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SBC DIGEST: Southern approves budget; Ohio Baptists give training

Southern Seminary trustees approve $50.4 million budget at spring meeting

LOUISVILLE – In their spring meeting April 25, trustees of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously approved a $50.4 million operating budget for 2022-2023, calling enrollment and finances “very strong.”

The new budget represents a $2.3 million increase (4.8 percent) from last year. Over the past two budget cycles, Southern’s budget has grown by more than $13 million despite challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“God continues to bless Southern Seminary and our churches continue to send us the most amazing students,” SBTS President Albert Mohler said.

Two years ago, the seminary cut tuition by 15 percent to stabilize student enrollment during the pandemic. Trustees approved a small tuition increase of four percent for the coming year.

In other business, the board unanimously elected Josh Powell as chairman of the trustees, replacing Clint Pressley, who has served in that role for the past two years.

“It’s been joyful to serve and it’s been intense,” said Pressley, pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. for the past 12 years. “It has been eye-opening to see all the hard work it takes to run a seminary.

Powell, who received his MDiv from Southern in 2003, serves as pastor of First Baptist Church of Taylors, S.C. He has been a trustee at Southern for nearly six years.

Ohio Baptists start lunch and learn events for training leaders

PICKERINGTON, Ohio – Ohio Baptists’ state executive director, Jeremy Westbrook, and Jim Scott, regional equipper for SEND Network Ohio, welcomed 38 leaders at Violet Baptist Church April 7 for the first of a series of Multiplication Pipeline Lunch and Learn events.

Westbrook referred to the occasion as “opening day,” a comparison to the event being held as stadiums across the country hosted the first game of the Major League Baseball season. The events, he said, are designed to train leaders and prepare congregations to be on mission.

“The levels are like A, AA and AAA baseball; an intentional ‘farm system’ for your church to discover, develop and deploy leaders,” he explained. “We long to see a multiplying church everywhere in Ohio for everyone in Ohio – churches who invite and invest in sending the saved.” The training is funded through Cooperative Program giving, he added, and comes at no additional cost to the church. The next Multiplication Pipeline Lunch and Learn will take place May 19 at 11 a.m. at Lakota Hills Baptist Church in West Chester. More information is available at namb.net/pipeline.