Project: Captive

Did you know that there are an estimated 600,000-800,000 children, women and men trafficked accross international borders annually?

Did you know that approximately 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls, and up to 50 percent are minors?

Did you know that worldwide, there are nearly two MILLION children in the commercial sex trade?

Staggering, isn't it?  Breaks your heart, doesn't it?

Well, it breaks ours as well.  That's why our next Connecting Point event is going to be all about bringing awareness to this awful practice.  We bring you:

Project: Captive

Next Monday, February 4th,  at 7pm in the Ledford Center, the ladies of SEBTS
will gather to learn about, pray for, and find ways to support the victims of sex-trafficking. 

Kimberly Merida, wife of Dr. Tony Merida, will share with us more of the heart-wrenching statistics and awful truths behind the sex-trafficking industry.  She, along with an organization called Save Our Sisters, will help us learn about ways we can take action in this battle.  We'll talk through ministry opportunities that are available and provide take home resources that will help you stay connected and continue the fight to rescue the victims of sex-trafficking. 

To help us remember to pray for sex-trafficking victims, we'll also spend a few minutes painting our nails red.  We've chosen the color red for two reasons; red is representative of the Red-Light districts that we so often associate with the sex-trade industry, and red also tends to be the color of love - the kind of love that we desire to show those who are suffering as captives.

Please join us as we spend time talking about and interceeding on behalf of the sex-trafficking industry. 

Connecting Point's Project: Captive is on Monday, Feburary 4th, 2013 from 7-8:30pm in the main area of the Ledford Center.  Childcare is provided for FREE.  Contact Women's Life by Friday, February 1st to register your child(ren) - 919.761.2340 or

Getting to Know You {Megan Lawrence}

It is the last week of our  Get to Know You  series. We have loved sharing with each one of you, and it has been so neat to get to know those of you who have passed through our office so far this semester! Feel free to stop by and visit any time. 

Our last "Get to Know You" post introduces Megan Lawrence.  She's the other half of our amazing office assistant duo team.  Read all about Megan below & leave her some comment love!

Get to know Megan Lawrence and her superhero husband this week!
We would love to hear your conversion story—when and how did God reveal Jesus Christ to you? 
 I grew up attending church with my family, but it wasn’t until I was in the 8th grade that the true message of God’s salvation provided through Jesus Christ hit home for me.  I was reading the “Left Behind” book series when I understood fully for the first time that my sin had condemned me to hell and that God’s grace applied through Jesus’ sacrifice was the only thing that could save me. I prayed the prayer at the end of the book for Christ to be the Lord of my life. Since that very moment, I knew that my life would be lived in His service. 

How did you end up at SEBTS? What did you study? How are you using it now?
The Lord truly brought me here. An international business major in undergrad, I had a bad overseas experience and was hoping to find a way to serve the Lord that did not involve international missions. I had always loved children’s ministry and had been working as my church’s 3 & 4 year old coordinator for a few months when I felt God calling me to pursue a master’s degree at a seminary. A few people from the church I attended during undergrad were already here, and the Lord graciously kept me from noticing that SEBTS was a Great Commission Seminary (It must have taken Him a LOT of work! The school’s focus is so clear!), so I submitted my application. Once I got here, He changed my heart towards international mission work, and I graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Education.  I use my degree as an assistant editor of the Treasuring Christ Curriculum produced by Providence Baptist Church. TCC is a Sunday School curriculum for children in preschool through high school.

