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TRUSTEES: MBTS announces Global Campus, elects faculty

Midwestern Seminary Trustee Chairman Lee Roberson speaks at the seminary’s spring trustee meeting on campus, April 4-5.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Trustees gathered April 4-5 to receive an array of seminary updates, to celebrate the launch of the Global Campus and to approve several matters of key institutional business, including the election of historian Thomas S. Kidd.

During his President’s Report, Jason Allen reflected on God’s faithfulness to Midwestern Seminary. “We have a precious stewardship,” he said, “including students from all 50 states and from more than 60 countries. …

“Our prayer is that when people look to Midwestern Seminary, they will see strength in an age of weakness, stability in an age of volatility, an institution on mission in an age of distraction, hopefulness in an age of fretfulness, maturity in an age of immaturity, and most of all that they’ll see Gospel faithfulness in an age of much unfaithfulness.”

In his formal updates, Allen announced the launch of the Global Campus, Midwestern’s newly designed online program.

The Global Campus is designed for God-called men and women serving in a unique kingdom assignment that currently precludes them from pursuing residential studies.

“Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College exists for the church everywhere it gathers and for the kingdom everywhere Christ reigns,” Allen said.

“That’s why we’re excited to introduce the Global Campus. Wherever you are, wherever you serve, you can study here as of today.”

With 10 new start dates every year, contextualized assignments in each class and a variety of flexible class formats, the Global Campus offers dozens of degrees available fully online at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.

Wherever students are called, they can now complete any of Midwestern’s degree programs however they can: completely online, live over video, attending an event or in their church.

Starting this fall, students will be able to enroll in the brand-new online courses, which feature high-impact video lessons, contextualized ministry assignments and digital resources from Midwestern faculty. Learn more at mbts.edu/global.

Additional trustee business included the election of two new faculty members and the renewal of two faculty contracts.

In recommendations from the Academic Committee, trustees elected historian Thomas S. Kidd as research professor of church history. After serving at Midwestern as a visiting professor since 2019, Kidd will transition to the full-time residential role in the fall of 2022. Previously, he served as the distinguished professor of history and James Vardaman Endowed Professor of History at Baylor University.

Provost Jason Duesing said of Kidd, “I am eager for both future pastors and scholars to study with him. I can think of no one else currently writing and researching in American history that would be a better complement to our academic programs and our vision of pursuing scholarship for the church than Dr. Kidd.”

Allen added: “[Kidd] is one of evangelicalism’s finest church historians, and we are confident that he will have an incredible impact on our students and our broader work at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College.”

The committee also elected Rio Kim as assistant professor of Christian studies; reelected Blake Hearson as professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; and reelected and promoted Todd Chipman to associate professor of biblical studies.

Trustees also approved the institutional budget, demonstrating a 6 percent growth from last year’s budget of $29.808 million to this year’s budget of $31.728 million. The new budget includes a 3 percent cost of living raise for all seminary employees. Trustees celebrated this news, including an updated rate for tuition and fees, while also recognizing the faithful institutional stewardship required for the growth.

Reflecting on stewardship and God’s faithfulness, Allen said, “When one surveys the current landscape of higher education, it does not take long to see that budgetary cuts are prolific and increasing. By God’s grace, we have sought to be wise stewards the past several years to increase our strength through the recent uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Our team has worked hard; God has been faithful, so it is with great joy and thankfulness that we release our updated budget today.”

Further trustee approvals included a resolution in support of Hannibal-LaGrange University and the newly established Blankenship Scholarship for incoming Midwestern Seminary students.

Finally, with recommendations from the Governance Committee, the Board completed its meeting by electing the 2022-2023 officers: Lee Roberson from Hobbs, N.M., will continue to serve as chairman; Chad McDonald from Lenexa, Kan., will continue to serve as first vice-chairman; David Meany from Collierville, Tenn., will continue to serve as second vice-chairman; and Lane Harrison from Ozark, Mo., will continue to serve as secretary.

Midwestern Seminary’s Board of Trustees consists of 35 members and meets biannually in October and April.

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  • Brett Fredenberg/MBTS