SEBTS Visiting Scholar Program

Did you know that Southeastern Seminary maintains the Southeastern Visiting Scholar Program to benefit scholars from other evangelical institutions? Might you be one of those scholars?

This program offers visiting professors the opportunity to participate in the academic community at Southeastern, and affords us the opportunity to enrich and support the academic research and writing of a visiting professor during his or her sabbatical leave. At SEBTS, we want to express our friendship and support our shared work in the gospel with other evangelical institutions. The visiting scholar program is a focused way for us to recognize and support men and women who already contribute to our school through their teaching and writing ministries. The program, then, is for scholars who teach in a discipline that complements the mission and vision of Southeastern Seminary.

In this program, visiting professors are provided:

1) a furnished apartment

2) a research office

3) a research assistant

4) full access to all library resources, and

5) direct support from library staff.

During their time at Southeastern, scholars are also involved in the broader academic community. This involvement occurs at formal and informal levels that may include roundtable discussions, individual lectures or other presentations, teaching a course, and conversations with various faculty and students. In 2012, Ray Van Neste, Professor of Biblical Studies and Director of the Ryan Center at Union University, utilized the program to great benefit. Here’s his take:

The Southeastern Visiting Scholar Program is a wonderful program resulting from the great vision of collaboration and hospitality at SEBTS. I had a great time as part of this program during my sabbatical. My family had a wonderful time on campus, and I deeply enjoyed the interaction and fellowship with SEBTS faculty. Not only was I able to get a lot of work done on my projects, but I was also was encouraged and intellectually stimulated by the informal discussions with faculty and students. I heartily commend this program to anyone who has the opportunity to take advantage of it.

We encourage you to consider taking similar advantage of this program. Interested scholars may apply for the Southeastern Visiting Scholar Program by sending a CV, brief description of research goals for the leave, and sabbatical schedule to Dr. Keith Whitfield (

Obeying the Whole Great Commission

Whole. Complete. All parts present. I have been dwelling on the concept of wholeness lately. I had a conversation with a pastor the other day and we ran down a rabbit trail of discussion and concerns about holistic ministry and fulfilling the whole Great Commission. It made us both pause and reflect on how effectively we were accomplishing those tasks. We also talked about what we saw around us in churches and ministries and how well they seemed to be doing.

I know this is an old discussion. The idea that there is more to the Great Commission than simply evangelism. But it is a conversation it seems we must have over and over again because we do not seem to be learning and applying its lessons well. As an associate professor of missions and pastoral leadership and a guy who has consulted hundreds of churches and several missions agencies, this hits close to home.

We speak of our ultimate goal to bring God glory and we define one of the means through which we can bring Him that glory as being Great Commission fulfillment. But then I begin to wonder if indeed the way we talk about fulfilling and actually act to fulfill the Great Commission is complete enough to bring Him the glory He seeks and deserves? I am sure He is pleased with our efforts. He is a very patient and loving God who through His graciousness seems to bless His people with a mile for every inch they move forward. But how could we be doing better?

I want to share the whole gospel with the whole world to help fulfill the whole Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:46-49; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8). That means I need to teach the whole teachings of Christ and live out the Great Commandments (Matt. 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31), and for the church to live out what others have called the Great Commitment (Acts 2:42-47).

I have been at this for several years at this point and I am not sure why we cannot seem to get a handle on it. I tend to either find churches who love to pour qualitatively into their covenant members and want to go deeper and deeper but do not share their faith well or see much conversion growth, or I see churches who have outreach opportunity after outreach opportunity, see folks saved and baptized, and watch un-discipled people walk out the back door about as quickly as they come in the front. Do not misunderstand me, I know of incredible exceptions, where there is balance and health and blessing. But it has always seemed odd or sad to me that they are the exceptions and not the norm. We need a new normal.

Wholeness requires balance. It requires intentionality. It demands focus. Are you going? Are you baptizing? Are you teaching everything He commanded? Are we truly depending on His power and authority over all things and His presence with us always in order to succeed? Do we love Him with every ounce of our soul and being so that we can truly love our neighbors in a way that brings Him glory? Are we being the church or simply acting out a part on the weekends?

Tough questions, but questions we preach about, teach about and talk about often. So, how whole are you? What is out of balance and focus that can be submitted to Him and brought back to a level of intentionality that will truly bring Him glory?

Refugees: An Interview with World Relief Durham

Recently, Keelan Cook of the Center for Great Commission Studies interviewed Adam Clark, Director of World Relief Durham, an organization that seeks to help refugees resettle in the Triangle area. Here’s the intro to Keelan’s interview:

Last week I shared about the gospel opportunity many churches are missing. Refugees are settling into our cities and neighborhoods at an unprecedented rate, and that means peoples from the least reach places are becoming your neighbors. What is more, these new neighbors are not as hard to connect with as you might think.


Enter World Relief.


World Relief is one of many organizations across the nation that work with refugees to help them resettle and get connected to a community. In the Raleigh area, we are fortunate to have World Relief Durham as a friend and partner in ministry. I have asked Adam Clark, their new director to share with us about what they do and how your local church can get involved. The following is an interview with Adam.

Read the full interview here.