News Articles

BP Ledger, Aug. 13 edition

EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.

Today’s BP Ledger contains items from:
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
California Baptist University
University of the Cumberlands
Ouachita Baptist University
International Mission Board

Thorough Gospel
presentations bear fruit
By Sharayah Colter

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) –- The smell of hot dogs and nacho cheese wafts from row to row and mingles with the peanut dust stirred up as fans shell their snack. Most of the stadium’s spectators have their gaze locked on the pitching mound, wondering what kind of ball the pitcher will throw next and if the runner on first will try to steal second. Thousands of people have left behind worries of work and sinks of dishes, coming to the stadium for nine innings of relaxed fun at the all-American pastime. They have pushed the pause button on business deals, errands and chores — at least most of them.

Southwestern student Anthony Svajda brought a book he needed to read for class. When the man seated next to him inquired as to what he was reading at the ballgame, Svajda took the opportunity to share his testimony and the message of the Gospel with him.

Assistant Professor of Evangelism Matt Queen says that type of behavior is typical of Svajda, who is pursuing a Master of Divinity with a concentration in evangelism, and many other students that cycle through his evangelism courses at Southwestern.

“Anthony is one of those students who is a go-getter,” Queen said. “He is witnessing several times [a week], and so far in the last two weeks of the class, he has seen six professions of faith.”

Svajda first took “Contemporary Evangelism” with Queen and then enrolled in “Theology of Evangelism” as a conference course with Queen this summer, along with two other students.

In addition to studying scriptural doctrines such as Christology and soteriology, as they relate to evangelism, and writing a thesis-defined research paper and a critical book review, Queen requires students in “Theology of Evangelism” and his other evangelism courses, to meet a self-set witnessing goal each week during the class.

“They have to set a witnessing goal of no less than once a week,” Queen said, “and by “witness” I mean not just attempt to try to share the Gospel, but they’ve actually got to have somebody that they share the consequences and reality of sin, the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and why that matters and how that makes us right with the Father andthen actually call for a decision to believe and repent. Students are required to do no less than once a week, but they are encouraged to do more than that.”

Svajda, who worked in real estate for eight years before enrolling in seminary, said the Lord turned his heart toward evangelism when he took his first Southwestern class with Queen. Even though he was familiar and comfortable with engaging people in conversation, he said Queen’s class and leadership helped him to see how to direct his conversations with people in a way that would allow him to share the Gospel with them.

“Coming from a sales background, I never really had a problem talking to people, but I didn’t know what to say,” Svajda said. “The Lord really got a hold of my heart then. I started understanding that it wasn’t necessarily about the approach or anything like that, or the method that you do it in, but it was more about the intentionality of it. That’s my whole deal, is to make sure that’s on the front of my mind.”

Queen agreed, saying that intentionality serves as the base for evangelism. Unless people plan and prioritize evangelism, it likely will not happen, he said.

“You won’t evangelize if you don’t have a plan to evangelize,” Queen said. “I have found personally, that if I don’t make it a priority to at least once a week say I’m going to make it a priority and put it on my calendar to go and do evangelism, that generally when the opportunities come that I could evangelize, many times I just ignore them.”

Queen says the notion that direct evangelism does not work is a myth.
“It doesn’t work if you don’t do it,” Queen said. “Let me say it this way: Not every single time you witness, will someone come to Christ, but I can guarantee that no one will come to Christ if you don’t ever witness.”

Svajda and Queen’s other students have seen the truth in that statement.

“One guy, he saw himself messing up, never saw anybody come to faith in Christ, and then finally one day it was raining and he comes in and he’s beaming, like a drowned rat, and I said, ‘What are you so happy about? You’re wet!’ and he just said, ‘I just led somebody to Christ in the rain!'” Queen said.

Svajda, too, knows the excitement of leading someone to salvation.

“It’s really cool to see that,” Svajda said. “It makes you want to go out and do it again. I can tell you that. It gets you pumped up.”

