The Association of American Baptist Seminary Administrators (ABASA) will gather at Central Seminary on the Shawnee campus, April 26-27. In addition to catching up with what is going on in the different schools, they will focus on what they have been learning about ministry and money. Three seminaries, Central, Northern, and Proctor will present learnings from their respective projects on student debt, financial literacy, cost of theological education, and theology of money, which have been funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment.
The purpose of these grants has been to assist seminaries in addressing economic matters facing future ministers. Debilitating debt greatly compromises wellness —in ministry, family life, and personal health. In addition to the presentation from the seminaries, ABHMS and MMBB, also recipients of Lilly funds, will offer their perspectives on ministry compensation, ways to overcome debt, and growing financial literacy for ministers and their churches. Having seminaries and these national boards together will offer a constructive conversation and new strategies to engage these urgent issues.
During the final session Angela Barker Jackson, Director of Central’s Money & Ministry Initiative, will make a presentation which will illumine other aspects of the financial challenges pastors face, both in their own family constellations and in fostering stewardship in their churches. Her data nudges seminaries to focus more intently on financial matters as a part of ministry formation.