When and how did you meet your husband? Can you briefly relate the story of your relationship from the time you met until you were married? Are there any funny or memorable moments you'd be willing to tell us about?
Greg and I met while attending Bayleaf. I felt like I knew him before he knew that I existed because he played violin in the young adult band, so he was up in front every week. He claims that the first time he knew that I existed was at a red-carpet themed birthday party (where I dressed a bit like Avril Lavigne).  We were friends for a few years before we started dating, and we dated for a year and a half before we were engaged. From there, though, we sped things up a bit and were married 5 short months after getting engaged. One of the craziest things about our relationship had to be our first date. For our very first date, Greg invited me to spend a week in New Jersey with his family for his sister’s wedding! It was definitely a sink-or-swim first date! But his family was awesome, and they seemed to like me well enough to let me stay. 
 Megan and Greg's first date

What is one piece of advice would you give to other wives on loving and helping their husband? 
I am such a newly-wed that I feel thoroughly inadequate to advise other wives on loving and helping their husbands. One thing that I have started to learn in these last 6 months is that different men feel respected through different circumstances, but NONE of them feel respected if they are called out in front of other men for a shortcoming. Save the critique for a private conversation, and praise more than you criticize.

What is one piece of advice you would give to single female students as they attend SEBTS?  
I went through SEBTS as a single student, and the biggest lesson that I learned was to live by faith in the Lord’s work rather than by what I thought seminary was supposed to be. He taught me lessons I never dreamed I would learn, brought about life changes that I was adamantly opposed to when I first entered seminary, and broke down so many stereotypes I had allowed myself to believe. God worked mightily through my roommates as he taught me all of this, and life at SEBTS would not have been the same without them. Just remember that it is okay not to have it all planned out or to understand it all right from the beginning! And let your friends walk with you through what the Lord wants to do.
April, Kara, and Courtney: Three of the beautiful women who challenged Megan throughout her time at SEBTS. This was taken at Kara's 20s themed birthday party!

What are you currently studying in your times with the Lord? What is one aspect of God’s character and the gospel you’ve learned about this past year?
I have been reading the Gospel of Luke recently. After a year of enormous changes, I just needed a reminder of who Jesus was and what his life meant for all of us. These past few weeks in particular, God has been reminding me over and over of His goodness and His strength. As Greg and I spend the next few years preparing to follow the Lord (possibly to the Northeast of the U.S.), I have needed His reminder that any work that we do for Him is because of Him, and it is enabled by His power in me.

What is your role in the Women’s Life Office?  What’s your favorite part about the job?
I am one of two Administrative Assistants in the Women’s Life Office (you met Laura last week). In the office, we take care of day-to-day operations to help the office and programs run efficiently. We do all that we can to make sure that Denise and Carrie and the office as a whole can provide the wonderful classes, events, and programs that you all enjoy. We’ll most likely be the ones to answer an email or the phone whenever you get in touch with us. My favorite part is connecting with women who are leaders in their churches or communities. It is so interesting to hear each woman’s story!

Don't forget that you can stop by & visit any of us in the Women's Life Office Monday-Friday!  We hope to see you soon!!

Last Friday you heard from Drew Smith, a college student at C@SE.  Today we have Jessica Stroup, a SEBTS Seminary student share her perspective on starting a new semester.  Jessica has lots of great wisdom to share as this is her last semester at SEBTS. Go ahead, soak it all in. :)

The beginning of a new semester can bring about a lot of emotion: fear, excitement, anticipation, you name it.  Everyone may have a different perspective, but there are some things a seasoned student at SEBTS cannot go without!
1. Get organized!  The best way to get the semester off to running start is to organize your planner.  Not everyone lives by her planner, but figure out how you can organize your schedule and prioritize.  Your planner may be your iPhone, Chick-fil-a coupon calendar, color-coded moleskin, or sticky notes scattered everywhere.  Figure out what works for you and take an hour or two to think through what your semester will look like.  You won’t regret it!
2. Prioritize!  It’s easy to let the semester slip away and realize you haven’t made the best use of your time.  Make sure you know when your big papers and exams are and start planning for how you will conquer those before you are up until 2 AM the night before crying!  Most importantly, prioritize your walk with the Lord and schedule how that will practically look like a priority in your daily life.  Additionally, make sure your involvement in your local church follows that because everything you are learning at SEBTS should be in the process of real life application through your local church.  Finally, don’t forget to have regular coffee dates with your girl friends and open Friday nights for spontaneous adventures.