Svajda shares anywhere he goes, from Starbucks to the golf course to the front doors of his church, where he serves as director of men’s ministry.

“There are times when we come into contact with people all around us and we miss opportunities just because we are not thinking about sharing the Gospel,” Svajda said. “If we think more about sharing the Gospel and we are intentional, we will feel that discernment and we will be more proactive about doing it.”

Queen added that in addition to the obvious and primary goal of evangelism to bring the lost to faith in the Lord, a commitment to witness also stands to embolden those who have already accepted salvation, encouraging them to proclaim the good news to others, as well. Svajda had that particular opportunity with the man who inquired about his book at the Texas Rangers game, finding out that the man was a Sunday school teacher attending the game with his class.

“If someone we share with is a believer, then hopefully in addition to seeing people saved, we’re encouraging the saints to evangelize,” Queen said, “because [perhaps] they say , ‘Hey, this kid from Southwestern Seminary—at the ballgame of all things—instead of paying attention to the game, is sharing the Gospel with me. Maybe I should share the Gospel.”
Sharayah Colter is a writer for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews).
Buffalo chapter of
InverVarsity regains status

MADISON, Wis. (InterVarsity) — InterVarsity’s chapter at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) is once again functioning as a recognized student organization following a July 28th decision by UB’s Student Wide Judiciary (SWJ). The chapter was de-recognized by the Student Association Senate on April 15, 2012. The de-recognition followed the resignation of the chapter treasurer, who stepped down from his leadership position after revealing that he did not agree with InterVarsity’s Doctrinal Basis.

SWJ ruled that UB’s Student Association Senate improperly failed to distinguish between leadership requirements and membership requirements. InterVarsity chapter activities are open to all students. The 16-page ruling said that “it is common sense, not discrimination, for a religious group to want its leaders to agree with its core beliefs.”

InterVarsity chapter leaders were pleased to learn of their restoration to the campus community. “We hope the SWJ decision sets a precedent that protects all groups on campus and creates a genuinely diverse campus environment that values differences,” said co-president Nicholas C. D’Angelo. “The chapter remained focused and united during this time. Having our presence on campus challenged served to strengthen awareness of our mission and our commitment to the mission.”

Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, was hopeful that the Buffalo decision indicated a trend that other colleges and universities would embrace. “InterVarsity believes that a diverse campus environment requires the presence of groups which authentically and faithfully reflect religious beliefs,” said Hill. “Groups which cannot communicate or embody their creedal commitments cannot contribute to a truthful and robust dialogue.”

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a campus ministry which has been actively involved with students and faculty on U.S. college and university campuses for more than 71 years. InterVarsity currently has more than 890 chapters on more than 575 campuses, ranging from Ivy League schools to community colleges. More information about InterVarsity’s campus access concerns is posted at www.intervarsity.org/about/our/campus-access.
Calif. Baptist garners
top NCCAA honor
By Staff

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (California Baptist University) — On the strength of six national championships, California Baptist University has received the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Presidential Award.

The NCCAA Presidential Award is presented annually to the institution in each division that compiles the most points through National Championship competition. The Lancers garnered 93 points, finishing just two points ahead of second-place Cedarville. Indiana Wesleyan was third with 62 points.

CBU won national titles in men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s golf, softball and baseball, grabbing 12 points for each title.

The Lancers also had a runner-up finish in women’s cross country, finished third in men’s cross country and seventh in women’s basketball. Despite competing in just four of 18 events offered in men’s indoor track and field, the Lancers registered an eighth-place finish to nab an additional point.

Women’s golf earned a runner-up finish at the NCCAA National Championships but the NCCAA stipulates that at least 33 percent of the division’s membership must sponsor the sport in order for it to be eligible for the point system and thus it doesn’t factor into the scoring.

