KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–After years of prayer, planning and behind-the-scenes effort, enrollment for the Korean Doctor of Ministry program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary surpassed expectations during its debut semester.
“The Korean program, in just six months, has grown from zero to 119 students,” said Rodney Harrison, director of doctoral studies at Midwestern. “I would call it the overnight success that was four years in the making.”
Rock Choi, director of Korean doctoral studies at Midwestern, developed the program based on a “medical model” that produces “church doctors” who can diagnose and treat issues within Korean immigrant churches. Students travel to Midwestern from just about everywhere: Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, France, Ukraine and, of course, South Korea.
Choi said the Midwestern program is flourishing because it is designed to be flexible. Rather than using set extension sites, the professors congregate in the locale of ministry, using different facilities for each session. The program also allows students to write their dissertations segment by segment in Korean with an English abstract. The policy allows students to write in their first language, empowering them to communicate their findings to their communities.
For information on the Korean D.Min. program, visit www.mbts.edu or call 1-800-944- 6287.
$200,000 GIFT COMPLETES ENDOWMENT — A $200,000 contribution from the Missouri Baptist Convention completed funding of the Missouri Baptist Chair of Partnership Missions, the first completely endowed chair at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
David Tolliver, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, presented the check to the seminary’s president, Philip Roberts, in mid-August. The donation finished the $1 million fund-raising campaign for the position.
“The generosity of the gift from the people of the Missouri Baptist Convention is a most welcome and fabulous contribution to Midwestern,” Roberts said. “It is very fitting that Southern Baptists in Missouri provide the avenue to accomplish the first endowed chair in MBTS history. I believe it shows a true understanding of the direction MBTS is headed in providing Bible- and Christ-centered education.”
EVANGELISM TEAM SHARES AT STURGIS — Five Midwestern students were among 140 volunteers from around the U.S., churches in South Dakota, and the staffs of LifeWay, the North American Mission Board and Dakota Baptist Convention who staffed an evangelism tent at the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D.
Each year during the first full week of August, the rally draws more than 700,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life to the tiny town in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Midwestern team worked 40 hours in four days at the rally, said Rodney Harrison, a Midwestern professor who was a member of the team. In all, the Gospel was shared 7,231 times, with 1,123 people accepting Christ as Lord and Savior.
Harrison said people often ask if decisions in such environments are real. “This year a guy came up to me in the booth wanting to share his ‘Three-Minute Story’ with me,” Harrison said, in reference to a three-minute personal testimony that volunteers share with bikers. “The man said, ‘Four years ago I was a drunk, high on drugs, didn’t have a job and came to this booth because I needed a new motorcycle. Instead, I got a new life when I gave my heart to Jesus. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs today.'” The man’s son was with him this year, and Harrison led the young man to Christ on the spot.
Individuals interested in joining the Midwestern team for next year’s Sturgis trip, may contact Harrison at [email protected].
Adapted from reporting by Austin Mayfield and T. Patrick Hudson of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.