News Articles

SBC DIGEST: New interim SBC EC CFO; For the Church Cohorts at MBTS

SBC EC names new interim CFO

By BP Staff

Twila Roberts

NASHVILLE (BP) – Twila Roberts will take over as interim chief financial officer for the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee July 1. Roberts will replace Bill Townes, who temporarily rejoined the EC in March after his 2020 retirement. Townes had agreed to fill in for a short time after the departure of previous CFO Jeff Pearson.

In an email to EC staff Wednesday (May 18), interim EC President and CEO Willie McLaurin said Roberts “has had vast non-profit experience.” She currently performs contract CFO work for a number of non-profit organizations. She also has served for many years on staff at a church in Florida.

She will work part time, mostly remotely, through December 2022.

“Twila is an analytical thinker and will bring a wealth of knowledge to our team,” McLaurin said in the email. “Bill Townes will provide Twila with a good foundation related to SBC financial operations.”

MBTS announces For The Church Cohorts,

By Brett Fredenberg

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – Midwestern Seminary has announced For The Church Cohorts, a new one-year training program designed to equip like-minded residential seminary students through enhanced discipleship, focused study, and intentional community.

FTC Cohorts exist for first year graduate-level students who desire to enhance their academic studies through hands-on ministry experience in one of five areas of focus: Timothy Track, Biblical Counseling, Fusion Masters, Women in Scholarship and Spurgeon Fellows.

Beginning in the fall of 2022, each cohort will gather weekly on Midwestern’s campus for fellowship, presentations and discussion on topics related to their ministry fields, and to learn from world-class faculty and ministry leaders.

“I could not be more excited to announce this new initiative, nor could I be more encouraged by the donor support and initial student interest we’ve received,” said MBTS President Jason Allen. “For the Church Cohorts is the perfect combination. It combines substantial scholarships for our students with cohort community and life-on-life mentorship by our stellar faculty. And it all fits squarely within our institutional mission to be for the church.

“Midwestern Seminary is committed to continually ask how we most effectively serve our students and, ultimately, the churches they will go on to serve. It’s clear our generation needs more ministry formation, not less. For the Church Cohorts enables the seminary to invest in these students more intentionally, and for these students to more deeply benefit from their seminary experience.”

Cohort members will enjoy time with faculty and other key ministry leaders who are eager to invest in them both personally and academically. They will also gain invaluable experience by leading discussions, presenting on ministry topics, managing events, and serving local churches.

All cohort participants will receive a 50 percent tuition scholarship and are eligible to earn up to 12 hours of course credit through the program. Cohort scholarships are in addition to the discounted SBC tuition rate.

Jordan Wilbanks, the director of church partnerships at Midwestern Seminary, said of the new cohorts, “The FTC Cohort model is based on our Timothy Track program, with which we have found enormous success.”

“Ultimately, we believe this is the best way to train for ministry,” he continued. “The level of community-building, faculty investment, and institutional buy-in toward the student experience at Midwestern Seminary is extraordinary. This means that participants in each cohort will be known by their faculty leaders, will have an immediate avenue to genuine and long-lasting friendships, and will have invaluable opportunities to learn and grow as a leader.”

Each cohort will be led by local experts in the field and focus on a particular area of interest for residential graduate students.

Read the full story here.

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