3. Don’t stress!  A new semester can be an easy time to get freaked out about the future.  Don’t miss the present for fear of the future.  Get organized, prioritize, and most importantly surrender your semester to the Lord with an attitude of willing submission and gracious obedience.  Life is about Him, not you, so surrender that stress and look forward to see how you can participate in advancing the work of the kingdom through the gospel this semester at SEBTS and in the greater Raleigh area.


Jessica Stroup is in her third year at SEBTS and will graduate in May with a M.A. in Christian Studies.  She is a covenant member at Imago Dei Church in North Raleigh (the best church ever in her personal and humble opinion).  When she is not up to her ears in books for school or raving about how awesome IDC is, she loves to listen and hear people’s stories, preferably over coffee, Mexican, or dessert.

Q & A with Mrs. Charlotte Akin

At our first Connecting Point event last fall we did a Q&A session with Mrs. Charlotte Akin, and Mrs. Denise O'Donoghue.  It was such a hit, that we decided to offer it on our blog!  Today we will hear from  Mrs. Charlotte Akin, the wife of Dr. Danny Akin, the President of SEBTS.

Leave a question in the comment box, we will have Mrs. Akin answer your questions! 

What are your hopes for the female students and wives here at SEBTS?

Mrs. Akin: To allow the Lord to guide them in every area of their lives. To follow Him and Him alone completely.

What are your suggestions as to ways that female students & wives can “get involved’ here at SEBTS?
Mrs. Akin: To try to go to chapel whenever they can, for the wives to arrange to get a babysitter and sit in on some of their husband’s classes, and for the students and wives to attend as many Connecting Point fellowships as they can. This will introduce you to the Women’s Life Office and also introduce you to more wives and students.

What is the biggest or most powerful lesson you learned during your family’s time in seminary?

Mrs. Akin: To not allow outside things (i.e., church things and other things) to invade your family time.

What are some suggestions you might have for our students on time management?  How can they get “stuff” done & still have time for fun? 

Mrs. Akin: You really do have to prioritize, and you do have to decide to do the best things, even over other good things. Having a willingness to be flexible, and even a sense of humor goes a long way in helping to put things in perspective.

How can I keep my quiet time with the Lord in the midst of all that school requires of me?

Mrs. Akin: Your quiet time will always be the one thing that Satan is going to fight you over. There is never that perfect time, so the key for me is to just do it. It doesn’t have to be in a neat little package. It doesn’t have to always be in the same way. But I have to find that time to communicate with the Lord and to stay in His Word.

How can I keep my quiet time with the Lord in the midst of all that being a seminary wife requires of me?

Mrs. Akin: Same answer as above, but keep in mind that if you have small children, your expectations need to be realistic. As a mother and a wife, you have many responsibilities on your plate. As stated above, there is no perfect way to do this. You have to be determined and creative in how you have your quiet time.

What is your favorite quick & easy meal to fix?

Mrs. Akin: Spaghetti or tacos, or a frou-frou salad with everything in it!

What’s your funniest wife moment that you are free to share with us?

Mrs.Akin: Once when I was talking with a professor at a school where Danny was a new faculty member, he asked me where I went to school. I just blurted out, “Palmetto High School!” Then I thought—Oh, he meant college! And I said to him, “Well, I didn’t go to college. I married Danny when I was 19, and we started having babies, and I became a stay-at-home mom.” And I looked at Danny after I said that, and he hugged me and smiled and said, “Good answer!”

Dr. and Mrs. Akin with their grandchildren.

Leave your question(s) for Mrs. Akin in the comment section below!

Let's Get Shaking!

Did you know that Southeastern offers FREE ladies-only fitness classes?  Check out the info below to find more information. 

Dance IndiaDon’t Sweat It, Come Shake It!  It is time to shake off the calories to Bollywood-inspired music and dance, and get in shape with a little foreign flavor factor.  This class, led by Sheena Sam, is currently underway, meeting on Mondays from 5:15-6:15 p.m. 

