I miss the Olympics. I already miss the diversity, sportsmanship, the stories of the athletes, but I miss mostly the competition. From the less-watched event like mountain biking to the ever-popular track and field events, I loved watching men and women compete against the clock, weather conditions, and each other. Even those who finished last inspired us with non-competitive acts of encouragement. And then there were the parents and fans who cheered their loved ones, friends and fellow citizens to finish well.
The whole experience is for me another metaphor of our relationship with Christ and our journey Home…except the competition part. The Good News is that we don’t have to beat anyone to the finish line or score more points than our rivals in order to receive our reward. We don’t need judges to give us point totals that measure our performance. Christ has done all that for us, and we live victoriously through the victory of our Champion, Jesus, the Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57) We don’t have to worry about our times, place in the standings or who’s in the next lane because we have our place secured on the podium.
Does this mean we check out and watch others compete? To quote Paul, “Absolutely not!” We can cheer on our brothers and sisters in Christ, be a coach or trainer, or get on the field of play. But we do these things with others in mind and without the need to score on every possession. We are free to stop to help others up from a fall and to take selfies with those who cheer us on. We are more concerned with playing fair and honoring the sport called life than going Home with the most medals. If we do receive medals other than our righteousness in Christ Jesus, let’s take Home the medal Niki Hamblin and Abby D’Agostino received after their fall in the women’s 5 kilometer race.
In my last report, I shared some data with you to help you know who we are as a school and how we compare to other seminaries like us. We have received Candidate status with The Association of Theological Schools, and are working diligently to receive full Member status next summer. As we are part of this exceptional group of seminaries, here are three facts that let you know how Carroll ranks among them:
- Carroll stands in the 75th percentile across ATS schools in terms of student enrollment.
- Carroll’s budget is less than half the ATS median amount. Among our state’s peer schools, one has a slightly larger budget with half the student count, while another has a comparable enrollment with a budget four times larger.
- Student costs (tuition and fees) rank Carroll as the most affordable school at just over $5,200. Four other peer seminaries in Texas average $12,615.
Just as Olympic participants come to the games with different capabilities and resources, they all compete on the same fields of play. While we distinguish ourselves from others in certain ways, in the end we who are in theological education all run the same race of equipping men and women called to serve Christ and his church.
Please keep the B. H. Carroll family in your prayers as we “run the race set out for us.” Thank you for your financial gifts and telling others about Carroll.
Serving with you,