The Formative Years

By: Brian Mann

My most formative experience during my time at Southeastern that has impacted my current ministry context is sitting in classes to study books of the Bible.  Above and beyond being a mere seminary student, I was challenged in these classes to be a student of Christ.  While other classes certainly helped me to become informed, nothing compared to the study of God’s Word for substantial long-lasting growth.  Even when I was lacking the need for Bible class credits, I would find a way to take one of these classes just to fuel me for the rest of my classes.

While this may not be everyone’s experience, it is mine.  I still go to the Bible regularly seeking to be a student of Christ as a result of my education over ten years ago at Southeastern.  Professors like Dr. Ant Greenham (who is presently at Southeastern today), as well as Dr. Greg Harris (currently at Master’s Seminary) were among the scholars that God used to shape me and my early Bible study methods in the aforementioned way.

Additionally, chapel was an important part of forming my theology.  I remember being in chapel one week and seeing it full to capacity.  I asked, “What is going on?”  A lady in one of the seats told me that John Piper was here.  I asked, “Who’s John Piper?”  While I heard Dr. Piper preach, I prayed, “Lord, whatever he has, I want some of that!”  Afterwards, I bought every book that I could find and read them.  Moreover, I bought many of the books that he cited within his own writings.  I discovered a love for reading and learning theology while I was at Southeastern.  Thus, I was shaped primarily through the Bible classes and chapel at Southeastern in a very lasting way.  Soli Deo Gloria!