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FROM THE SEMINARIES: NOBTS to offer live online classes in Spanish; SWBTS, Prestonwood announce partnership

NOBTS, Leavell College to offer live online training in Spanish

By Marilyn Stewart/NOBTS

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – For Spanish-speaking students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree, a new initiative at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College makes earning a degree easier.

Using video conferencing software, online live-taught classes in Spanish are now available at NOBTS and Leavell College to serve students regardless of where they live and serve. The delivery system allows students to interact with the class in real time while providing students the option to view recorded lectures at their convenience.

Fabio Castellanos, director of the Spanish distance education program, said the initiative is unique.

“For years there has been a gap in theological education in Spanish,” Castellanos said. “Several institutions offer basic education at the certificate level and then jump to the master’s degree in theological studies. NOBTS is a pioneer in providing an answer to this need with the Associate in Christian Ministry and Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry programs.”

For many years, Leavell College has offered an in-person Spanish undergraduate program, but with the video conferencing delivery system NOLA2U FLEX, opportunity and flexibility come together.

Castellanos sees it as a way to move the Gospel forward.

“Every Christian trained to read, interpret, and handle correctly the Word of God, or trained to provide biblical comfort to those in need, or skilled to plant, lead or revitalize a church, is an opportunity to contribute to the Kingdom of God,” Castellanos said.

The need for accredited, accessible theological education taught in Spanish is something Castellanos has experienced personally.

Castellanos came to New Orleans six years ago from Colombia seeking academic and ministerial preparation that was unavailable in his country. Though he could not speak English at the time, Castellanos enrolled and today is a Ph.D. candidate.

“Everyone who knows the Hispanic community knows of its warmth, joy and great passion to serve God, but the absence of academic and ministerial preparation has been a constant,” he said. “God has inspired the leadership of NOBTS and Leavell College to respond to this great need of this growing community by launching the most solid, carefully crafted, and affordable theological training in Spanish.”

As director, Castellanos recruits and advises students, shepherds students through the application process, enlists qualified faculty to teach, and oversees quality course offerings in Spanish.

Read the full story here.

SWBTS, Prestonwood announce internship partnership

By SWBTS Staff

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Prestonwood Baptist Church have entered into a partnership in which academic credit can be earned through the church’s internship program, President Adam W. Greenway and Pastor Jack Graham announced Thursday (July 8).

“The Southwestern-Prestonwood partnership is the epitome of our ‘ministry begins now’ commitment,” Greenway said. “Whenever Southwestern Seminary can partner with a Southern Baptist church to facilitate the best of theological education, it’s a win for our institution and it’s a win for the congregation. Most of all, however, it’s a win for Christ’s Kingdom and advancing the Gospel. It’s Southwestern’s honor to help advance Prestonwood’s internship program with this new partnership.”

Graham echoed Greenway’s enthusiasm for the partnership.

“I am more excited than ever about the future as we walk hand in hand with Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary leaders in this new internship partnership,” Graham said. “We look forward to the impact this partnership will have in our communities, our nation and the ends of the earth.”

Graham, a former SBC president who has been pastor of Prestonwood in Plano, Texas, since 1989, said the internship program is driven by his passion to prepare future Christian ministers.

“One of my greatest passions in ministry is developing the next generation of Christian leaders who will stand boldly in their faith, never compromising their beliefs or biblical worldview in this ever-shifting culture,” he said. “Over the years, the Prestonwood Internship Program has raised up incredible leaders – young men and women of God who have experienced dynamic worship, excellent ministry practice, great service opportunities, and participation in a discipleship and mentorship program that deepens their faith and strengthens the uniqueness and influence of their calling.”

Read the full story here.

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