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Commuter classes at New Orleans Seminary to begin in Jan.

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary will hold classes on its New Orleans campus starting in January, NOBTS President Chuck Kelley has announced. He also said that the May graduation ceremony will be held on campus in Leavell Chapel.

In addition to the classes on the New Orleans campus, a full range of course delivery systems will be offered in the spring semester for undergraduate and graduate students, including beefed-up offerings at extension centers, Internet courses, threaded discussion directed study courses, weekend classes and one-week academic workshops.

Because student housing will not be available in January, the courses are designed with commuter students in mind. The seminary will continue to offer a variety of study options during the spring semester for those who cannot commute to the main campus.

The announcement came during Kelley’s recent trip to campus Nov. 10 to view restoration progress and his comments are posted in a letter to the seminary family at the school’s website (www.nobts.edu).

“The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary campus is coming to life again. We’ve made amazing progress,” Kelley said. “The campus is literally changing every week.”

Kelley found the front block of campus in excellent condition. He said the main academic buildings are ready for use. According to Kelley, quick restoration work by the seminary’s contractor, Mike Moskau, facilitated the early return of on-campus courses.

“We couldn’t have gotten this far without Mike Moskau,” Kelley said. “He has picked up on our passion to get it done and he’s found ways to make it happen.”

Although a few classes at some extension centers begin Jan. 18, most on-campus and extension center classes will begin Jan. 23. On-campus classes will be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Most courses meet one day a week in two- or three-hour blocks. Many students will be able to take a fulltime course load by commuting to campus only one or two days each week.

More than 30 graduate courses and 10 undergraduate courses will be offered in New Orleans.

To facilitate the main campus courses, the John T. Christian Library, the president’s office and many other campus offices will open in January. While student housing will not be available, on-campus housing will be available to staff members who return.

Because students remain scattered throughout the country, NOBTS will continue to offer an extensive schedule of online courses and threaded discussion courses. One-week academic workshops will be held in seven different locations in January, February, March and April; the locations include Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Orlando, Fla.

“It is an unbelievable task for our faculty, who are located all over the Southeast and Southwest, to be able to come together and develop this schedule,” Steve Lemke, NOBTS provost, said. “The leadership of the deans and division chairs has been crucial in making this task possible.”

As the on-campus January courses offer the first taste of normalcy for the NOBTS faculty, Kelley continued to praise the professors’ work after the storm, noting that their flexibility helped the seminary through this difficult time.

“This faculty is passionate about serving our students, and they are working extremely hard to make sure preparations for a life of ministry that will continue whatever the obstacles may be,” Kelley said.

Kelley said the seminary is on track to open some on-campus student housing units as early as April. The goal is to give students an opportunity to get back to New Orleans early so they may participate in the city’s restoration.

In May, Kelley said, summer workshops also will return to the New Orleans campus. Workshops will be held on campus in May, June, July and August. In August, he said, the campus will resume normal operations.
Complete spring classes schedules are available online at www.nobts.edu.