Only three institutions won multiple national championships this year but the other two only won two apiece. Cedarville won women’s indoor track and field and men’s basketball. Olivet Nazarene won men’s indoor track and field and women’s outdoor track and field.

Indiana Wesleyan won men’s indoor track and field. Campbellsville won men’s tennis, and Palm Beach Atlantic won women’s tennis. The Lancers won six of 16 sports and also scored points in 10 of the 14 sports for which they were eligible.

With a membership of more than 100 colleges and universities, the NCCAA is an association of Christ-centered collegiate institutions whose mission is to use athletic competition as an integral component of education, evangelism and encouragement. It is committed to equipping student-athletes and coaches to make a positive impact for Christ. The non-profit organization hosts 23 National Championships and Invitationals annually and has two divisions of membership.

Meanwhile, California Baptist University has received notification from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that it will be moving on to its final year in the three-year Division II membership process after successfully completing Candidacy Year 2.

Director of athletics Micah Parker said DBU’s administration and coaching staff “have worked hard to ensure that we keep moving successfully through this process.”

The result keeps the Lancers on track to become full-fledged NCAA Division II members in 2013-14.

The Lancers played their first full season of NCAA Division II competition this past season as part of Candidacy Year 2, joining the Pacific West Conference. The Lancers were eligible for conference championships immediately, winning a conference-record six in 2011-12, but were not yet eligible for NCAA National Championship competition. The same holds true for the coming provisional year as the Lancers can once again compete for PacWest titles, but will not be eligible for national competition until they become active NCAA members. CBU will continue to function as a Division II institution in all regards.
Reported by the communications staff of California Baptist University.
University of the Cumberlands adds
branch in northern Kentucky

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (University of the Cumberlands) — University of the Cumberlands (UC) will be servicing students through a satellite campus in northern Kentucky beginning this fall. The new branch, located in Florence, Ky., will host three programs: the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology, the master’s program in Physician Assistant Studies, and the Lifelong Learning program.

Students in the Ph.D. program will meet in classes on site for a one year residency and then complete their clinical rotations in clinics and hospitals in the northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area. The PA program will do part of their clinical rotations in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Cumberlands is hoping to receive approval to offer on-site classes for the PA program on the Florence campus by fall 2013.

“We don’t have approval for the PA program yet, but we are trying to get approval for a full program in northern Kentucky. We’re building a clinical rotation site up there now, and then we’ll ask for full program up in that area,” said Dr. Larry Cockrum, Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The northern Kentucky branch will also host the Lifelong Learning program, a degree completion program for working adults. Presently, the program offers degree completion in the areas of business administration, psychology, human services, and criminal justice.

University of the Cumberlands initially required a satellite campus to supply more clinical rotations opportunities for students in the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology.
“There are not mental hospitals around here that we can use. We looked in Lexington and Louisville as well as northern Kentucky, and in going through the scope of it, we found more facilities in the Cincinnati and N. Kentucky area,” said Cockrum.

UC is also looking to admit twice as many students into its PA program within the next few years. Administrators should know by September whether or not the enrollment increase will be approved.

“If we double the size of the PA program, we won’t have enough clinical rotations in this area to handle it. Our plan is to open the northern Kentucky branch and send part of the students up there for their clinical rotations. After we do that, in December, we’ll ask for a full program in Florence,” said Cockrum; “There is a need for physicians’ assistants. The field is really growing, and we can help meet that need.”

UC is also in the process of expanding the building for the northern Kentucky campus in order to better accommodate the three programs it serves.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.
Keldon Henley, Wesley Kluck to begin
new vice presidential roles at Ouachita
By Trennis Henderson

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (Ouachita Baptist University) — Introducing a major change in administrative leadership roles, Ouachita Baptist University President Rex Horne has announced that two longtime vice presidents will switch positions.

Dr. Keldon Henley, vice president for student services since 2003, will assume responsibility as vice president for institutional advancement. Dr. Wesley Kluck, vice president for institutional advancement since 2005, will become vice president for student services. The new assignments will take effect with the beginning of the new academic year.

