Wednesday, January 05, 2005  

Printer-friendly Version E-mail Story

New semester, new opportunities
August 16, 2004
By Bryan Cribb

A crane in the chapel? Renovations to Alumni Chapel brought several foreign instruments into the historic building, which received an interior face-lift this summer. These repairs were just one example of the numerous campus improvements this summer. Photo by Andy Rawls

Returning students to Southern Seminary will be welcomed by more than just new classes and new colleagues this fall semester. They will enjoy a new and improved campus, complete with remodeled facilities, more parking, new adjunct professors and numerous special events.

Most obvious of the improvements to Southern Seminary are the physical renovations to the campus — including more parking spaces, repair to the chapel and the relocation of the Founders’ Café.

After construction this summer, the seminary has added 22 parking spaces in a new area on Carver hill and 135 spaces in a new lot along Seminary Drive, bringing the total number of spaces to approximately 1,433, said Clark Logan, the seminary’s senior vice president for institutional administration. Logan added that new sidewalks have been poured for safe, quick access.

“With the addition of these commuter lots, we should have adequate parking on campus even during peak class hours,” Logan said.

In addition to these parking additions, Alumni Chapel has also undergone a complete interior face-lift.

Renovations in the chapel include: all new flooring with tile underneath the pews to enhance congregational singing; all new paint, from the green/blue to a warm tan that Logan said “really brightens up the place”; repaired and repainted ceilings and replaced acoustical tiles; the soundboard was moved to the lower balcony level as an aesthetic improvement and to allow the technicians to hear better; and a new projector will show clearer and more colorful images.

Logan added that the seminary will also use the new projector to convey seminary-wide information pre- and post-chapel. Future renovations to the chapel will include a new speaker cluster and the movement and replacement of stage lighting.

“The chapel is one our front doors, and we wanted to make some of these changes to convey who we are and the excellence we stand for,” Logan said. “Also, Tuesday/Thursday chapel is very important, and whatever we can do to enhance that worship experience is a priority.”

The Founders’ Café also is experiencing some significant changes — an entirely new location, in the student lounge across the hall from the former Founders’ home, and an entirely new name, to be determined later by the students. The target date for completion of the relocation project is Oct. 1, Logan said.

The new café will also have a different feel, said Chef Pam Price, director of dining services.

“The basic concept of the new coffee shop is to have an outdoor café built indoors,” she said. “We will have a water fountain, iron gates, outdoor style furnishings, indoor awnings, lots of live plants and lower lighting for a casual atmosphere.

“We will have televisions suspended from the ceiling in multiple locations in the room. We hope to have events such as Monday night football with beverage and food specials.”

The new location will also have more seats, 40-50, and longer hours, from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Logan said. A new menu will feature made-to-order pizza, hot and cold sandwiches, salads and expanded dessert selections.

Logan said the new café “will give folks a quicker place to grab a bite if they are in a hurry, and [it will be] especially beneficial for folks looking for food after cafeteria hours.”

Other campus improvements include several new sidewalks, additional classrooms for Boyce College in Rankin Hall (formerly the home of the Child Development Center, see page 6), and new paint on Fuller Hall and later on the Library.

But, the campus renovations are not the only thing to anticipate this semester. Several new faces will be on the faculty this year.

Added to the seminary’s already world-renowned faculty as adjunct professors are Kenneth Hemphill, former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Mark Coppenger, former president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“Mark Coppenger and Ken Hemphill are two of the most brilliant and respected scholars in their disciplines,” said Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology and senior vice president for academic administration. “I am thrilled that they will be joining the Southern Seminary faculty.

“Mark Coppenger is a philosopher and ethicist who knows how to engage the culture with unparalleled winsomeness and gravity. Ken Hemphill’s writings on evangelism and church growth are outstanding and widely read among pastors and scholars.

“Both Coppenger and Hemphill are also first-rate preachers of the Word of God with passion for the churches and the evangelization of the lost,” he added. “Our students will learn from them both in the classroom and, by example, in their pulpit preaching and personal evangelism.”

The semester will also feature informative conferences and numerous events bringing in well-known speakers.

The first of these events will be the Shepherd and His Sheep one-day leadership conference on Sept. 13. During the conference, Johnny Hunt, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Ga., will teach and encourage pastors, staff, deacons and lay leaders.

Later in the month, Southern Seminary will sponsor the January Bible Study Preview Conference, entitled “When Believers Struggle: Studies in Mark’s Gospel.” Based on the theme for the 2005 Southern Baptist January Bible Study materials and led by seminary faculty, this Sept. 27 conference will provide pastors and teachers with valuable exegetical tools.

That same week, the Sept. 28-30 Mullins Lecture Series on preaching will feature J. Ligon Duncan, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss.

Always a busy month, October this year will be even more eventful. During the weeks of Oct. 4 and 11, the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth will celebrate its 10-year anniversary.

Highlighting these weeks will be The Church in the 21st Century Conference Oct. 5. Check for more information.

The month will also feature the seminary’s annual Heritage Week Oct. 11-15. During this important week, special chapel speakers will include: Mohler; Moore; and James Merritt, pastor of Cross Pointe, The Church at Gwinnett Center, in Duluth, Ga. For information on other special events, see

“Seminary is not just about memorizing Greek letters and poring over theology texts. It is about forming the kind of minister one is going to be for the rest of one’s life,” Moore said.

“All students should be present at these events to help ground themselves in what it means to be a faithful undershepherd of the Shepherd King.”


© 2005, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - All Rights Reserved
Home | Contact Us | Reprint Permission