Called to Equip: An Interview with Dr. Scott Hildreth

by CGCS Staff

Last week, we shared with you who we are and what we do. Over the next couple weeks, we will introduce you to the four directors of the Center for Great Commission Studies. Dr. Scott Hildreth is the George Liele Director of the CGCS at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. He stepped into his current position over 10 years ago right after coming home from the mission field. To learn more about how him and his story, keep reading below.

Don’t put God’s will in your predetermined box. My life is a story of God re-directing me to accomplish His will. Tape a map to the wall and ask God to send you somewhere on it.
— Scott Hildreth

How did God call you into ministry and into the vocation of teaching?

When I was a pastor, God used a phone call with a church planter in Minnesota and a trip to South America to open my eyes to the Gospel needs around the world. My wife and I started praying together about where God might be calling us. Eventually, he led us to Europe and Central Asia. During that time, we worked to get the Gospel to those around us. We also worked with new people coming to the field.

God used these experiences to awaken in us a desire to be involved in theological education as an extension of our missionary call. I serve at Southeastern as a way of fulfilling my original call to see the Gospel shared with the lost. My vocation of teaching is really a call to equip a generation of Christian leaders to serve Christ and his Great Commission.

How did you arrive at SEBTS?

I came to Southeastern straight from Central Asia. Originally, I came to pursue a PhD as a vehicle to do theological education (see the first question). God was gracious enough to open this door to serve as the director of the CGCS, and I have been in this role over 10 years.

What excites you most about the CGCS?

Every year, we see students and other members of the SEBTS family serving God's grand mission. It is exciting to watch God re-write the hopes and ambitions of young men and women from their original pursuit of a "normal" life to a “Great Commission” life. Now, they are committed to following wherever He leads.

I love to be with students the first time they share Christ with a lost person and even more, to be with them when they lead someone to Christ for the first time.  

What advice would you give to new students at SEBTS?

Don't put God's will in your predetermined box. My life is a story of God re-directing me to accomplish His will. Tape a map to the wall and ask God to send you somewhere on it. This is a unique time in your life when you are positioned to hear God’s voice clearly and be encouraged by others to follow His lead.

Who's your favorite missionary and/or favorite missions quote?

My missionary hero is Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission. He was a visionary, a leader, and a man who made his relationship with God a priority.

Two of his quotes that I like:

  • “God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply.”

  • “There are three stages to every work of God; first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”