Zumba®Ditch the Workout, Join the Party!  This exciting, calorie-burning fitness program incorporates Latin-inspired dance and high-energy cardio, combining interval and resistance training.  This class, led by Kristen Bell, will meet on Tuesdays from 5:15-6:15 p.m. 
beginning this Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Both classes will be held in the Ledford Multi-Purpose Room #2 (third floor – door across from Women’s Life).  No dance experience necessary, just come ready to have fun, meet other ladies, and keep moving!  Classes are free and open to students, staff, and dependents.  
If you have any questions, please call Student Life at 919-761-2305.

Fun Friday: Essentials for the College Gal

This week for Fun Friday, we thought we'd bring you some advice from one of our college girls, Drew Smith.  Read on to see what she picks as an SEBTS College Girl's Must Haves!!  

The Essentials for Every SEBTS College Gal


With 3 and a half years of college behind me, I’ve learned a thing or two. I spent the last three years at University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) and transferred here in the fall. I’ve lived in Wake Forest since I was 5 so I kind of feel like I’m back home.  Well, I pretty much am back home :)  So, back to being a pro at college, here's a list of six things that I would call essentials for your time here at C@SE (College at Southeastern).

First off I’m gonna go with what you need.

1.  A good local church:  I know you're gonna hear this up and down from the faculty and staff of SEBTS and C@SE, but it’s so true. I’m blessed enough to have been going to the same church for almost 17 years. The importance of getting plugged in somewhere close to where you'll be for the next four (or more) years cannot be overstated!  When you connect to a church, the church connects to you. This means you have a second family to take care of you and you have people that care about what’s going on in your life.  It's a true must have!

2. Multiple Bibles: Another thing you need that's a little more specific to Southeastern, is multiple Bibles. I know this sounds weird but bear with me. When they told me this in orientation, my only thought was "Right, well I have about 5 so that’s not a problem."  But as I went through last semester I realized that, since some of my homework was studying the Bible, it became more like a textbook and I needed to separate that from my personal Bible study. So I used different Bibles: one for school work, one for personal study. It’s a simple idea, but it really makes a world of difference! Speaking of personal study, that leads me right into what I consider your third “must have.”

3. Regular time in the word:  Whether that be going through a book of the Bible or a Beth Moore Bible study, time in God’s word is a MUST! I’m going through Daniel right now; I’m reading it a chapter at a time. On Sundays, to change things up, I listen to sermons while I’m getting ready for church. Time in God’s word is so important; if you aren’t in the Word, you won’t know the promises of God and you won’t know His peace.


Now moving on to the less spiritual.

4. A schedule:  A spreadsheet of what your normal week looks like is a huge help because you can see how flexible you can afford to be and when you have that flexible time. Having a planner is a good way to see what needs to be done every day and you can prioritize homework and any other assignments or jobs.

5. Caffeine:  Yep, you guessed it...I'm about to mention the dreaded all-nighter.  It's the inevitable beast that haunts every college student.  Hopefully you won't have to pull to many of these, but rarely does anyone get through college without pulling at least a few.  To survive you need one of three (or all three) things: coffee, tea, or a Monster energy drink. I usually rotate between them but nothing is quite like a hot cup of tea on a long night. I also find it helpful to not change into my pjs or lie down on my bed when trying to stay up to finish a project because it makes it that much harder to fall asleep...although I will not deny - falling asleep is still possible ;)  

6. Mindless Ventures:  I'm venturing off the beaten path a little on this one, but I really believe this is a must have.  You need to have a time, be it an hour or whatever, that you set aside every week to do something totally un-work and un-school related. Watch a show that you like, take a weekly coffee break, go see a movie, read a book. And speaking of books!! We have a TON of reading to do as students of  C@SE and it can sometimes suck the fun completely out of books.  It doesn’t matter if it’s War and Peace, Oliver Twist, or See Spot Run; get a book that is completely separate from your school reading and make it a point to try to read through it this semester.  Make it a book that you don’t have to analyze...something that's a simple read.  This will help fight off the "I'll never read another book so long as I live" feeling you might experience as you're nearing the end.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t finish it by the end of the semester, just do what you can.  (And if  See Spot Run is giving you trouble, try something like Brown Bear, Brown Bear.)

