An Invitation to Study Preaching at Southeastern

At the heart of the pastor’s task is the proclamation of the Word of God to the people of God. We are called to be ready to preach, in season and out of season (2 Tim 4:2) because human proclamation is God’s ordained means to making known the gospel of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist preached repentance to prepare for the coming Messiah, Jesus (Mk 1:4-8). Jesus came preaching the “gospel of God” (Mk 1:15). This gospel is the declaration that Jesus-the only name in whom there is salvation (Acts 4:12)-is the Messiah and Lord, and it was this declaration that Peter, Paul, and the early church heralded in Acts. In light of Jesus’ identity as Messiah and Judge, and the divine origin of Scripture, Paul charged Timothy to proclaim the Scriptures in all circumstances, in order to defeat false teaching and to protect the church of God (2 Tim 3:14-4:5). In sum, preaching is vital to the mission and health of the church.

For this reason, Southeastern has worked to build a faculty that will prepare our students to preach the gospel both faithfully and meaningfully. By faithfully, we mean that one will be prepared to expound the Christian Scriptures accurately. By meaningfully, we mean that one will be prepared to communicate it in such a way that the audience understands it in the way the biblical author intended and with an application that fits the particular social and cultural contexts of the hearers.

In this installment, we will give a brief overview of the preaching faculty at Southeastern, followed by an invitation to study preaching at the undergrad, grad, and post-grad levels.

Danny Akin is the President of SEBTS and Professor of Preaching. He is the author of the commentary 1, 2, 3 John (NAC), co-author of Engaging Exposition, and co-editor of Text-Driven Preaching: God’s Word at the Heart of Every Sermon. He has pastored churches in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Virginia, and he brings this pastoral experience to bear in the classroom, where he teaches Hermeneutics, Bible Exposition, Sermon Delivery (M.Div.), Expository Preaching and Theoretical & Foundational Issues in Expository Preaching (D.Min.), and the PhD Seminar in Expository Preaching.

Wayne McDill is Senior Professor of Preaching at SEBTS. He is the author of several books, including The Moment of Truth and The 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching, both of which have served as textbooks for preaching courses in numerous seminaries. The 12 Essential Skills has been translated into Spanish and Romanian. In more than forty years of ministry, he has pastored several churches, served as an SBC staffer for evangelism and church growth, and taught at the college and seminary level. He has been at SEBTS since 1989.

Greg Heisler is Associate Professor of Preaching and Speech at SEBTS. He is the author of Spirit-Led Preaching: The Holy Spirit’s Role in Sermon Preparation and Delivery (named Book of the Year by Preaching Magazine) and teaches Bible Exposition, Sermon Delivery, The Pastor and the Preaching Ministry, Women & Communication (M.Div); Practical & Strategic Issues in Expository Preaching (D.Min.); and serves as a major professor to PhD students in Expository Preaching.

Tony Merida is a new member of SEBTS’s faculty, coming to Wake Forest from New Orleans to serve as Associate Professor of Preaching. He is the author of Faithful Preaching: Declaring Scripture with Responsibility, Passion, and Authenticity (B&H) and Orphanology (New Hope Publishers). Before coming to SEBTS, Merida served as Dean of the Chapel and Assistant Professor of Preaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and later as Pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He brings a wealth of preaching and pastoral experience to the faculty.

Bill Curtis is Adjunct Professor of Preaching for SEBTS, teaching courses in expository preaching (M.Div.) and is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Florence, South Carolina. He is the co-author, with Danny Akin and Stephen Rummage, of Engaging Exposition.

Southeastern offers several degrees with an emphasis in the kind of faithful preaching these men seek to teach and practice. The B.A. Christian Studies with a minor in Preaching introduces undergraduate students to the knowledge and skills central to the work of pastors, particularly in the area of preaching. The M.Div. with Expository Preaching prepares students for pastoral ministry in the local church with a special emphasis on preaching by focusing elective courses in preaching. The D.Min. with Expository Preaching combines the emphasis on preaching with the cohort model, so that colleagues in this area take seminars in preaching over a five-day period. The D.Min. student then seeks to apply what is learned in these seminars through the Contextualized Learning Experience, preaching in their church setting. Finally, the Ph.D. in Applied Theology with an emphasis in Preaching prepares students to teach preaching to college or seminary students, and to write about the kind of faithful preaching taught here.

We invite you to come study with our preaching faculty in the B. A., M.Div., D.Min., or Ph.D. programs of Southeastern. For more info visit our website (http://www.sebts.edu/) and check out the Admissions and Academics links.

Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care

Tony Merida and Rick Morton have written an excellent new book titled Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care (New Hope, 2011). You may have heard that Tony, formerly pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, will be joining the SEBTS faculty this summer as associate professor of preaching. He will also be the lead pastor of a new church plant launching this fall in Raleigh, Imago Dei Church.

New Hope Publishers have set up a great website for Orphanology. The website includes author information, Bible study aids, written endorsements and other publicity, and a video interview with Tony and Rick. Several contributors to Between the Times had a chance to read an advance copy of the book. Here’s what we had to say about it:

Orphan care and adoption are expressions of practical Christianity because they are expressions of the heart and love of God. Tony Merida and Rick Morton bring that message home loud and clear. This book is simple and straightforward. It is also convincing and convicting. God has reached out to us in Christ and adopted us into Him family. What a blessing for us to do for others what He has done for us! I am thrilled at the renewed interest in orphan care and adoption that is sweeping through the evangelical church. This book reflects this movement. This book will stoke the fires of it too! We bless you Lord for moving so powerfully among your adopted sons and daughters. — Danny Akin

Orphanology presents a gospel-centered theological and practical approach to an often-neglected sphere of ministry. Morton and Merida call Christians to reflect God’s image as redeemer, defender, provider, and father, and take up the cause for those who have no voice. It is engaging, thorough, accessible, and a convicting joy to read. — Ed Stetzer

Reader beware! The book you are holding in your hands has the potential to reveal a gospel-denigrating blind spot that has emerged among evangelicals in our generation. Too many have unwittingly fostered a spirit of apathy toward an issue that our Heavenly Father is overwhelmingly passionate about. The Father’s heart for the gospel message proclaimed must not be minimized . . . nor should his heart for the gospel message lived out. In this book the authors provide both a solid biblical theology for adoption and orphan care as well as many practical insights as to how to nurture a Christ-honoring “adoption culture” toward that end in your church. As I read, I could not help but see my own past complacency regarding this global issue for what it really is – selfishness. The gospel kills selfishness and cultivates Christ’s own compassion and love for the fatherless. And because Orphanology bleeds both gospel word and deed , my wife and I are finding that God’s heart for the fatherless is being formed in us leading us to begin praying toward and actively pursuing adoption. — George Robinson

God loves orphans, and one of the most encouraging trends among contemporary evangelicals is the growing emphasis upon adoption and orphan care. Many who have been spiritually adopted by their heavenly Father are now physically adopting or providing foster care to the world’s orphans, reflecting the very heart of God. Tony Merida and Rick Morton have contributed a wonderful addition to the growing literature devoted to gospel-driven orphan care. Orphanology combines a sound biblical-theological rationale for orphan care with godly and practical advice for both families and local churches. I hope this book will be widely read by pastors and other church leaders, couples considering adoption (may their tribe increase!), and any Christian who wants to be a part of what God is doing to lead His church to love all the little children of the world whom Jesus loves. — Nathan Finn

We hope you’ll pick up a copy of this great book as soon as you can. And we hope you’ll join us in praying that God will continue to lead Southern Baptists and other evangelicals to embrace adoption and orphan care as gospel priorities in their homes and local churches.