Baptist History Course Opens at Wesley Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Joseph M. Smith, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I am so pleased that I just have to share this ... since my retirement one of the things I have been doing is some volunteer work at Wesley Theological Seminary, a United Methodist institution in Washington, DC. About 40-50 of the more than 400 students enrolled there are Baptists, and I have been working to pull them together, resource them, and provide outlets for them.

    I have also taught Baptist Polity twice now, and became aware of the need for a course in Baptist History and Identity. The seminary will pay for only one course that is specific to a given confession, but can approve and add other courses if the group involved will pay for it. I decided not only to raise funds sufficient to pay for the course once (i.e., an instructor's stipend), but rather enough to endow the course in perpetuity. By this past summer those funds had come in from individuals and local churches, and had been invested.

    Tonight the course opened. Sixteen students signed up! Dr. William Moyer, a retired pastor with a PhD in American religious studies from George Washington University is the teacher. I feel so pleased to be able to see this come to fruition and to know that it should continue for many, many years to come.
     
  2. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Joseph

    very off topic, but what do you think about Randel Everett coming to TX as head of the BGCT? He was my pastor years ago, when he was a very young pastor, I have immense respect for him myself - BGCT head is a minefield!

    Your new course sounds exciting!

    Jim
     
  3. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    Dr. Smith Response

    Dr. Smith,

    I am so proud of what you are doing for a couple of reasons.

    First, you have decided not to "follow the ways of the world" and just sit down "in a rockin' chair" when you retire! :thumbs: How can "the man of God" retire from the ministry?

    Secondly, you are still in there doing something in the educational realm. May God continue to bless your work.
     
  4. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
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    God bless your work. A baptist history course at a United Methodist school, who would have thought?:godisgood:
     
  5. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I think you and I have corresponded on this Board several times, haven't we? Yes, I know Randel, as I am a trustee of the John Leland Center, which he founded. He is a very engaging person, he knows the Gospel, and he wants to work with diversity. Most of all, he is a visionary, as the very existence of Leland demonstrates. I think he will do well, minefield or not.

    My only misgiving has nothing to do with BGCT; it is just that he had not stayed long at most of his pastorates, particularly this last one in Newport News. But new opportunities came and he took them on ... and we do not forget that he left Columbia Baptist in Falls Church in order to give himself fully to Leland until it became apparent that the seminary could not commit so much of its money to one position.

    Again, a man who engages and trusts others, and who is not afraid to work hard.
     
  6. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    It is not as strange as you might think. There are Baptist Studies programs at Duke, Emory, Texas Christian University, and Lutheran Southern Seminary in SC. Maybe more that I do not know about. We at Wesley are well behind the model that Furman Hewitt established at Duke and that is being carried forward by Curtis Freeman.
     
  7. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Thank you for the encouragement. I am probably doing a bit too much in [alleged] retirement -- an interim pastorate, this seminary work, and half-time as Executive Director of the D. C. Baptist Foundation. But I tell people who question that that back in 1958 -- great day, a half-century ago! -- when I committed myself to ministry, I have never looked back or regretted that choice. And so now, as long as I have energy and health, I intend to do all that I can for Kingdom purposes, wherever opportunity arises. It has been superb to have spent most of my ministry here in the national capital area, after a few years in my native Kentucky. One never gets bored around here!

    FWIW, on Sunday I will be 70 years old.
     

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