John Wilsey, assistant professor of history and Christian apologetics at Southwestern’s Havard campus in Houston, shares his faith regularly with those he encounters, but he is typically not the person who leads people to the Lord. In his words, God has made him “a seed-sower and not necessarily a harvester.” Nevertheless, sometimes God allows him to see a harvest reaped. In the case of one young man named Eddie, God used Wilsey’s faithfulness to share the Gospel to impact Eddie’s life at an absolutely crucial time.
ROSHARON, Texas—Trent Lantzsch awoke from his drunken stupor to find himself laying on his cell floor, covered in his own vomit. Lantzsch, who had just completed his first semester in Southwestern Seminary’s bachelor’s program inside the maximum security Darrington Prison Unit, realized he had hit rock bottom and was potentially throwing away a great opportunity in receiving a free education. He also realized he wasn’t a Christian and needed the Lord.
ROSHARON, Texas—Raised in a home without a father, Tracy Williams realizes it shaped his life in more ways than one. Although he attended church and made a profession of faith as a child, he struggled as a teenager to escape the patterns that characterized his father.
At Southwestern Seminary’s spring commencement service, May 8, Southwestern President Paige Patterson took the opportunity to deliver one final word to the 183 graduating college, master’s and doctoral students. Specifically, Patterson explained what the graduates are expected to do after walking across the stage.
ROSHARON, Texas—“My story is one of loss.”
This is how Roland Guerra, an inmate at the maximum security Darrington Prison Unit, describes his life before Christ. After making a series of poor, and criminal, decisions, he says he entered prison in a “really bad place.”
ROSHARON, Texas—Robed in caps and gowns over their white prison uniforms, 33 inmates in Texas’ maximum security Darrington Prison Unit made history May 9 as they received bachelor’s degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, becoming the inaugural graduating class of the state’s first seminary prison program.
May 9, 2015—the day I went to prison.
Clang, clang, clang, clang—the series of four gates closed, separating me from the free world as I was searched and ushered into the maximum security prison. The contrast was instantly striking. The blue sky and slight breeze outside were replaced with the dark, humid, and warm prison. A ringing bell that sounds seven times a day to signal the counting of the inmates replaced chirping birds and the background noise of life. Individualism was immediately replaced by conformity. There I stood on the cold concrete floor, under the ever-watchful eye of guards and the sometimes curious and most of the time stoic eyes of inmates. I was no longer “me”; I was a last name and an eight-digit number. It was palpable that I was no longer in the free world.
After a semester of being both willing and obedient to share the Gospel, Master of Arts student Holly Summers had become discouraged by more than 50 rejections. Although she believed in the value of starting conversations and planting seeds, she was eager to “usher someone into the kingdom with each conversation.” It had been a semester of “no’s” from people. But that finally changed on April 23.
HOUSTON, Texas (SWBTS) – Attending classes at Southwestern Seminary’s Darrington Extension requires meeting unusual criteria: a felony conviction for a violent crime, a long prison sentence, and a commitment to serve the prison population after graduating.
In chapel, April 29, student preacher Scott Colter introduced his topic by alluding to current events. Specifically, he called to mind the acts of violence carried out over the last several months by the terrorist group ISIS. As their atrocities continue to make headlines, Colter noted that Christians have probably begun to ask themselves a question.
Serving in ministry often means making financial sacrifices. After years of paying for school, books and other necessary expenses, students are typically unable to afford something as simple as a nice outfit for church services, job interviews and speaking engagements. Reflecting on her own experience of being unable to afford the proper attire for graduation and early years of ministry, First Lady Dorothy Patterson did not want female students and student wives to have the same experience she did. So, in 2005, she envisioned and established Dressed for Service at Southwestern Seminary.
At their April 15 spring meeting, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s board of trustees approved an English as a Second Language Institute, passed a nearly $36 million budget, hired five new faculty members, and authorized construction of Mathena Hall once funding reaches a level of 90 percent of costs. An article published in the Southern Baptist TEXAN on April 15 concisely summarized these and other items of business that transpired during the meeting.