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FROM THE COLLEGES: Truett-McConnell, Campbellsville, Calif. Baptist

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: "From the Colleges" includes news releases of interest as written and edited from Southern Baptist-affiliated universities and colleges.

Today's From the Colleges includes:


Truett-McConnell College

Campbellsville University

California Baptist University

Patterson to keynote TMC's Baptist Faith and Message signing

By Tim Chapman & Norm Miller

CLEVELAND, Ga.--The entire faculty of Truett-McConnell College sets a precedent Oct. 27 by signing the Baptist Faith and Message, demonstrating their individual and corporate commitment to, and belief in, the statement as adopted in 2000 by the Southern Baptist Convention.

Previously scheduled for Aug. 18, the BF&M signing will occur Oct. 27. A reception will follow in TMC's newly expanded dining hall.

Paige Patterson -- president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas -- will keynote the 9:30 a.m. event in TMC's athletic center.

Patterson was president of the SBC when the BF&M was adopted. His wife Dorothy served on the committee that revised the statement. Baptist Press reported at the time that more than 90 percent of messengers attending the SBC in Salt Lake City, Utah, approved the measure.

Among other revisions, the BF&M as adopted in 2000 cemented Southern Baptists' founding and continuing stance on the veracity and inerrancy of the Holy Bible.

"We will be the first Southern Baptist College to require a signature to affirm the Baptist Faith and Message in a public forum," said TMC President Emir Caner in 2009, when TMC trustees voted unanimously to require all faculty members to sign the BF&M.

Caner -- who was not available for immediate comment as he was on a TMC mission trip in Chiang Mai, Thailand -- told the Georgia Baptist Christian Index nearly two years ago: "The Georgia Baptist Convention and our churches deserve nothing less than a faculty who will abide by nothing less than the essentials of the faith. ... Institutions that do not faithfully support the theology of Southern Baptists do not deserve the faithful support of Southern Baptists."

TMC's president cited BF&M Article XII on Education when saying, "In Christian education, there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists."


"The Baptist Faith and Message is a summary of what Southern Baptists believe," added Dr. Brad Reynolds, TMC vice president for academic services. "The statement we all will sign embodies the doctrines we hold precious, and they are essential to our historic Baptist faith and practice."

Regarding Patterson's participation, Dr. Daniel Moosbrugger -- TMC's vice president for institutional advancement -- said, "Truett-McConnell College is honored and privileged to have Dr. Patterson be our keynote speaker. Without his leadership in the SBC during the years of theological controversy, the possibility looms large that our college may not exist. There are untold multitudes of Southern Baptists who owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Patterson. Truett-McConnell College is among their number."


Campbellsville reports strong commitment to racial reconciliation and diversity

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.--As part of the mission of Baptist Christian higher education at Campbellsville University, Dr. Michael Carter, president, and the university community have worked to build a strong commitment to racial reconciliation and diversity.

In a recent comprehensive report to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (KCPE), Carter outlined a number of the ongoing initiatives at CU to help promote diversity and racial reconciliation. The following link is to the cover letter submitted by Carter to the KCPE: http://www.campbellsville.edu/Websites/cu/files/Content/1415357/20110617131913.pdf.

Campbellsville University's minority enrollment, among full-time undergraduate students, reached more than 20 percent during the fall 2010 semester.

And, CU has the largest number of international students among Kentucky's 20 private non-profit colleges and universities and one of the highest numbers among the peer institutions in the South.

Campbellsville University's president, board of trustees, faculty, staff, coaches and students have long been supportive of diversity among employees and students.


Carter said a number of initiatives have been put in place, over the past decade, to work with diversity on campus.

In 2008, CU adopted a Diversity Mission Statement which reads: "The diversity mission of Campbellsville University is to foster awareness and understanding of diverse perspectives across all aspects of the institution vital to education, while affirming the dignity, value, and uniqueness of each individual regardless of personal differences."

In the 21st century, the commitment to diversity strengthens students and the broader community toward diverse citizenship, a pluralistic society and global economy. Campbellsville University embraces diversity as integral to a caring, Christ-centered community of learners.

Campbellsville University has had a long-standing relationship with several African-American and Spanish institutions including Simmons College of Kentucky, General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, the Zion District Bible Institute and the Hispanic Baptist Bible Institute.

CU faculty and staff members work with these organizations serving on their boards as leaders.

Campbellsville University students participate regularly in worldwide mission projects including inner cities of America (e.g., Washington, D.C., Cleveland and Boston among others) and at various points across the globe including Africa, China, Russia, Poland, Mexico, Brazil, and other mission points.

A campus-wide "Dialogue on Race" has been going for over a decade. "Dialogue on Race" is an annual event that focuses on the differences in diversity and encourages dialogue between students, faculty and staff and guests who come to talk at the university.

The President's Racial Reconciliation Ministry Award is given each year to someone with leadership in the African-American community.

Students at Campbellsville University may take a course on diversity offered by the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling. The course is designed to assist students in successfully managing interpersonal relationships with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Emphasis is placed on social systems, value orientations and lifestyles of major ethnic groups and minorities in the United States as well as on the effects of prejudice, discrimination, and racism in shaping human behavior.