Well that’s my list of the college girls ESSENTIALS.  I'm hoping someone out there will find it helpful.  And don't forget to find at least a buddy of two who will help you remember homework. :)

Drew Smith is a Junior in the College at Southeastern.  While she spends lots of time studying, she can also frequently be found ministering with her church, Faith Baptist, reading CS Lewis, watching British TV, or daydreaming about Ireland. 

College gals - What are some of your essentials?

Business Wednesday

Good Wednesday morning to you!  Here in the Women's Life Office, we are busily preparing for the start of New Student Orientation  tomorrow and classes, which begin next week.  We hope you are as excited as we are about classes and events this semester!

As this new semester kicks off, we wanted to make sure to keep you in-the-loop with everything going on in the office. Check back every Wednesday so that you don't miss anything!

It's still not too late to register for Term 3 BWI classes, but the classes begin next week. To register for the first time, please contact the Women's Life Office at or (919) 761-2340.  You can view the full listing of classes and course descriptions by clicking here (scroll down just past the Connecting Point events).

Childcare is available for Thursday evening classes.  To register your child(ren) please complete this form and return it to the Women's Life Office with your childcare payment by this Friday, January 18th.

Monday, February 4th at 7pm is our Connecting Point kick-off event for this semester. We are so excited to see you all at Project: Captive. The purpose of this event is to open our eyes to the oppression of the sex-trafficking trade. Many of you may have heard of the movement that took off at Passion 2012, and we can't wait to share more with you about what we all can do to end sex-trafficking. 

The 2013 Family Life Conference is coming up! The conference will take place April 5-6, 2013, and it is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about your own marriage and family. The conference only costs $25 per couple, so perhaps you can even make a date-weekend out of it. For more information on the conference, visit the event page.  

BWI students may also receive course credit for attendance at the conference. In order to receive course credit, be sure to click "Yes" when you are asked "Are you attending for BWI course credit" before you pay for the conference. 

We are looking forward to our second SEBTS Women's Self Defense class, taught by our own Nathan Brown. The class will be held on Saturday, February 23rd from 12pm-2pm. Learn what to look out for and how to protect yourself in dangerous situations.  For more information about what Nathan will be teaching, feel free to visit his website. 

Getting To Know You {Carrie Gilliam}

Welcome to the 2nd week of our
"Getting To Know You"
posts from the WLO.

Today we're introducing Carrie Gilliam, our Women's Ministry Coordinator.
 Want to know a little about Carrie, read on...

We would love to hear your conversion story—when and how did God reveal Jesus Christ to you? 

I became a believer when I was seven years old. My parents were both believers, so I was raised learning about God and the importance of Jesus. I remember being at a church puppet show where the puppeteer presented the Gospel and the importance of believing that Christ died to pay for our sins. I decided that he was right and that I wanted to believe that too, so I went down front with another little girl from my church and ask Jesus to be my Lord – at that moment my journey began and my life has never been the same!

When and how did you meet your husband? Can you briefly relate the story of your relationship from the time you met until you were married? Are there any funny or memorable moments you'd be willing to tell us about?

I wanted to be a Gilliam early on. When I was in the 2nd grade I met a Gilliam and he became my first love. I used to write Mrs. Gilliam in my diary, dreaming that would one day be my last name. Unfortunately things didn’t work out with that Gilliam and like every other grade school romance we moved on…until I was in the 8th grade. That’s when I met Gilliam # 1’s cousin, Cameron. He was new to our school, and it was love at first sight- for me anyway. Not long after my secret crush began, my parents broke the news that we would be moving. Sadly, I watched my dreams fall, crashing to the ground. That was in 1996.

