Akin April From Twitter

Hopefully you follow us on Twitter and you’ve had a chance to read through the comments on a recent tweet that asked people what their favorite Dr. Akin story, memory, or quote is. But if not, we’ve collected them here for you to enjoy. Feel free to add yours in the comments below.

Brian Sherwood (@BrianTSherwood): Preaching Phil. 1:21 at my DMin graduation. I still ask myself, "Do you believe it?"

Jordan R Willard (@JordanWillard): On communicating the Word: "What you say is more important than how you say it. But how you say it has never been more important."

Sterling Griggs (@sterlinggriggs) and Matthew Daniel (@matthewdaniel34) both recounted Dr. Akin’s response to a search committee that regularly fired their pastors, “I wouldn’t recommend a dog to your church.” To which Matthew replied that he remembers him saying “I don’t hate a demon that much that I would send them to your church.”

Aaron P. Swain (@aaronpswain): 2007 graduation ceremony. A sermon illustration describing his jogging attire.

Philip Blinson (@philblin): In his first year as President, my wife and I were Nehemiah church planters in MA. Dr. Akin heard our 3 month old daughter was having lung surgery. He called to let us know he was praying for her. Never have forgotten that act of compassion. Thanks, @DannyAkin !

Philip Corbean (@PCorbean): We were talking about a mutual friend, @fredmevers, Dr. Akin says that he preached at his church in LA. After the service a man told Dr. Akin that he didn’t believe the holocaust really happened. Dr Akin replied to the man, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” Then walked away

Zack and Haley Hicks (@ZachandHaley): His books, I love his books! Christology, in particular is wonderful!

Drew Page (@pastordrewpage): “Let leaders lead.” From Perspectives on Church Government: 5 Views.

This month, we are honoring Dr. Akin’s 15 years of ministry and leadership at Southeastern Seminary. If you have a story about his impact on your life please feel free to share it with us at alumni@sebts.edu and we’ll post it to the blog. Additionally, in honor of Dr. Akin, we are asking alumni and current students to contribute $15 in his honor to the For the Mission campaign by clicking here.

We Are Going To London

My wife and I arrived in Raleigh 10 years ago. We were fresh out of Auburn University (War Eagle!) and ready to take the next step in of faith by studying at Southeastern Seminary.

Words cannot contain the impact that Southeastern has had on our lives, our marriage, our ministry, and our future. During my MDiv studies I met with Dr. Akin to talk through my desire to continue studying at Southeastern and he encouraged me towards the PhD program. Through the course of the following years I studied the missionary theology of British theologian Lesslie Newbigin. Studying Newbigin was the inception of this call to London, England to plant a new church.

We got here, in large part, because of a challenge that Dr. Akin would consistently put before us. From classroom settings, to chapel messages, to informal conversations, Dr. Akin would challenge me, “The question is not ‘Lord, should I go to the nations?’ The question is ‘Lord, why should I stay?’” That challenged lodged deep in my soul and I have not been able to shake it. As degree studies concluded and seven good years of ministry at Providence Baptist Church unfolded - that question still lingered.

Over the years, God has shifted the answer from, “Stay here and make disciples” to “Follow me to London to plant a church.” So, we go. We are making preparations to move our family to London in June to begin the process of learning culture and planting a church. We go with confidence that Jesus is leading us. We go with gratitude for the significant ways that God has brought us to this point through the ministry of Dr. Akin and Southeastern Seminary.

It’s difficult to estimate where we would be without these formative years in the Southeastern family. The theological training we were provided has shaped us in thousands of ways. The friendships we have created still carry to this day. The trajectory of our lives has been fundamentally changed because of the Southeastern family. We are so grateful to God for the grace that this school is to us.

We joined the Summit Network in August and are almost finished with our training. This last year has been full of travel, trainings, fundraising, and team building. God has provided for the ministry in so many ways and we are still trusting God for the final provisions necessary to see this dream become a reality. You can more about our work in London on our church website: Redeemer Queen’s Park. You can also keep up with our family’s journey on our blog: www.TheWestLondonLife.com.

This month, we are honoring Dr. Akin’s 15 years of ministry and leadership at Southeastern Seminary. If you have a story about his impact on your life please feel free to share it with us at alumni@sebts.edu and we’ll post it to the blog. Additionally, in honor of Dr. Akin, we are asking alumni and current students to contribute $15 in his honor to the For the Mission campaign by clicking here.

