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.
MIT DMin Students Empower Local Congregations
In October, thirteen Doctor of Ministry students (two women and eleven men) travelled from Myanmar (Burma) for classes at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. These students are the second group of DMin students from the Myanmar Institute of Theology who are part of the ongoing collaborative partnership between that school and Central.
The students, along with two faculty members from MIT, were in Kansas City from October 4-22 and participating in classes with both Central and MIT faculty, as well as, at times, with the two groups of Shawnee-based DMin students. The first group of US-based Central DMin students will travel to MIT next March for their cross-cultural immersion experience.
The collaborative work between Central and Myanmar Institute of Theology is transformative for both schools. Faculty and students are learning about contextual realities of ministry in a religious plural world, the impact of the shifting political landscape on issues of faith (both US and Myanmar), and the reality of economic disparities and educational privilege in global partnerships in a post-colonial world. It is inter-cultural learning at its best
In addition, Kansas City metro area churches, including newer congregations of refugees from Myanmar, graciously extended hospitality to the visitors from MIT by providing meals, connections to refugee communities, hosting the visitors for worship and community gatherings, as well as helping with travel while the visitors were in Kansas City. Central is grateful for the graciousness of those who welcomed the guests from Myanmar.
And finally, what these students experienced is empowering their ministries at home in Myanmar. President Marshall asked one of the DMin students about visiting his area of the country when she travelled there next. He told her, “Mum, you cannot visit my area. It is not safe (because of armed conflict) and it is in the jungle. Yet,” he continued, “you are touching my area—indeed, all of Myanmar—through MIT.”