prison or in a war zone, in the world today, our mission does not change. Share the gospel.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — The seminaries are supported in part by the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ unified plan for giving. About 22% of all CP contributions received by the SBC are directed to the six theological seminaries and the SBC Historical Library and Archives. In addition, the seminaries are supported by endowments, donations, tuition and fees, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention reports.