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Carver School of Social Work given to Kentucky college


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Pointing to a change in the
direction of social work as a profession and a 1995 mandate
by its trustees, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has
given its Carver School of Social Work to a Kentucky Baptist
college.
The Southern Baptist Convention seminary and
Campbellsville (Ky.) University announced the transfer Jan.
19. Seminary trustees had voted in 1995 to close the school
upon the recommendation of President R. Albert Mohler Jr.
“Having now completed the transfer of (Carver) to
Campbellsville University, we will begin to restructure
programs of study to incorporate classes giving attention to
Christian ministries in a social context,” Mohler told
Baptist Press.
“Southern Seminary is fully committed to continue
training and education in specialized missions and social
ministries in keeping with both the spirit and the substance
of the transfer agreement,” Mohler said. “Though we are no
longer conducting a specialized program of social work
leading to the master of social work degree, we will, in
keeping with our Great Commission mandate, continue to train
missionaries and ministers in Christian social ministries.”
Mohler said a shift in the program was made necessary
by the direction social work, as a profession, has taken in
the last 20 years.
“We are absolutely convinced that Southern Baptists
would want us to conduct a program of ministry-based
evangelism, and we are determined to do so. We are
absolutely committed to use the proceeds from this trust to
undergird scholarship and instruction in the area of
missions and social ministry training.”
What was actually transferred to Campbellsville was not
fully identified, but it appears neither real estate nor
endowment were included. Mohler told news media that what
was transferred was basically the legal entity known as the
Carver School of Social Work opened by Southern Seminary in
1984, including records and other documentation as well as
some library materials.
Carver traces its history back to 1907 when a Woman’s
Missionary Union Training School was founded to train female
missionaries. Its name was changed to the Carver School of
Missions in 1953. When the school was transferred to
Southern Seminary in 1963, Southern began offering a master
of religious education degree with a major in social work.
The Carver School of Church Social Work was established by
the seminary in 1984, thus offering a master of church
social work degree.
In 1963 following recommendations from Carver School
trustees, messengers attending the SBC annual meeting agreed
to have the seminary operate the Carver School’s program “in
such a manner as in good faith will seek to achieve the
purposes as set forth in the Carver School charter.”
“Southern Seminary has been faithful and continues to
be faithful to those purposes,” Mohler said.
He cited the Billy Graham School of Missions,
Evangelism and Church Growth as meeting the missions
requirement by providing innovative and cutting-edge
missionary training.
Campbellsville University officials, in a news release,
said they were “extremely pleased to have finalized this
agreement. The Carver School of Social Work already has
established itself nationally as a leading academic center
for graduate studies in social work. We will continue that
standard of excellence.”
Campbellsville, now with 1,600 students, was founded in
1906 and is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
It plans to begin course work in the fall of 1998 with a
master’s of social work degree.

    About the Author

  • Herb Hollinger