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20 Baptist schools listed as ‘military friendly’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Twenty Baptist-related educational institutions have been selected for the 2010 list of Military Friendly Schools compiled by G.I. Jobs magazine based in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“The list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools which are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students,” a G.I. Jobs news release stated.

G.I. Jobs publisher Rich McCormack said the list is important in light of the recently enacted Post-9/11 GI Bill, which he said “has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school. Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified. So schools are clamoring for them like never before. Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The Military Friendly Schools list is that trusted friend.”

Schools on the Military Friendly Schools list offer added benefits to student veterans such as on-campus veterans programs, credit for service and military spouse programs, the G.I. Jobs news release stated.

According to the news release: “The list was compiled through exhaustive research starting last May during which G.I. Jobs polled more than 7,000 schools nationwide. Methodology, criteria and weighting for the list were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Committee consisting of educators and administrators from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Toledo, Duquesne University, Coastline Community College and Lincoln Technical Institute.”

Baptist-related schools on the list by state are: Arizona, Grand Canyon University; Arkansas, Ouachita Baptist University; California, California Baptist University; Florida, The Baptist College of Florida; Georgia, Luther Rice Seminary and University; Kentucky, Campbellsville University, Georgetown College, Mid-Continent University; Mississippi, William Carey University; Missouri, Southwest Baptist University; North Carolina, Campbell University, Chowan University, Mars Hill College; Ohio, Cedarville University; South Carolina, Charleston Southern University; Texas, Dallas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University, Howard Payne University, Wayland Baptist University; Virginia, Liberty University.

CAMPBELLSVILLE HOSTS KY./SBC LEADER — John Mark Toby, president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke on “How much you matter to God” in Campbellsville University’s chapel Sept. 9.

Toby, pastor of Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, was joined in chapel by Gencie Taylor and Brandon Todd, two Campbellsville freshman from Beacon Hill, who gave their testimonies.

Speaking from the Luke 19:1-10 story of Zacchaeus, a tax collector of short stature who climbed a tree in order to see Jesus, Toby said, “No matter how insignificant I feel, Jesus notices me; no matter what other people say, Jesus affirms me; and no matter what I’ve done, Jesus is with me.”

Society’s view of worth is “totally different from what God says we should base our worth on,” Toby said. “You have worth and value to God. Jesus knows your name.”

Toby encouraged Campbellsville students “to have a life encounter with Christ. When we engage with God, we get more than we ever ask for.”

God is interested “in the intricate details of your life,” Toby said. “God knows exactly where you are. You may be in a tough place today, but I want you to know that God’s got His eyes on you because you matter to God. God has good plans for you. God made you for a reason and a purpose.”

Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

OKLA. BAPTIST UNIV. FRESHMEN ARRIVE CONNECTED — When Oklahoma Baptist University’s class of 2013 arrived on Bison Hill in late August, many of them already had overcome the social butterflies common to key transitions in life, having connected with their future classmates through a social media network created by OBU’s admissions office.

When students are accepted to OBU, they become part of a group called “I’m a Bison,” named for the university mascot. So when OBU’s admissions office decided to venture into the realm of online social media sites, they created an “I’m a Bison” network hosted on Ning.com and open only by invitation of the admissions staff. When the summer came to a close, 260 of OBU’s nearly 370 freshmen — more than 70 percent — were members of the site.

OBU admissions staff chose to pay a minimal fee to remove advertising and banners from the otherwise-free Ning site. The resulting site has allowed the incoming class to participate in interactive communication such as posting on blogs, reading news feeds, joining groups with common interests and sharing photos and videos, with a number of students connecting with fellow freshmen from their regional areas.

One group even organized a missions trip in Shawnee June 20-29. They camped at Cargo Ranch and served through Good Shepherd Chapel, where they fed, played with and led devotions for children.

“I have met almost everyone that I met through Ning as well as Facebook,” said Arturo Diaz, a freshman from Garland, Texas. “It was interesting to actually meet everyone in person for the first time and yet still know so much about them already before meeting face to face. It was great to see how easily we could strike up a conversation amongst ourselves.”

OBU’s social media activity reflects a growing national trend. Research indicates that university admissions offices far outpace the use of social media, in some ways, by even Fortune 500 companies.

OBU’s admissions staff plans to phase out current members in early fall so that high school seniors admitted to OBU will receive an exclusive invitation to join the online “I’m a Bison” Network for the class of 2014.

OBU is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

SUDAN CAMPAIGN CONTINUES — Joshua Guthrie -– a high school junior dually enrolled at Union University –- has set a goal of $24,000 for three freshwater wells in Sudan in the second year of his “Dollar for a Drink” campaign. Last year, he set a goal of $8,000 to fund one well -– and raised about $11,000.

“It went phenomenally — greater than we expected,” Guthrie said about last year’s efforts. The Lord blessed us in so many ways.”

The son of George Guthrie, a Bible professor at Union, Joshua said more than 12 million people in Sudan lack adequate access to clean water. Digging wells also is expensive, because the dry climate requires deep digging to get to the water.

So Guthrie asks that people give up one drink and donate $1 to help dig a well. The campaign also is intended to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Sudanese people through this opportunity.

Guthrie is working with Baptist Global Response, a Southern Baptist relief and development organization. Once the money is collected, BGR will send in a team to dig the wells, and the workers will use their time in Sudan as an opportunity to talk about their faith in Jesus Christ.

Guthrie hopes to increase the number of teenagers involved in promoting Dollar for a Drink in their schools and churches.

“You don’t have to wait until you’re older in order to do something big for others and for the Lord,” Guthrie said. “You can make a difference now.”

He has a new promotional video on his website, www.dollarforadrink.org, and posters also are available for download. In addition, Guthrie has a Facebook group for “Dollar for a Drink,” and he’s encouraging supporters to help him spread the word by promoting the project on their Facebook profiles.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston; Hillary C. Wright of Campbellsville University; Julie McGowan of Oklahoma Baptist University; and Tim Ellsworth of Union University.

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