Today is North Texas Giving Day. It is a day when not-for-profit organizations band together to raise money for their many and varied causes. We at the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute are participating in this celebration of all things charitable, and we hope that you will do the same.
Given the wide array of organizations and causes that are asking you for your charitable dollar, why should you consider giving your money to a seminary? Why does theological education matter, and does it matter only to the church or to the entire community?
From the perspective of someone who is both a theological educator and a local church pastor, here are some of the benefits that we all receive when theological education is both accessible and affordable.
- A More Accurate Understanding of the Christian Faith – Unhealthy and/or abusive religious practices often thrive within religious organizations that are alienated from the larger traditions to which they supposedly belong. Theological education helps clergy and laity alike know what is, and is not, consistent with historic Christian teaching. It helps them discern how their faith might be distorted in order to facilitate the selfish aims of narcissistic leaders and gives them the resources to confront those distortions.
- A Greater Appreciation for the Riches Contained in the Christian Theological Tradition – Sometimes people have the impression that only the natural and social sciences have meaningful contributions to make when issues of personal or social importance are at stake. This, however, is simply not the case. Christian theology has invaluable resources to bring to any discussion of what really matters. Theological education helps clergy access those riches and make them available to others. Moreover, institutions of theological education provide mechanisms by which experts from a variety of disciplines can interact with one another, building competencies that will help them tackle life’s biggest issues in a more holistic and fruitful way.
- Training Ministry Leaders for a Complex and Changing World – Seminaries like B. H. Carroll Theological Institute focus first and foremost on training ministry leaders. The world is a complex place, and the problems faced by individuals, congregations, and communities can be just as complex. Theological education helps ministry leaders become aware of these complexities, building in them a humility that calls forth a gentle spirit and a willingness to work with others. But theological education also gives ministry leaders tools that they can use to address the challenges faced by the people in their churches and in their communities. Obviously, this includes the development of traditional ministry skills (like preaching and teaching), but it also includes the development of skills (like leadership and information technology) that will become increasingly important as the twenty-first century unfolds.
- The Development of Related Professions – Seminaries do not simply produce pastors and missionaries. They also train a variety of professionals who serve outside of the local church. These include counselors and chaplains, and other professions seeking seminary training.
- A Laity That Is Equipped and Mobilized for Ministry – At the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, we believe that theological education is not just for the ordained clergy. We believe that everyone can benefit from what we have to offer. As an institution that is deeply rooted in its Baptist heritage, we believe that all people have both the right and the responsibility to understand their faith. Moreover, we believe that the best ministry happens when a whole community of Christ-followers gets involved. The Spirit of God uses the people of God—with all their varied gifts and experiences—to bring about the will of God in the world. And when God’s will is done, everyone benefits!
So many worthy charities are asking for your time and your money. We hope that you will find one or more in which you can really invest. And we hope that at least some of you will invest with us. To give, click here: https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/bh-carroll-theological-institute