Last week, Southeastern Seminary announced the launch of our new Center for Spiritual Formation and Evangelical Spirituality. This initiative has been about nine months in the making. I serve as the Center’s new director. The Center desires to help foster a community at Southeastern Seminary that is characterized by a Word-driven, gospel-centered, mission-minded piety that conforms our character to the image of Jesus Christ and advances spiritual flourishing under his lordship. We also hope to serve as a resource to Southern Baptist and other evangelical churches on topics such as spiritual formation, spiritual disciplines, spirituality, discipleship, etc.
If you haven’t read the press release, check it out on the SEBTS website. Also, please take a look at the Center’s website, which includes a welcome from me, an explanation of our mission and purpose, a list of our Fellows and members of our Pastoral Advisory Board, and some resources (mostly books and websites) related to some of the topics that our Center hopes to engage. I hope to update the website more in the coming months. I also look forward to announcing the Center’s first event in a few days.
I have included my welcome from the Center’s website below. I hope you will read it, check out all the information on our website, and be on the lookout for upcoming events.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9–10, ESV)
At Southeastern Seminary, we believe one of the great needs among this generation of Baptists and other evangelicals is a healthy approach to spiritual formation and Christian spirituality. To that end, The mission of the Center is to promote spiritual maturity and the cultivation of a robust evangelical spirituality for the glory of God, the health of the church and the advancement of Christian mission.
The Center is concerned with a number of key questions facing Christian leaders: What does it mean to be a mature follower of Jesus Christ? How best can pastors and other leaders equip Christians to grow in their spiritual lives? What spiritual disciplines and other practices best aid us in our spiritual maturity? What is the relationship between spirituality, theology, and mission? What are some of the best resources available to pastors and other ministry leaders who are interested in spiritual formation, spirituality, discipleship, and related topics?
I want to invite you to take a look around this website and learn about some of the ways the Center is trying to fulfill its purpose and answer these important questions. I’m hopeful The Center for Spiritual Formation and Evangelical Spirituality will help us to form Southeastern students (and others) into mature disciples and equip them to lead their local churches and other ministries in cultivating a discipleship culture that glorifies God and advances his kingdom.
Thanks for your interest in The Center for Spiritual Formation and Evangelical Spirituality. Pray for us and let us know how we can best partner with you in your own ministry.
Nathan A. Finn
Director, The Center for Spiritual Formation and Evangelical Spirituality
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary