News Articles

SBC DIGEST: GuideStone Employee Benefits Summit; NOBTS $1.2M grant; Union increases MK scholarships

Registration open for GuideStone’s Employee Benefits Summit

By Roy Hayhurst/GuideStone

DALLAS (BP) – Registration is open for the in-person Employee Benefits Summit, sponsored by GuideStone Financial Resources. It is scheduled for April 3-5 at the Westin Irving Convention Center, near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

“This conference is designed for church and ministry leaders with responsibilities for human resources, financial planning and other business activities,” explained GuideStone President-elect Hance Dilbeck. “We are looking forward to seeing so many attendees and guest speakers for the first time since 2019.”

Keynote speakers scheduled include Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway Seminary; Angelia Pelham, CEO of Real-Talk Executive Coaching and Mentoring; Jamie Aten, founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Institute at Wheaton College; and Trevin Wax, vice president of research and resource development at the North American Mission Board.

Registration costs $200 through March 1 and afterward goes up to $225. It includes all conference events and sessions and breakfast and lunch on both days. Attendees are responsible for dinner, lodging and travel.

“The Employee Benefits Summit is one of the premier events of its type,” said GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins. “It offers busy church leaders to learn from some of the top thought leaders in church and ministry life. The fast-paced summit ensures church leaders can come in, learn the newest trends, and then return to their place of service with actionable information.”

To register, visit GuideStone.org/ebsregistration.

Baptist Community Ministries grants NOBTS core funding for education, early learning, and healthcare initiatives

By Marilyn Stewart/NOBTS

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College has been awarded a core funding grant by Baptist Community Ministries to promote and provide health, education, and counseling services to NOBTS and Leavell College families, and to the neighboring New Orleans community.

The award consists of a series of three grants of $400,000 per year for three years, for a total gift of $1.2 million. The award began Jan. 1.

“The BCM grant is a tremendous blessing for our seminary and a transformational opportunity for us to create new partnerships and to expand our community outreach,” said Mike Wetzel, NOBTS vice president of institutional advancement. “We are grateful for BCM and their continued efforts to provide life-changing support in the city of New Orleans.”

Baptist Community Ministries is a faith-based, Christian philanthropic organization supporting projects and programs dedicated to improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of individuals in the five-parish, greater New Orleans area, according to the organization’s website.

An award letter signed by Dianne McGraw, vice-chair of the Baptist Community Ministries board of trustees, notified NOBTS leaders of the grant.

“The work of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary has been deemed important to the community and for this reason the Board has selected your organization,” McGraw wrote.

Services in three targeted areas are the focus of the grant.

First, the funding supports the NOBTS Leeke Magee Counseling Center in providing free or affordable counseling services to the community and to seminary families. A sliding scale fee structure is in place assuring that no one is turned away based on an inability to pay.

Second, the grant will support the work of the NOBTS Early Learning Center in its care for children ages six weeks to five years through early learning experiences, special events, and by making available parenting classes to campus and community parents. Activities will focus on helping children grow cognitively, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.

Third, the grant will focus on expanded access to healthcare and wellness resources for families through a partnership with the Baptist Community Health Services (BCHS). Plans are in progress for an on-site clinic to open on the NOBTS campus to provide healthcare to NOBTS families and to families of the surrounding Gentilly neighborhoods.

Read the full story here.

Union University to increase scholarships for missionary kids

By Suzanne Rhodes/Union University

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) – Beginning in fall 2022, Union University will offer its highest financial merit scholarship to students who are dependents of missionaries through the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board or North American Mission Board.

Dan Griffin, vice president for enrollment management, said giving children of missionaries more opportunities to attend Union is invaluable.

“Really, the benefits are endless with diversifying our undergraduate population and exposing our current students to other cultures and experiences,” Griffin said.

Children of IMB or NAMB missionaries will receive a Union merit scholarship of $17,750 and will be eligible to receive any additional Union scholarships, partnerships and grants they are qualified for.

“These families are on the mission field, sacrificing, and many times, they don’t have the financial resources to afford an educational experience at Union,” Griffin said. “So, we created additional scholarship opportunities to assist these families in achieving their educational dreams.”

As the Southern Baptist Convention’s oldest affiliated university, Union University has a life-long partnership with the IMB and NAMB, and Griffin said Union is dedicated to offering its best financial aid to Southern Baptist missionaries and their families.

“With this scholarship, we have deepened our commitment to Southern Baptist missionaries and want to do all we can to educate their students from a Christ-centered perspective,” Griffin said.

To learn more about Union’s additional scholarship offerings for missionary students, visit IMB/NAMB Missionary Dependent Scholarships.

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