News Articles

Southeastern announces partnership for training medical missionaries

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Furthering its commitment to reaching the world for Christ, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is partnering with Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine to help train medical missionaries.
The cooperative agreement, signed by Southeastern President Paige Patterson and James N. Thompson, vice president and dean of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., will provide medical school students the opportunity at Southeastern to earn seminary course credit needed to qualify as medical missionaries.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board requires a minimum of 20 semester hours of credit from an approved seminary to qualify for appointment as a career medical missionary.
“We are delighted with the relationship with Bowman Gray, not only because of the prestigious nature of our sister institution, but also because we think that this coalition will end up being a significant contribution to the world mission endeavor,” Patterson said Sept. 17.
“The capability and competency of the staff and faculty at Bowman Gray has long been the subject of great admiration on our part.”
Cam E. Enarson, associate dean of medical education at Bowman Gray, said a major component of the agreement with Southeastern will offer medical students the opportunity to earn a master of arts degree in intercultural studies at the seminary.
The new degree tract offered for the first time this fall at Southeastern calls for a total 64 academic credit hours, including 24 credit hours in Old Testament, New Testament, church history and systematic theology.
In addition to the core curriculum, students must take courses totaling 10 academic credit hours in missionary linguistics, cross-cultural communication, Christian missions and anthropology for missionaries. Students must complete another 10 hours from a selection of 14 other courses such as Hebrew, Greek, evangelism, biblical ethics, Christian apologetics and intercultural counseling. Finally, students must earn another 20 hours of academic credit by taking various electives in Bible and ministerial training.
“We are extremely pleased to have an affiliation with such an outstanding seminary as Southeastern,” said Thompson. “They have a wonderful heritage for preparing men and women for Christian service.”
Enarson said the medical school will be working with Southeastern to create opportunities for seminary students to participate in educational activities at the medical center.
“This event fits right in with our emphasis on the effect of spirituality on medicine,” Enarson noted. Last fall, Bowman Gray began offering a course for its medical students called “Faith and Medicine.” School officials said they created the course amid the growing recognition that faith plays an important role in physical health.
The course, directed by S. Bryant Kendrick Jr., a minister who is also associate professor of internal medicine, is supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, one of six Templeton Faith and Medicine grants awarded nationally.
Brad Fouts, who recently completed his second year of medical school at Bowman Gray, is the first student to benefit from the new partnership. Fouts, 23, a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Winston- Salem, is attending Southeastern this fall.
The partnership with the Wake Forest University medical school marks a return for Southeastern to its roots. Wake Forest University was founded in 1834 in Wake Forest, N.C., by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Originally called Wake Forest Institute, Wake Forest University moved its medical school to Winston-Salem in 1941 and completed the entire university’s relocation in 1956.
Southeastern began offering classes on the Wake Forest, N.C., campus in 1951 and inherited the entire 500-acre campus following the completion of the university’s relocation to Winston-Salem.

    About the Author

  • Lee Weeks