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Thomas West

Thomas West was born in Montgomery Alabama. After four years at Auburn University (War Eagle!) Thomas and Elizabeth made their way to Raleigh-Durham to begin studies at Southeastern Seminary. Through studying for the Mdiv and PhD, Thomas has served as the College and Discipleship Pastor at Providence Baptist Church for seven years. Now, the Wests are embarking on a new journey of church planting in London. You can follow the West family on their family blog: www.TheWestLondonLife.com

Akin April

Hi Southeastern Alumni!

The Financial & Alumni Development Office at Southeastern will be utilizing the month of April to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Dr. and Mrs. Akin arriving to serve and lead our institution. The Akins have indeed established an exciting legacy here at SEBTS and the College at Southeastern – please join us in helping to honor their work to equip the church and fulfill the Great Commission.

Throughout the month of April, we will be utilizing our alumni blog to highlight Dr. Akin’s impact. To help us do this, we need YOU to send in stories, inspirations, and lessons that express one way the Akins have impacted you personally. Feel free to send in a photo along with your brief story, favorite Akin quote, or characteristic and we will share them here throughout April!

We are greatly looking forward to reading and sharing your submissions! Remember to email your submission (along with a bio and headshot if you’d like) to alumni@sebts.edu.

Elizabeth Graham: Three ways to be kingdom-focused females in the workplace

Elizabeth Graham knows what it’s like to be a Christian female in both the secular and denominational workplaces. On March 12, she took some time to address how women can work in a God-honoring way at the Women in the Workplace Luncheon at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS).

In May 2009, Graham received her Master of Arts in biblical counseling at SEBTS. She worked in a variety of roles at SEBTS, including as the card and travel program manager before working at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention, which she began in January of 2015. She also owns Yellow Brick Events (YBE), a company she began in 2017. Graham and her husband, Richmond, have two children, Jonathan and Hannah Grace, and they live in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Graham’s theological and workplace experiences laid the foundation for the positions she hold today. Below are three themes that emerged from Graham’s conversation on glorifying God in the workplace:

1. Humbly approach your current responsibilities in preparation for what God has in the future. As women prepare for leadership roles in the future, the key is to pursue excellence in the present. This requires doing your job with excellence and stewarding your responsibilities in a God-honoring way.

“If you as a woman want to excel in the workplace, you are not afforded the luxury of just doing your job averagely,” said Graham. “That is not an option for you.”

Aspiring leaders must also remain humble learners, whether they are a CEO or an entry-level employee. One of the ways women can do this is by having mentors speak into their lives, which Graham said shaped her life tremendously while at SEBTS.

2. Leverage what you do for the Great Commission. Through her role at both the ERLC and YBE, Graham works with a majority of non-Christian vendors, allowing her to build relationships with those outside the church. She explained that the way in which she and her coworkers interact with vendors can open the door for the gospel.

“Talking to them about the conference itself and the work that we do is just an incredible opportunity for the gospel to be shared,” said Graham.

3. Find a healthy work/life balance. Maintaining the balance of professional and personal roles can be tough. While Graham admits she has not always done this well, this year she is intentionally seeking to grow in this aspect.

She joked with lunch attendees that this year her theme was, “My Name is No.” In fact, she also asks herself three key questions before taking on another task: Am I passionate about this, are my gifts being used to serve others well and what does this look like in a work/life balance?

One example of saying yes is when given the opportunity to serve SEBTS because of how the school has shaped her.

“Because of the investment the seminary [had] in me, it’s a stewardship and a responsibility that I have to give back.”

From planning the logistics to the content of an event, Graham is using the skills she developed at SEBTS to both serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.

“Theologically and professionally I was shaped here significantly, more than any other place and time in my life,” said Graham.

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Alumni Blog v2.0

Welcome to the Southeastern alumni blog v2.0!

These are exciting days for Southeastern! We want you to be in the loop with all things happening on campus and among the alumni family. Be sure to bookmark AlumniSE.com and check back each week for new posts. We desire for this to be a space that encourages and equips you as you GO!

We’re also thrilled to launch the newly improved and upgraded Southeastern Network. If you are currently not a registered user, join today for free to network with your fellow alumni, search for and post jobs, and learn about mentoring opportunities.

It is a joy to serve you! Please connect with our office anytime and let us know how we can continue helping you to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.

Like free things? Shoot us an email with your mailing address to alumni@sebts.edu and we will send you a newly designed alumni decal! Keep checking the blog, the network, and our twitter (@sebtsalumni) for more giveaways over the next few weeks.

Look around and enjoy!

Michelle Ard
Events & Alumni Relations Coordinator
M.A., Intercultural Studies, c/o 2017