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New Orleans Seminary’s mission linked with new visual identity

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is beginning the 2002-03 academic year with a new visual identity that more accurately represents the institution’s mission for the 21st century, announced NOBTS President Chuck Kelley.

The touchstone of the identity is a new logo that graphically tells the story of the seminary’s mission to fulfill the Great Commission and Great Commandments through the local church and its ministries.

At the heart of the logo is the highly visible spire of the Roland Q. Leavell Chapel, which serves as the focal point of the seminary’s campus and as a reminder of the point of its training: healthy churches.

A “window” surrounding the chapel spire represents the seminary’s window of opportunity to change the world through Jesus Christ.

The “five lines” supporting the chapel represent the seminary’s five core values (doctrinal integrity, spiritual vitality, mission focus, characteristic excellence and servant leadership). When practiced in the local church, these values set the climate for effective church growth.

Finally, the “wave” of the lines represents a river, symbolizing both the Mississippi River, New Orleans’ geographical connection, and a spiritual river, the awe-inspiring movement of God.

“To the untrained eye, the logo represents a beautiful icon of one of our most significant campus buildings,” explained Shannon Baker, director of public relations. “To the person who understands its meaning, the logo represents who we are and what we feel God is calling us to do.”

First appearing on items presented during the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis, the logo was developed by the seminary’s office of public relations. The final design was the result of months of collaboration among team members, graphic designers Jeff Audirsch and Doy Cave, office manager Joan Wetzel and Baker.

“Dr. Kelley is very good at sharing the story of our seminary,” Baker said. “We want our graphic image to symbolically represent his heart for the institution.”

Beginning with his inauguration in 1996, Kelley led an exhaustive three-year long-range planning process to evaluate the seminary’s physical, educational and financial resources responding to growing and changing ministry opportunities in the community, state and throughout the world.

“What we realized was a real sobering reality,” Kelley said. “In these days when 70 percent of all Southern Baptist churches are plateaued or declining, along with 85 percent of churches of all denominations in America, we cannot be here simply to teach courses.

“We are determined to provide Southern Baptists a theological education that will make a difference in the way ministers serve their churches. We are here to prepare students to be effective ministers and to grow healthy churches.

“Our focus must be on the product, and at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, that product is healthy churches,” he said.

Against this backdrop, Kelley pointed to “Equipping Leaders to Grow Healthy Churches” as NOBTS’ brand statement. Coupled with the new logo, the slogan emphasizes NOBTS’ commitment to teach students how to breathe new life into local churches.

The new logo and slogan, which will be implemented through a unified branding strategy, soon will be showcased on items ranging from academic publications to stationery and business cards.

Available in one color, purple, or the two school colors, purple and metallic gold, the logo uses the Trajan(tm) font, which mimics the classical handwriting of the first-century Romans.

The logo complements the seminary’s New Horizons: Equipping Leaders to Change the World campaign logo, which showcases the chapel spire along a horizon. New Horizons is the 20-year strategic capital plan to raise $30-$50 million to assist NOBTS in achieving its mission.

The seminary’s public relations office also will develop a communication guide and graphics style manual which will aid in the process of delivering a consistent message to seminary publics about what NOBTS hopes to achieve.

“If this seminary is able to raise up a generation of leaders who can help churches learn to grow again, if we can help those 70 percent of our churches find a way to have an influence for Christ in their communities again, it will be historic and will have implications beyond anything we can conceive,” Kelley said.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: MULTIFACETED LOGO and NEW LOGO.

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