Baptist colleges: True partners in kingdom growth : Friday, Oct. 31, 2003
October 30 2003 by Jim Royston

Baptist colleges: True partners in kingdom growth : Friday, Oct. 31, 2003
Friday, Oct. 31, 2003

Baptist colleges: True partners in kingdom growth

By Jim Royston
BSC Executive Director-treasurer
N.C. Baptists have had colleges almost as long as we've had a Baptist State Convention.

A major reason we established our convention in 1830 was to birth and support a "manual institute" located in the "forest of Wake (County)," opening for classes in 1834. Six other Baptist colleges - Chowan (1848), Mars Hill (1856), Campbell (1887), Meredith (1891), Wingate (1896) and Gardner-Webb (1905)-later joined the convention family. Christian education has been a major part of our denominational foundation.

Baptist colleges and universities are still a vital part of our cooperative ministry efforts. One of the unique and amazing aspects of our schools is their ability to adapt to the changing needs of our churches and communities. Most of our colleges began as boarding high schools, later becoming two-year (junior) colleges and then four-year institutions, several with graduate programs. Meeting community and church needs is a hallmark of our institutions.

One of the major needs of our churches today is leadership development. Everywhere I go - in churches large and small - trained leadership tops the need list. Many of our congregations face critical leadership shortages, especially as older members are no longer able to continue in their service. All of our schools are committed to addressing these leadership issues, from the founding of divinity schools at Gardner-Webb and Campbell to an on-campus church leadership institute at Chowan. Our schools - strategically located across the state - have a tremendous potential to serve church leaders, both clergy and laity.

Our colleges and universities have also taken extraordinary measures to serve N.C. Baptists by making college education as affordable as possible. Wingate University, for example, provides a tuition free education to any active N.C. Baptist minister. Baptist ministers attending Chowan College pay only $125 in tuition per semester, a bargain by even state-supported college standards. Scholarship assistance for N.C. Baptists is available at all of our institutions. You can attend a Baptist college or university for a lot less money that you might expect!

My vision for our state convention centers around reaching the lost and developing believers. These two goals obviously depend upon vital and healthy churches, especially congregations designed to reach the thousands of people moving into our state. Vital and healthy churches depend upon trained leadership.

And I'm looking to our colleges and universities to be our partners in this important endeavor.

10/30/2003 11:00:00 PM by Jim Royston | with 0 comments

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