While I had just come back to faith and was starting to grow in my home church, First Baptist Church Murfreesboro, I had never envisioned going to seminary. In need of spiritual growth and understanding, everything pointed me in that direction; however, our family is a single income family with four children. My job was crucial and I could not see how I could possibly attend seminary.
Just when I thought that there was no hope, I was surprised by a flyer about a seminary that would be housed in my church. I found out that classes would be done in intensives on Friday night and Saturday and that the tuition was subsidized through the generosity of grants. I finally got it all together and started my seminary journey at Central Baptist Theological Seminary - Tennessee.
This format allowed me to complete my degree without missing any work or taking too much time away from my family. At the same time, I was able to develop an understanding of how to apply the skills from seminary to my sense of calling as a marketplace minister and allowed me to find ways to execute this ministry. After completion of seminary, my home church ordained me and blessed me in this calling.
I am extremely grateful for Central for the work it has done in my life by providing a thought provoking broad theological education.
Spiritual formation is the continuing work of God’s Spirit in the life of a believer in the context of Christian community. As Christ is formed within, each Christian is equipped and empowered to fulfill God’s call to ministry (diakonia), to worship (leitourgia) and to participate in community (koinonia) which builds up the whole Body of Christ. Spiritual formation is also the task of each Christian and involves a continuing discipleship expressed in those disciplines that encourage personal growth and wholeness, leading to maturity in Christ. Theological education encourages personal transformation.
Because of its importance to the ministry, spiritual formation is the central goal of the seminary community. Added to the daily disciplines of individual study and prayer, regular chapel, table fellowship, and mission experiences are built into the curriculum and extracurricular activities through which persons are formed for ministry.