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FROM THE SEMINARIES: MBTS D.Min. in women’s ministry; Hawkins, Queen evangelism class at SWBTS

MBTS announces new doctoral degree in ministry to women

By Brett Fredenberg/MBTS

KANSAS CITY, Mo, (BP) – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced a new degree offering to its doctoral program, the Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women. Launching in the fall of 2023, the D.Min. in Ministry to Women seeks to expand the seminary’s efforts to develop theologically based strategies for ministry to women.

I am grateful to announce our new Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women degree,” said President Jason Allen. “We desire to train both men and women for the church and this new degree program will further serve that aim. I am especially thankful for Dr. Thor Madsen, Dr. Leslie Umstattd, and the many others who helped bring this new program to fruition.”

Midwestern Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry is an advanced degree preparing students for leadership in local churches and denominational service. Professional doctoral degree offerings, such as the Doctor of Ministry, are designed for those seeking growth in ministerial competencies, spiritual vitality, and overall character development.

In the continued effort to biblically educate God-called men and women to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ, Midwestern Seminary’s D.Min. in Ministry to Women provides further opportunities to equip women to minister to women. Furthermore, the degree offering seeks to serve local churches by providing further educational opportunities focused on a significant population within Southern Baptist churches – women.

The D.Min. in Ministry to Women will be led by Assistant Professor of Christian Education Leslie Umstattd. Umstattd has served in a variety of ministry roles for more than 20 years, including teaching Bible studies, developing curriculum and leading women’s retreats. She joined the faculty after earning a doctorate in educational ministry from Midwestern. Additionally, she serves her local church in Kansas City as the women’s ministry leader.

“Midwestern Seminary has the local church in mind when training men and women for ministry,” Umstattd said. “This new path of study aligns perfectly with the seminary’s overarching vision by giving women an occasion for deeper understanding of their calling and furthering of their education to hone their ministry skills.”

Umstattd will teach the first seminar in the program next spring, called Foundations of Ministry to Women. The course seeks to provide contextualized strategies for women not only to evaluate ministerial approaches, but also to provide a platform for theological insight for personal and professional ministry.

She also shared plans for a second course in the degree, Contemporary Issues in Ministry to Women. This course will provide opportunities for students to research and analyze prominent concerns while developing and defending biblical solutions with biblical and cultural insight.

Read the full story here.

Hawkins, Queen to teach Evangelistic Preaching this fall at SWBTS

By James Dugger/SWBTS

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will offer the course Evangelistic Preaching, with a focus on offering a Gospel invitation, co-taught by Chancellor O.S. Hawkins and Interim Provost Matt Queen, on Monday evenings during the fall 2023 academic semester.

“Instead of just letting the invitation remain the same for every passage someone preaches, we want to teach how to let the text drive the invitation,” Queen said. “We’re going to teach how to form the invitation based on the genre of Scripture, what the Gospel cues are, and the audience that is being preached to so that it is a specific experience for the context one is preaching in.”

Queen noted the class is “not just for one specific group of pastors.”

“We envision having many different people being impacted by this class like a pastor who doesn’t know how to include a well thought out invitation or even an evangelist who will be preaching God’s Word on a weekly basis,” he explained.

In addition to the Bible, the main textbook for the course is Hawkins and Queen’s newly released book, The Gospel Invitation. With this book, students will gain what Queen describes as the first book to his knowledge that “includes practical steps on how to develop a sermon with a Gospel invitation included.” The Gospel Invitation will also be the giveaway item from Southwestern during the Pastors’ Conference at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“There have been a number of books written over the last 30 years, but there have been no books that give a ‘how to’ guide for preaching an invitation,” Queen said. “None of those books give an exercise to be able to give a good invitation and that this what this class is going to do.”

The course is offered in person, allowing a student to learn in a traditional classroom setting, and also using a flexible format, which allows students to join class live via Zoom or watch the recorded videos of the lectures at their availability during the week. Students who attend this class, whether in person or online, will learn about the basis of biblical preaching and why it is important to not only include an invitation, but include an invitation in the sermon, not as a plug-in at the end of the sermon.

“Some people use the same invitation at the end of every sermon,” Queen said. “They can say it frontwards and backwards because they have used it so often.” He said he wants to help pastors and preachers learn how to “prepare and preach the invitation as a part of the sermon” and not as an add-on.

Read the full story here.

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