In case you missed it, here is a quick breakdown of what happened at Southern Evangelical Seminary’s (SES) August 4th Open House. In the heart of South Charlotte, NC, in the Ballantyne neighborhood, perspective students gathered to have a luncheon with faculty and friends of SES. Alumni, including a pastor, a former U.S. Army Ranger and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a full-time missionary, along with a homeschool parent and recent graduate shared from the heart of how their changed lives and training at SES prepared them for their ministry.
This was followed by about 200 attendees, including current students, alumni, faculty, board members, past presidents, and supporters of SES joining for a festive ribbon cutting to open the doors to its fourth campus since its inception 26 years ago, in 1992.
Cherishing the Past
Dr. Norman Geisler, who co-founded SES with the late Dr. Ross Rhoads, reminded those present that the school was founded on evangelism (since Dr. Rhoads was an evangelist) and apologetics (since Dr. Geisler is the foremost and well-known Christian apologist of our day). Since the school’s beginning each president carried its mission forward. That mission, written on the wall of the new building, is to “train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and defense of the historic Christian faith.”
In accomplishing its mission, SES has always maintained a commitment to sound philosophy, classical apologetics, and a cohesive theology based on the infallible Word of God (John 10:35) to help equip believers to share their faith in today’s increasingly secular, and sometimes hostile, world.
Adjunct professor Dr. Hugh Ross also spoke of SES’s unswerving commitment to historical biblical inerrancy, often not found at other schools, as a main reason his ministry Reasons to Believe and their scholars are honored to continue their partnership with SES.
Watch the recording of the dedication above!
(Starts at 6:30)
Honoring the Present
The current new facility, toured by those present at the Open House, consists of two adjacent buildings. The administrative building (15,000 sq. ft) has all the offices for faculty and staff and is the future home of a high-quality production studio. This studio will be designed to deliver high-end educational content to SES’s online education students. It will also be used to produce podcasts, radio, and television programs featuring important guests, faculty, and alumni.
The second facility, the educational building (20,000 sq. ft) contains all the on-campus classrooms as well as the Jamison Library, the Westra Student Center, a future events area, the future Apologetics Encounter room, and the future Center for Applied Ethics. Each classroom is equipped with ample on-campus seating, large screen monitors, and advanced internet streaming capabilities.
The roomy 80,000-volume theological Library, the largest in the Charlotte area, has a special collection on Islamic studies, the Philip E. Johnson collection on scientific apologetics, and the Norman L. Geisler collection of books. (He has now published over 100 books).
The Westra Student Center is a great place for students to gather, watch, and celebrate special events. This center is connected to a fantastic outdoor space with a covered back patio ideal for cookouts. The future events area will seat around 200 and allow special speakers, debates, and conferences to be live-streamed over the internet.
The Apologetics Encounter, once complete, will enable visitors to have a walk-through audio-visual experience of Dr. Norman Geisler’s classic Twelve Point’s that Show Christianity is True. These points begin with philosophical and scientific arguments for the existence of God and conclude with the historical evidence for the truthfulness of the Bible. The encounter will contain biblical artifacts and important documents from prominent Christian apologists including the two distinctives of SES’s founders Drs. Norman Geisler (apologetics) and Ross Rhoads (evangelism).
The Center for Applied Ethics builds upon the life and work of SES’s current president, Dr. Richard Land. SES recently started a program of study in philosophy, politics and economics and is therefore uniquely able to contribute to the discussions of emerging technologies. This will help students intelligently answer unprecedented questions that confront our culture today and in the future related to ethics, liberty, freedom, and human rights
Building for the Future
More than at any other time since its inception, SES is deeply needed to train students to meet the evangelical needs of a lost and dying world. Gone are the days when seminary was just for the professional pastors or minister. Now and in the future, every Christian will need and should have training in apologetics. No doubt there will be old and new challenges to the Faith and new opportunities of evangelism in the future. SES’s faculty and new campus will be there to help you, your family, and friends put its mission into practice around your neighborhood and around the world.
In the fall of 1992, Dr. Geisler started SES by teaching its first class, Intro to Christian Apologetics. In the fall of 2018, on Monday August 13, Dr. Geisler continued that tradition by teaching in person on the new SES campus. The class (like all of our on-campus classes) was also live-streamed over the internet, reaching across the world. There were over 50 students in attendance, either in person or virtually.
Now is a great time for you to consider becoming one of those students as well. If you are interested infor credit or audit this fall, please contact our Director of Admissions,
If you are interested in helping support SES or if you would like to find out more about naming opportunities on our new campus,, or call Eric Gustafson at (704) 847-5600 x232.