Henley also has served since 1999 as dean of students. Scott Haynes, director of residence life at Ouachita, will succeed Henley in that role.

Dr. Horne noted that the three men “are excited about the new assignments and opportunities. I think this will enable them to use their experience and abilities in ways that will enhance Ouachita.”

Emphasizing that both Henley and Kluck “bring a lifetime of devotion to Ouachita and a commitment to helping Ouachita advance,” President Horne added, “This is an ongoing commitment of mine to place our people in places of challenge and opportunity.”

As vice president for institutional advancement, Henley will be responsible for supervising the offices of admissions counseling, career services and Ouachita alumni. He also will oversee the work of the Ouachita Student Foundation.

“Ouachita is an extraordinary university that offers its students unparalleled opportunities and experiences,” Henley said. “I’m tremendously excited to serve in institutional advancement.

“Strong staff teams are already in place in each of the program areas within the division,” he added. “I look forward to leading the effort to help move the university forward through recruiting outstanding students, strengthening ties with alumni and former students and developing a career services program that will help our graduates secure positions where they will have the opportunity to be lifelong difference makers.”

Kluck’s role as vice president for student services includes campus activities, campus housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling services, health services, recreational life and student life.

“Since moving back to Arkadelphia in 1984, I have always enjoyed opportunities to partner with college students in learning, serving and just having a good time together,” Kluck said. “I feel this love for college students has prepared me for the new experiences in the position of vice president for student services.”

Henley, Kluck and Haynes are Ouachita alumni. Henley graduated magna cum laude from Ouachita in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music degree. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in marriage and family counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Education degree in higher education from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.

Henley, a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist, began serving at Ouachita in 1993 as university counselor. He also has served as associate dean of students and dean of students. He was honored by the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience as one of 10 Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates for 2011.

Kluck, a 1977 summa cum laude graduate of Ouachita, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in math, chemistry and biology. He also holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Arkansas Medical School.

In addition to his vice presidential role, Kluck serves as university physician and teaches photography. Among numerous leadership roles and honors, he has served as chairman of the Ouachita Board of Trustees, received Ouachita’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, earned several “Best Doctors in Arkansas” recognitions and has been named Rotarian of the Year.

Haynes is a 2006 magna cum laude graduate of Ouachita with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Denver Seminary. While a student at Ouachita, he was a Governor’s Distinguished Scholar. In addition to his roles as dean of students and director of residence life, he serves as hall director of Flippin-Perrin residence hall.
Trennis Henderson is vice president for communications at Ouachita Baptist University.

SOUTH ASIA (International Mission Board)–Brief items reported by South Asia News (http://www.go2southasia.org) in May include:

BANGLADESH. There are some young, unmarried women within the Chittagong division of Bangladesh who have come to know Christ. These women are from the lowest class. They are considered nothing in the eyes of the community. Please pray that they will see their worth through Christ’s eyes alone. Pray for their faith to grow, and for them to stand firm in Jesus. May they become young women who hear His Word and understand it, and produce a crop yielding 100, 60 or 30 times what was sown (see Matthew 13:1-23). http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

BANGALORE HOSPITAL. Thank you for praying for the selection of new students in the School of Nursing. Twenty young women began the certificate course in general nursing in July. In addition, 27 were selected for the degree course that begins in September. Pray for all of these students as they adjust to the rigorous study and to life on the hospital campus. Pray especially for those who do not know Jesus as Savior. A retreat will be held this month for all the staff at the hospital. Pray for the speaker and for the chaplains who will lead in the program. Intercede for all staff who will attend. Pray that some who are not Christ followers will desire to come and participate. http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

BHUTAN. Ask God to reveal to new Bhutanese believers the joy of being able to pray at anytime, anywhere. No longer is prayer confined to the temple! Praise God that Christ’s death on the cross made a way for us to enter the Holy of Holies. Pray that new believers will be bold in their faith, sharing the truth with other Buddhists so they too, can have access to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