The role and contributions of African-Americans and other minorities are incorporated into other academic courses to reflect the particular discipline involved.

The university provides scholarship assistance for minority students who desire to pursue a career in Christian ministries. Minority students of the Baptist faith are affirmatively sought in the Baptist student leadership award program.

Campbellsville University has several international partnerships with colleges and universities including ones the University of Fortaleza in Brazil, Beijing Agricultural University and Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China, Kansai Gaidai University and Nagoya Gaidai University in Japan, Chung-Ang University in South Korea, Faculty of Economic and Business Science, Educational Institution of the Society of Jesus in Spain, Tainan University of Technology in Taiwan and Ternopil National Pedagogic University in Ukraine.

A Campbellsville community-based organization, Greater Campbellsville United, was launched to help promote better race and ethnic relations in the local community and region as well as on campus.

Campbellsville University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). For the past decade, CCCU has placed growing emphasis, among the member schools, on racial harmony and diversity. Campbellsville University received the national award from CCCU in 2002 for the institution's work in this area.

A link to the 2011 report to CCCU is at http://www.campbellsville.edu/cccu-report.

Campbellsville University (campbellsville.edu), affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, has an enrollment of 3,000-plus students in 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master's degrees and five postgraduate areas.


Calif. Baptist Univ. trains collegiate volunteers

RIVERSIDE, Calif.--A group of 86 students, faculty and staff from California Baptist University completed training with the California Southern Baptist Convention's Disaster Relief (CSBC-DR) program during the spring semester, blazing new trails as the inaugural collegiate division.


The one-day program quadrupled the Baptist convention's college-age volunteers, said Kristen White, CBU director of global mobilization. Results from a survey of disaster relief directors, indicates an annual state average of 21 trained volunteers, ages 18-25, during the past five years.

"One of the areas that Southern Baptists excel in is disaster relief," said White. "Why not engage a younger demographic who can serve a lifetime and who can reach a younger audience?"

As a university committed to the Great Commission, CBU offers its students multiple opportunities to take the gospel message to the ends of the earth through international and domestic service projects.

Student teams are led by CBU faculty, staff, trustees or alumni. Each team participates in a variety of ministries that may include music, drama, graphic design, sports, Bible distribution, children's ministry and teaching English.

Since 1997, CBU has sent teams totaling more than 2,400 students to 49 different countries. Current statistics place 52 percent of the world's population under 30 years old. With these statistics in mind, White asked herself, "How does college disaster relief fit into this box?"

The 2010 Haiti earthquake served as the impetus for White to move forward. She and others began to research the possibilities of college student participation and began a series of discussions with Don Hargas, SCBC disaster relief coordinator.

Currently, there are more than 80,000 Southern Baptist volunteers trained to respond to disasters throughout the world. Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, 4,000 volunteers representing 32 state Baptist conventions were deployed to New York City and Washington, D.C.

Disasters strike anywhere, and according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, approximately 4,000 disasters were recorded from 2000 to 2009 creating a continual need for volunteers.

Disaster relief teams, however, are typically comprised of retirees and middle-age volunteers who have the time and resources. A survey of disaster relief directors noted their primary concern of using college-age volunteers is availability and dependability, followed by overall commitment and motivation.


A student survey gauging interest in disaster relief answered questions regarding commitment and motivation. "Sharing the gospel" followed by "helping people in their time of need" were the number one and two reasons why college students want to serve in this ministry.

Following much prayer, presentations and multiple meetings, planning meetings were held, and Hargas offered to teach SBC's first-ever disaster relief training at CBU. Ultimately, Hargas was in Japan assisting with relief efforts there and was unable to attend the training.

On April 16 Chuck Clayton and Eydie Miskel, CSBC Disaster Relief volunteers, led training for CBU's collegiate division. Clayton is the lead clean-up specialist for disaster relief. Miskel, who also serves as a CBU International Service Project team leader, is a former member of the CBU Board of Trustees.

Clayton, who has been deployed nationally and internationally, taught on the following subjects: stages of a disaster, qualities of an effective volunteer, organizational and reporting structures, volunteer responsibilities, equipment use, deployment processes, health and safety protocol, and clean-up procedures for fires, floods and mud slides.

Miskel provided an overview of disaster relief chaplaincy, using photos from her work on disaster teams in Haiti and in the U.S. She explained the role of a chaplain during a disaster and stressed the importance of listening while providing spiritual care to victims in need of hope.

Following the training, Miskel commented on the students' enthusiasm to follow Christ mandate that "we bear one another's burdens."

"I am excited for the opportunity the students have to live out their faith to a hurting world. In the process, I can't help but believe that their lives will also be forever affected. I wish I would have been introduced to serving on a disaster relief team at their age," Miskel said.

One CBU student's enthusiasm didn't stop with his one-day training. Jordan Martinez recently attended the California Volunteer Challenge held in Fresno and plans to serve as a disaster relief chaplain.


The desire to help others through disaster relief assistance is gaining momentum on the CBU campus. Other students have approached Miskel about the training and want to be included in the next one.

Referencing the book by Max Lucado, "You Were Made to Make a Difference," Miskel added, " I am cheering them on. I am excited for them. They were made to make a difference."

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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