New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees recently approved the largest budget in seminary history, created a new specialization in the master of divinity program and endorsed two new graduate certificates to aid international missionary candidates.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees
recently approved the largest budget in seminary history, created a new
specialization in the master of divinity program and endorsed two new
graduate certificates to aid international missionary candidates.
School trustees approved a budget of $18.3 million,
a $1.3 million increase from the current year. Due to the establishment
of two endowed faculty chairs last year, trustees were able to raise
the budget with only slight increases in tuition and fees.
“Once again, the Cooperative Program will contribute
almost 50 percent of the funds for the operating budget of New Orleans
Baptist Theological Seminary,” President Chuck Kelley said.
“Every dollar that comes to us from the Cooperative
Program and from donors who think the training of ministers and
missionaries is important is a dollar our students do not have to pay
“We can never say thank you enough to God for his
provision and to Southern Baptist churches from whom so much of God’s
provision comes,” Kelley said.
In addition to acting on the budget, trustees
approved a new 95-hour master of divinity specialization in philosophy
and ethics. The specialization is designed for those
who will serve as youth ministers, collegiate ministers,
pastor-teachers and those who will pursue advanced degrees to teach on
a college or seminary level.
“The addition … further strengthens our curriculum
in this important area of philosophy and worldviews,” seminary provost
Steve Lemke said. “Those who minister to students understand how
crucial having a grasp of contemporary worldviews is in ministering to
today’s college students.”
During the meeting, trustees also approved two new
graduate certificates – one in church planting and one in evangelistic
church growth – to provide a systematic approach for students seeking
to fulfill the Southern Baptist International Mission Board seminary
The mission board currently requires 20 hours of
seminary training for those who will serve as strategy coordinators.
Instead of 20 unrelated hours of seminary training, students in these
certificate programs will receive 25-26 hours of focused ministry
education, seminary leaders said. Then, during stateside assignments,
the hours may be used toward a master’s degree. In June 2004, trustees
launched a similar graduate certificate in missions.
“These certificates allow students who are eager to
deploy to the field internationally or in North America the opportunity
to complete a course of study, rather than just have a collection of
hours that do not build toward a degree,” Lemke said.
The recent trustee meeting also marked the end of
Tommy French’s two-year service as trustee chair. French is pastor at
Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.
“I have known few men who approach the leadership
abilities of Louisiana pastor Tommy French,” Kelley said of the
outgoing board leader.
“His wisdom, his Baptist convictions and his immense
denominational experience made him a great chairman of the board and an
important personal mentor for me. That his fellow trustees would elect
him chairman during his first term of service speaks volumes about the
respect that follows him wherever he goes.”
The board unanimously elected Ray Moncrief of
London, Ky., to serve as the trustee chair for the 2005-06 school year.
In other action, trustees voted to name the second
floor of the new William Carey Building at the school the “Corvin
Broadcast Center” to honor Clay Corvin, vice president for business
affairs and a 25-year seminary staff member. The building houses the
seminary’s radio station and MissionLab, an initiative designed to
bring youth, college and senior adult mission volunteers to New