DIASPORA. This month hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world are fasting and praying. However, there are many who have secretly left Islam and have put their faith in Christ for their salvation. They are under pressure by family members to fast and to attend the ritual prayers five times a day, especially this month. One of our friends is Thomas*, a new believer from a Muslim background. He shares a home with his brother and sister, both of whom are strong Muslims. They continue to pressure him to go to the mosque for prayers, and they are watching to see if he keeps his fast. Thomas is abstaining from food in the presence of his family, but he avoids going to the mosque During the rest of the year, he is able to get by with not going to afternoon prayers, but during Ramadan it is especially hard to do this. His family wants him to be a good Muslim and to follow all the laws of Islam, but he is resisting this as best as he can, and is trying to live a life that is pleasing to God. He also cares very much for his brother and sister, often going out of his way to show them the love of Christ and that Christ has changed him. Please pray for Thomas – that he will not be forced to follow all the restrictions of Ramadan, and that he will continue to demonstrate the love of Christ to his family in service and kindness. Please also pray for his family – that they will see Christ through Thomas, and that they will hear the Gospel and know the true freedom that only Christ can bring. http://southasianpeoples.imb.org/ [*Thomas is a pseudonym]

HINDU PEOPLES OF MYANMAR. Our national partner had been visiting a certain village for some time and had a relationship with a man there whom he considered to be a ‘person of peace’ (Luke 10:6). Give thanks to God that recently this person of peace accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior! Please intercede for his growth, and lift up our national partner as he ministers in this village. Ask that others there will also accept. http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

INDIA. Throughout the past few months, many laborers for the harvest in Mumbai have had the chance to lead, teach or participate in various trainings. These trainings equip new and old believers to share their faith in new and creative ways and to share their testimonies. These trainings are an answer to prayer, as well as a chance to learn better how to pray for believers in the city. Please intercede for those who have attended these trainings and those who will attend in the future. Pray that all – teachers and attendees – will be bold, Spirit-led, free, and motivated by the Gospel.http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

INDIA. “This month, three college students will be arriving in our state to spend a semester learning about the Gujarati people and sharing with them the Good News of Jesus’ love. Please lift up these students as they travel, study the language, learn the culture, and meet people. Pray that they will meet seekers and be able to answer any questions asked, and that they will be witnesses daily for Christ and of His love for everyone. Pray for new believers with whom they will be interacting and with whom they will be living as examples. Ask God to work in them to perfect their walk in Christ and, through them, to carry the Gospel to the state of Gujarat.” http://prayforgujarat.wordpress.com/

MALDIVES. The Maldives Islands are reported to be 100% Islamic, however an Islamic leader in the Maldives [resort tycoon MP Gasim Ibrahim] is threatening “jihads” to restore Islamic control and beliefs in this beautiful island nation. “Speaking at the JP’s [Jumhoree Party’s] fourth anniversary ceremony on August 5,local newspaper Haveeru reported Gasim as saying the nation had fallen ‘victim’ to [former president] Nasheed and his supporters, whom he accused of conducting ‘terrorist acts’. ‘The time has come to undertake a Jihad in the name of Allah to protect our religion, culture and nation. Such a sacrifice must be made to restore peace and stability in the nation,’ Gasim was quoted as saying.” Please pray that the Maldivians would know the peace that comes in knowing Jesus. Pray for open doors to proclaim Truth in the Maldives. http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

NEPAL. Rejoice!!! A cross-cultural worker in Nepal wrote, “To begin with, a new G Church has started, here in our city, which is GREAT! And they baptized five new believers the day after the opening of their new church building. This building project was funded 100% by the G people, with no foreign help. Self-sufficient! Praise Dad!” Pray that this church body would remain faithful to follow the principles of God’s Word and to live them out in their community. http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