Fast forward to 2005. I was a student at SEBTS. Since I lived in the area, I decided to attend my old “home” church out in Louisburg. One glorious Sunday, after church, a group of us went to eat lunch in town. As I ate my Mexican food, I looked over to the far corner of the room and was suddenly stunned. “What?! Could it be true?!” Were my eyes playing tricks? In fact, they were not! I could clearly see him: Cameron Gilliam, my childhood love…my secret crush from the 8th grade! He looked a little different – a bit more grown up. He also caught me staring at him (how embarrassing)! That little stare was obviously providential, as it was the starting point to a love that has been a true gift from God! We’ve been married for 6 ½ years, and I’m so proud that my last name is Gilliam ;)
Carrie & Cameron with their niece, Kenna, and nephew, Tate.

What is one piece of advice you would give to single female students as they attend SEBTS?

I was single when I started at SEBTS, so this question is dear to my heart. Use this time to strengthen your belief in the Lord, His truthfulness, and the awesomeness of His character. He says He is good; choose to believe it. He says He is faithful; choose to believe it. He says He knows what is best for you; choose to believe it. In fact, take joy in it; take joy in Him and where He has you! Take joy in the waiting. You’ll learn a lesson of contentment many folks never endeavor to learn.

What is one piece of advice would you give to other wives on loving and helping their husbands?

Cameron was never a student, but I can give some thoughts from the general perspective of being a wife and a helper. Remember that your husband is a person, too. The Lord has equipped him with a mind and a heart and his own ability to think about things and make decisions. This is a good thing…encourage it in your husband. Learn to love his perspective on life and simple things like how to do house-hold chores or cook a meal. Most likely you’ll approach them from completely different processes. But that’s the beauty. Learn to watch him & the way he works. Learn to value it and treasure it. You’ll love him more for it!

What are you currently studying in your times with the Lord? What is one aspect of God’s character and the gospel you’ve learned about this past year?

Currently, I’m working through the Old Testament and am in the book of Deuteronomy. It’s been a really neat time for me as I am continually being challenged in my thought life and how I think of God. So often, I make up what I think God’s character should be like according to my logic. Reading Scripture from the beginning is forcing me to realize how shallow and sinful my preconceived ideas about how God thinks/acts really are. I am learning what God says about His character and how He says He relates to His people. It’s a really beautiful and humbling eye opener!

Carrie with girls from her class at their SEBTS graduation. 

How did you end up at SEBTS? What did you study? How are you using it now?

I actually came to summer camp here as a child. My Dad was a student in the late 80’s. When I was in college applying for graduate schools the Lord really changed my heart on His direction for my instead of becoming a VCU grad student, I became an SEBTS grad  I received a Masters of Arts in Women’s Studies in the fall of 2007 and currently use what I gleaned from my studies in my job here every day!

What is your role in the Women’s Life Office? What’s your favorite part about the job?

My official title is Women’s Ministry Coordinator, which means that I do anything pertaining to ministering to the women connected with SEBTS. Currently, I’m still learning my job and how to effectively do it…(any suggestions?) but if I had to pick a favorite part, I’d say it’s a tie between teaching in the Women’s Institute and just plain ol’ relationship building with our SEBTS girls. We’ve got some really great women around this school!

Where do you attend church?

Cameron & I attend North Star Baptist Church (NSBC meets at Cedar Creek Middle School in Youngsville.) We love, love, love our church!

Carrie with her friend Rhonda from North Star, getting ready for the Youngsville Christmas Parade.

Tell a funny/random story about yourself?

I won 2nd place in the 1991 National Whistler’s Convention (children’s division). I was 8. See for yourself; it’s international history!

What would you ideal meal be?

Not sure, but my ideal snack involves soft-serve yogurt, cookie dough, fresh fruit, and marshmallow fluff. Strange combination, I know.

Come by and meet Carrie in the Women's Life Office.  We are located in the Ledford Center on the 2nd floor.  Our office hours are Monday through Thursday 8am to 5pm, and Friday's 8am to 4pm.  We are closed daily from 12-1 for lunch.