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Falwell, at Midwestern, notes uniqueness of Christian education

KANSAS CITY Mo. (BP)–Many seminaries “have long since departed the faith and disregarded the Scriptures and done their own thing,” guest speaker Jerry Falwell said.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary isn’t one of them, Falwell said during convocation at the Kansas City, Mo., campus.

“I can think of far more seminaries to which I would not send my grandchildren; Midwestern is one seminary that I would send them to,” said Falwell, founder and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Christian universities and seminaries have a unique three-fold purpose, Falwell said in his Aug. 22 remarks, noting that they must strive to retain their message, mission and vision. The extent to which a school stringently upholds these qualities, he said, is the best way to differentiate whether it is a Christian or non-Christian school.

The unique message of a Christian school, Falwell said, is that it “believes in, preaches and teaches the faith of the single message that Jesus Christ was sent and crucified” and it teaches what Christians believe in and why.

A Christian school’s unique mission, Falwell said, embraces the Bible’s Great Commission as the only mission, calling champions for Christ to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every lost person among the world’s 6 billion people.

“This school is dedicated to championing students for divine preparation for the big work, [for a] life’s work … to proclaim the right message and the right mission.”

Falwell said this can only be accomplished when students like those at Midwestern devote themselves to studying and serving as part of God’s mission. “If you are going to be a champion of God, you must be more intimately plugged into God more than ever before.”

By staying focused on the visionary future, Midwestern will experience a miracle of God’s working, Falwell said.

“Don’t think you need a lot of money and a lot of resources or a lot of anything; all you got to have is a heart on fire for God and a vision from Him,” Falwell said. “If you will capture all this institution has to offer and pour it into your heart and life as you go from here, you will be glad you attended a uniquely Christian college and seminary.”

Following Falwell’s address, Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts awarded Harold Rawlings, roving ambassador for the Rawlings Foundation, with the seminary’s presidential medallion for his and the foundation’s support for MBTS. The presidential medallion is the highest honor awarded by the seminary to individuals who have made a significant impact on Midwestern and Christian higher education.

J. Alan Branch, Midwestern’s vice president of student development, was awarded a replica of John’s Gospel from the Guttenberg Press for his five years of faithful service to the seminary.

Midwestern also introduced its three newest faculty members during the convocation.

Frederick (Freddy) Cardoza II joins MBTS as associate director for the professional doctoral program. He received a doctor of education degree in leadership from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in addition to completing coursework for a Ph.D. in Christian education at Southern. He holds an M.A. degree in Christian education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.S. in youth ministries from Liberty University.

Eric A. Foley, a new assistant professor of church music, received a doctorate in choral conducting performance from the University of Kansas, a master’s in music and bachelor’s degree in vocal music education from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

N. Blake Hearson joins the faculty as an appointed assistant professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. He received his Ph.D. and master’s degree from Hebrew Union College; an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Wheaton College.

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  • James Streicher