PAKISTAN. There are an estimated 35,000 towns and villages in the Sindh region of Pakistan, and each one needs at least one house church. There are presently less than 20 known house churches. Please pray for new house churches to start so that the vision of 35,000 house churches will become a reality. Ask God to bring His messengers into these many communities, and pray that the Gospel will spread and multiply through families who believe. http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

SRI LANKA. Travel by railway in Sri Lanka is like going back in time. The railway cars are old and rusty but hold an undeniable charm as the wind whips through the open windows that afford the passengers a view into everyday village life. International workers often use the trains to travel between cities, and usually the extended travel time provides an opportunity to have conversations with seatmates. Recently one international worker had the opportunity to share her testimony and a short Gospel presentation with her seatmate who lives in the same city. Soon after the worker shared the Gospel, she realized that her wallet with all of her cash and credit cards had been stolen at the busy train station. God used this situation for His glory as her seatmate got to see the peace of Jesus in the midst of a trial. The worker was also able to explain to her seatmate, who’s a Buddhist and believes in karma, that Jesus died for us while we were still sinners and that Jesus took on Himself the punishment for our sin. Although the man didn’t want to put his faith in Jesus, he was very intrigued by all he had seen and heard and has even had the worker and her family to his home for dinner. Pray for this man to respond to God’s drawing and to seek out the truth. Pray for believers all over the island to take the opportunities God gives them to share their faith. http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

SOUTH ASIANS OF CANADA. During their fasting this month, Muslims are spiritually searching and hoping for a dream or vision on the “Night of Power” that occurs near the end of the fast. This year, that night can fall anywhere between August 14 and August 18, depending on which tradition is followed. Please pray on those days that God will grant many Muslims in the Toronto area dreams or visions about Jesus calling to them. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead these seekers to some of those who have been recently trained to tell them the full message of Jesus. One newly trained South Asian woman already is reaching out to her co-worker. Pray that the Father will draw this female co-worker to Jesus, the Messiah. Pray that Jesus will build His church among Muslims in the Toronto area! http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

SOUTH ASIAN PEOPLES. There are approximately 457 million South Asian Muslims who need to know the Savior. The final 10 days of Ramadan (the 30-day period of fasting and prayer) are considered to be the most holy days of the month for Muslims. Please visit the willyoucare.org to participate in the “10 Days of Sacrifice for Ramadan.” Pray that many individuals will participate in this challenge through prayer and sacrifice and that many Muslim men, women and children will find the Bread of Life this year.

SOUTH ASIAN UNENGAGED PEOPLES. We praise God that churches have stepped up to embrace unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs) all across South Asia. The last week of August and the first week of September, representatives of churches that have embraced UUPGs will be coming to a large southern city to receive training in how to accomplish what they have set out to do. Pray that all of those who will be doing the training will be inspired of the Lord in the materials that they present. Also pray that the church representatives will be ready to digest the information that will be presented during the training. Our ultimate goal and prayer is that after this training, strong churches will be motivated and equipped to move forward with the next steps required for their church to engage the unreached people groups of South Asia that they have embraced. http://prayerthreads.imb.org

SOUTH ASIAN UNREACHED PEOPLES. There are over 1.5 billion South Asians who need to hear the message of salvation in a way in which they can comprehend. Please pray for a special project, “God’s Stories South Asia,” in which the stories of the Bible are being produced as films designed to communicate specifically to over 450 million people in South Asia. Filmed in Arabic and already being shown throughout the Middle East, the films have now been dubbed into Urdu for use in South Asia. Stories of the major Old Testament prophets are complete. Filming of the story of the Savior is about to begin. Pray for the necessary funds to be provided for both the filming of the Savior and for copying and distributing of the Urdu-dubbed films among South Asians. Pray for the hearts of viewers to be receptive to these stories. Pray for God’s blessings upon these films for His glory alone! http://southasianpeoples.imb.org

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