LOUISVILLE, Ky. – More than 1,000 college students gathered at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for the “Give Me An Answer Collegiate Conference,” Feb. 21-22. Students traveled from across the nation to learn how to minister more effectively to the postmodern culture. The third in a series of annual collegiate conferences at SBTS, the sessions featured seminary faculty addressing many topics related to the exclusivity of the gospel. Seminar titles ranged from "How Can You Evangelize but Not Antagonize?" to "Who's Right, Christ or Cults?" to "Is the Doctrine of Hell Necessary?"
Ken Schmidt, college minister at First Evangelical Free Church of Maplewood, Minn., said the conference has become a staple of his college ministry calendar, and the number of students in attendants have increased steadily through the years.
"For the students, this is the most popular option we have of any of the conferences we go to," Schmidt said. "There are all kinds of conferences they have a chance to go to, and this is the most popular one. ...This is the one they want to go to."
Speaking of this year's topic, Schmidt said, "This one is really relevant for us because we're out on college campuses sharing the gospel. We're dealing with these issues."
Schmidt said the solid biblical content combined with immediate relevance were the integral part of the sessions.
"Many students stated that they thought very seriously about their faith and found encouragement in a world that does not love the things of Christ," Davis said.
"We have heard many gracious comments about how the Lord seemed to use the conference for equipping collegians for ministry on their campuses and in their churches. That, in addition to the sheer numerical response, indicates to me that the conference was a success."
Scott Davis, part of the session’s planning team announced plans for 2004 “Give Me An Answer Collegiate Conference.” The conference, subtitled, "Has God Spoken?” will deal with such issues as epistemology -- how humans come to know what they know, the sufficiency of Scripture and biblical inerrancy. Keynote addresses by Southern Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr. and Daniel L. Akin, senior vice president for academic administration, will be given in the year’s conference; the leaders will supplement workshops on Bible teaching, hermeneutics and interpreting difficult passages of Scripture.
Patrick Stewart, pastor of the First Baptist Church of St. Charles Ill., indicated his plan to attend next year’s colligiate conference. He said he regretted mission the previous conferences. "I've looked at some of the topics they've had, and I've said, 'How did I miss making that a priority?'" he said.
"I know that any subject they deal with here is going to have theological integrity," Stewart said. "It's going to have depth. It's going to be solid."
By Pauline. J