Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is partnering with MilSpo Co. to equip strategically positioned women as they make disciples within the U.S. military community.
MilSpo Co., a 501c3 Christian ministry, seeks to train and mobilize military spouses to make disciples in and around military installations worldwide.
The U.S. military is one of the most mobile yet least discipled communities in the country, with more than 1.3 million active-duty military personnel and millions more who comprise the broader military community.
In a world often troubled by trauma, addiction, suicide and death, military chaplains are few and regularly overburdened, exposing the need for a sustained missionary presence in the military community. While continuing to train students to serve as chaplains, SEBTS is expanding its efforts among the military by partnering with MilSpo Co. to help equip military-connected women as vital disciple-makers in the military community.
“Aside from chaplaincy programs, Southern Baptists have too often been on the sidelines when it comes to reaching the military families in their communities and when it comes to equipping missionaries and ministry leaders in the military,” noted SEBTS President Danny Akin. “Southeastern is committed to reversing that trend and mobilizing students to make disciples of Jesus Christ, including among our military servicemen and women.
“By partnering with MilSpo Co. Southeastern desires to equip and strengthen military spouses to proclaim life in Christ and shine as lights in a culture of darkness and death.”
Women mobilized through MilSpo Co. are equipped through doctrinally rich, hands-on training cohorts to evangelize, lead Bible studies and disciple people in their communities. Started by military spouse and missionary Megan Brown, MilSpo Co. offers military-connected women access to theological education and training.
“Our mission at MilSpo Co. is to recruit, raise up and release military-connected women as paid and prepared vocational missionaries,” said Brown, founder and executive director. “We connect women to God and each other. We build them into a faith community in the local church. Then we send them to participate in the Great Commission.”
That emphasis makes SEBTS and MilSpo Co. natural partners. Through the SEBTS GO certificates program, women in the MilSpo Co. cohorts can receive flexible theological education and ministry preparation from anywhere in the world. Equipped to interpret, teach and practice Scripture, women take courses on the Old and New Testaments, theology, ethics and biblical interpretation and earn a certificate in biblical studies and theology.
“This partnership with Southeastern is the key we didn’t know we were searching for,” Brown said. “We often wonder what our training could have looked like if we would have had access to these courses at Southeastern when we launched.”
With 12 women currently enrolled in the pilot cohort, MilSpo Co. helps them raise funds as they pursue training for ministry. Funding for these women not only offsets costs for the theological training but also makes it possible for them to consider training in the first place because of the significant financial needs among military families.
“The military spouse unemployment rate is four times the national average,” Brown noted.
MilSpo Co. and SEBTS also announced the launch of the Brook Leona Mission Sending Student Aid Fund — which gives preference to women in the partnership and to military-connected students at SEBTS.
The fund honors the generosity and vision of a 13-year-old who donated $5,000 to help MilSpo Co. launch its online platform. Brook lost her divorced military father to suicide and experienced firsthand the heartache many military families face every day. Paid an annuity for the death of her father, Brook chose to leverage the allotment to support those who are spreading a message of life — eternal life in Jesus Christ.
“Brook’s donation is not about Brook,” said her mother Catherine Wehrman. “This is about a moment of obedience. Brook obeyed the Lord’s direction and handed that money to God for Him to redeem it.”
“This story is truly about beauty from ashes,” Brown added. “God has turned this ‘death money’ into life money.”
“The U.S. military is one of the largest and most strategic pockets of lostness in our nation,” Akin noted. “Hundreds of thousands of men and women are deployed internationally through the military — many in some of the most difficult places in the world — yet all too few have been transformed by the Gospel of King Jesus.
“What might the transforming power of the gospel do in a global community like that? Might we not see the nations reached, our servicemen and women saved, and a revival spread throughout our world?”