TRUSTEES: NOBTS adds Korean D.Min.

Baptist Press
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Posted: Jan 04, 2010 4:30 PM
NEW ORLEANS (BP)--New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's trustee executive committee has approved a Korean-language doctor of ministry program and named new apartments in honor of Florida and Mississippi Baptists.

The new Korean doctor of ministry program initially will focus on the training needs of Korean ministers in the United States and the unique nature of the churches they serve. However, the program is open to Koreans living outside the country.

Seminars for the Korean D.Min. will be taught primarily at the seminary's North Georgia Hub in metro Atlanta, which has the 10th-largest Korean population in America according to demographic studies. Atlanta's major airport also offers easy access from cities with large Korean populations such as Washington D.C., Baltimore and Chicago.

"We are thrilled to be able to partner with our Korean Baptist colleagues in providing a higher level of training for those who want to achieve excellence in their ministry," NOBTS President Chuck Kelley said after the trustee meeting Dec. 8.

NOBTS Provost Steve Lemke noted the success of the seminary's undergraduate and graduate Korean-language programs in Atlanta, which have grown from just a few students four years ago to more than 100. Last fall, Kelley appointed Deok Jae Lee, who directs the program at the North Georgia Hub, to serve on the seminary faculty. The seminary also recently began offering online classes in the Korean language.

"To reach America for Christ, we must find ways to minister to our many ethnic populations," Lemke said. "We have classes in Haitian, French, Spanish and Portuguese to meet the needs of our ethnic churches," he said, and now the Korean D.Min. will serve the leadership needs of an estimated Korean churches within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Korean-language instruction will be provided by Korean and American professors, either directly or by translation. All student coursework, including the final ministry project, will be completed in Korean.

The program will utilize a cohort learning model of 10-15 students taking their courses together as a group.

Lemke said the Korean D.Min. is the fruit of a year-long study during which a seminary task force met with Korean Baptist leaders and studied other Korean-language programs to determine the needs of Korean pastors.

The Korean-language D.Min., which builds on the seminary's long history of training Korean students in its traditional English-based master's and doctoral programs, will launch no earlier than August 2010 and must have an initial cohort of 15 students.

For more information about the new D.Min. program, contact Deok Jae Lee at dlee@nobts.edu or e-mail kti@nobts.edu. For more information about NOBTS' Korean online classes, see http://nobts.edu/kti/online.html.

FLA. & MISS. BAPTISTS HONORED

With construction well underway of two new student apartment buildings as approved by trustees in October, the executive committee voted to name the buildings in honor of two of the seminary's key partners, Florida and Mississippi Baptists.

Kelley noted that under the leadership of John Sullivan, the Florida Baptist Convention has invested more money in NOBTS than any other state convention, encompassing a partnership in extension center education and Cuban and Haitian training programs.

The Mississippi Apartments, meanwhile, will honor the state convention and a group of Mississippi Baptist laymen for their efforts to fund money to replace student apartments lost during Hurricane Katrina. Since 2005, Mississippi Baptists have raised $389,032 toward student housing.

"The apartments destroyed by Katrina were named for the states of the United States; we are delighted to preserve that tradition of naming our apartments for states," Kelley said. "These first two will be named for the Florida convention and the Mississippi convention."

"Both of these conventions have done much to help us recover from Katrina and have been great partners in our extension center education program," Kelley said.

In other action, the trustees approved First Baptist Church in Gonzales, La., and the North Shore (Louisiana) Baptist Association as certificate training sites. These certificate programs, designed to train church leaders, offer courses in Bible teaching, theology and ministry.

Gary D. Myers is director of public relations at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

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