FROM THE SEMINARIES: Gateway scholarship for students affected by COVID-19; Boyce College adds Seminary Track program

by SBC Seminary staff, posted Wednesday, April 08, 2020 (one month ago)

Gateway receives $250,000 gift to help students in crisis

By Staff

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) -- Gateway Seminary has received a $250,000 gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The gift is intended to assist with student scholarships, focused on helping students continue their studies in the midst of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The value of these new scholarship funds cannot be overestimated," Gateway president Jeff Iorg said.

A recent survey of Gateway students found they are facing a variety of new challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nearly half of the respondents expressed concerns about the financial consequences of the pandemic and their ability to continue their studies.

"Many students are enduring significant decreases in work hours or loss of employment, unexpected childcare costs and shifting ministry responsibilities," Iorg said.

During the move from the Bay Area to southern California, the seminary committed to a number of conservative fiscal policies and technology enhancements. Those policies, along with investments in educational technology and training, have paid dividends during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We are in a position financially and educationally where we can focus our current fundraising efforts on scholarships and student support," Iorg said.

The Seminary maintains a benevolence fund to assist students in precarious situations. Iorg anticipates an increase in fund requests as the pandemic exacerbates the financial difficulties some students are facing.

"This situation is unprecedented but it is giving us an opportunity to concentrate on helping the most important people at Gateway -- our students," he said. "For years, we have used the phrase 'the mission matters most' in organizational decision-making. Our mission centers on students preparing for their ministry callings and contextualizing the Gospel in their communities. We are not going to compromise that priority."

Editor's Note: The first paragraph of this story was edited after publication to reflect the source of the donation.

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New Seminary Track programs added to Boyce College curriculum

By Forrest Strickland

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Boyce College is adding two new Seminary Track programs to its academic offerings. The two new programs will be a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration combined with a Master of Divinity as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Communication combined with a Master of Divinity. The Seminary Track program at Boyce College is a five-year curriculum which allows students to earn both a Bachelor of Arts from Boyce and a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS).

"One of the programs I believe in most at Boyce College is our joint baccalaureate and Master of Divinity program, because of its power, stewardship, and opportunity," said SBTS president R. Albert Mohler Jr. "With the Business Administration and Communications tracks, this is going to provide even more opportunities for ministry, not only in the church but also in the workplace. What our world needs right now is a generation ready to go with urgency into the pulpit and into the world, and these two new programs are powerful demonstrations of what it means to maximize stewardship to the glory of God and in service to the Gospel of Christ."

"The Business Administration and Communication tracks are the first Seminary Tracks Boyce College has offered that help prepare students for leading effectively in the marketplace and for service in the church," said Dustin Bruce, dean of Boyce College. "It aims to equip students for ministry in a changing world, whether as a pastor, church planter, missionary or bi-vocational pastor.

"From small-town America to the megacities of Asia, our graduates are entering into a changing ministry context. By combining two of our most versatile marketplace degrees with our flagship ministry degree, Boyce College and Southern Seminary are coming together to equip students to serve the cause of Christ in an ever-changing world."

David Bosch, associate dean of academic strategy and business program coordinator, helped spearhead the creation of these degrees. Bosch considers the new program a tremendous opportunity for students not only to receive the theological education that is required for pastoral ministry, but also the marketplace and business skills that are necessary for the effective operation of churches.

"What a great opportunity for an individual to save time and money in being equipped for ministry," Bosch said. "This degree is beneficial to those who want to engage in business as mission both domestically and internationally. It is also ideal for the bivocational minister. Lastly, it is perfect for those that want to be an executive pastor of a church or a leader in a faith-based organization. This degree is innovative as we have not watered down either degree. Now is the time to be holistically equipped for ministry, and this degree does that."

Both degrees are 199 hours and could be completed in five years. In the Communication track, students will take classes like Introduction to Communication, Media, Culture, and Society, Interpersonal Communication, in addition to the core curriculum for both degrees. The Business Administration track allows students also to choose their area of emphasis: entrepreneurial management, non-profit management, or financial and accounting management.

Prospective students can find more information here.

Forrest Strickland writes for SBTS.
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