Mark was born in Missouri where he has lived his entire life. He has watched with appreciation as Central has overcome challenges, such as maintaining relevance in changing times with programs like create.
“I will be fifty soon, and the first half of my life has been spent preparing for the second,” says Mark. “I want to use my bachelor’s degree in religion for something of value for the Kingdom of Heaven. I am grateful for this place, and create will help me better understand and interpret all that has been behind me and all that is ahead.”
Central Names Project Director for New Initiative
Jackson and her husband began serving as co-pastors of Gage Park Baptist Church in Topeka about six months ago, and they understand the issues pastors and churches face with regard to compensation. She looks forward to getting started and even began some preliminary work at the recent EMERGE conference where she was participating with other new clergy and seminarians and meeting American Baptist denominational personnel. Said Jackson, “I am truly delighted about directing this innovative project. As a pastoral leader, I am passionate about sustaining the ministries of local congregations and individual ministers; and finances figure into ministry health for both churches and leaders. The Lilly Grant affords us the opportunity to collect vital information, to create meaningful collaboration, and to provide beneficial education about the ‘Economics of Ministry.’ I anticipate the formation of partnerships among seminarians, church pastors, judicatory leaders, financial coaches, and the seminary community. What an exciting time to be a part of Central!”
Each aspect of the initiative – research, education, and collaboration – will reconfigure the landscape of student debt, support an educational model that prepares graduates to understand the financial metrics of ministry, and encourage strengthened partnerships with churches and communities. Jackson will manage these efforts to address and remediate the economic challenges pastoral leaders face in ways that help ministers and the churches they serve to flourish.