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.
Students, faculty, and administrators work together on task groups that devise and carry out seminary procedures. Student representatives attend board meetings and some faculty meetings. Campus activities provide opportunities to share experiences and concerns, offer support, and enhance the community life.
Central Student Ministries (CSM), the association of students at Central Seminary, plays an important role in the life of the Seminary. CSM fills its various leadership positions from among the student body and seeks to empower students for service within the immediate and external seminary communities. CSM offers students the chance to dialogue and maintain lines of communication within the seminary community during regularly scheduled meetings, dinners, and support groups. Community meals provide an opportunity for the seminary community to come together around the table. Different groups, such as Women in Ministry and Minority Student Fellowship, provide support and ministry opportunities for members of the seminary community.
Chapels and other times of worship and prayer are scheduled regularly during the academic year. These gatherings provide the seminary community a forum for expressing itself in a variety of worship styles that reflect the rich ecumenical diversity of the student body, faculty, and staff.
Various events, including picnics and holiday parties, sponsored by CSM and the Community Life Task Group enhance community fellowship for the Central Seminary community.