Midwestern Seminary Under Renovation

( [email protected] ) Oct 31, 2003 10:34 AM EST

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is going through a big development campaign to raise $2.1 million.

On Oct. 20-21, the seminary trustees and administrators held groundbreaking ceremony for a “Walk of Honor” on the site of the former Farmland, Inc., which marked the start of Midwestern’s $2.1 million campaign.

The objective of the campaign is titled as "The Vision: Growing Disciples Today To Make Disciples Tomorrow."

"Today marks a vital step in the development of Midwestern Seminary," President Phil Roberts said. "As we consider the marvelous opportunity to memorialize those who have contributed to our lives in the service of Christ [on the Walk of Honor], let's also honor them by being faithful with the opportunity to advance Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary."

The campaign includes at least nine different ways, including the Walk of Home which supports the renovation of the 35,000 – square-foot Farmland facility by the alumni and friends of the seminary and a memorial fund for former Midwestern students Dr. Martha Myers and William Koehn, International Mission Board missionaries who were killed last December while serving at the Baptist hospital in Yemen.

More than $500,000 already has been raised.

Dr. N.S.R.K. Samuel Ravi will serve as a new vice president for business services and a fundraising consultant starting Nov. 17 and Jim Sells, president emeritus of Southwestern Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., will work with the seminary on a part-time consulting basis.

"Both of these men bring expertise to Midwestern," Roberts said. "Dr. Sells is noted as one of Southern Baptists' most effective developers, having led SBU for over 20 years. His legacy there is legendary. We are thrilled to have him as a part of the MBTS team.

"Dr. N.S.R.K. Ravi is a Southern Baptist treasure," Roberts continued. "From a Hindu background, he brings a remarkable testimony of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. His business and management skills are extraordinary. Having known Dr. Ravi for the better part of a decade, I can say that he is a man of impeccable integrity and dedication to our Lord."

Trustees also unanimously elected two new faculty members -- Robin Hadaway in missions and Rodney Harrison in church planting.

Midwestern has introduced a new accredited associate’s degree program. An associate associate of divinity degree and an associate of arts degrees in three concentrations: biblical studies, Christian education and music.

They have developed to establish a bachelor’s degree program and new student housing on campus which includes the construction of 24 apartment units and the renovation of the singles’ dorm.

"The beauty of this is that we get professional, fast, thorough work," trustee Gene Downing of Oklahoma City said. "We get what we want, when we want, at a price we can afford. It's a rare win-win situation."

Auditor John Parrish of Keller & Owens said Midwestern has received a clean report for the 2002-03 fiscal year. He said income was solid with increased revenue from tuition and fees, although investment income was down, reflecting the stock market's downturn.

Charlie Warren, interim vice president for business services, reported that Midwestern has enhanced its computer network system to increase performance, speed and reliability and to provide backup services. Now they are offering internet access to the students.

The trustees' next meeting is to be hold in March 2004.