Transformation: 2017 Annual Report

Letter from the President

Dear Friends of Central,

If I were to try to summarize the holy work of God in one word, I would use transformation.  God is ever bringing newness to creation, to the configuration of the peoples of the world, and to individual human lives, transforming all reality in light of Christ’s resurrection.

Transformation is that process of changing from one form to another. God’s creativity and collaboration with created entities conspire to bring about God’s desired purpose for that discrete part of creation.

Paul writes most clearly about human metamorphosis in 2 Corinthians 3:18 where he describes the ongoing work of the Spirit.

            And we, who with unveiled faces reflect Our God’s glory, grow brighter and

            brighter as we are being transformed into the image we reflect.  This is the work

            of our God, who is Spirit.

Read more of the Letter from the President on The Voice DIGITAL VERSION


Master of Divinity

From Ministry Certificate Recipient to Ordained Associate Pastor – A Transformational Journey

“During my journey towards a Master of Divinity degree I was blessed to learn from professors who are not only intelligent, but wise. They encouraged me to push on through some difficult personal experiences and to push beyond the limits of my self-perception. While they imbued me with the technical knowledge necessary to perform my ministerial duties, they also inspired me to think independently and to own my faith.”

–Mark Harmon, 2017 MDiv

Read more of Mark Harmon’s Story


Women’s Leadership Initiative 

“Just look at the circus!” – Students Plunge into Guided Learning

Amy Mears, who teaches homiletics for Central Tennessee and pastors Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, is an experienced ministry mentor. She told Kelly Moreland Jones: “When I’m working with students, I’ll be saying things like, ‘See! Just look at the circus! Fire breathing here. Pony riding over there. Trapeze up there.” With sweeping gestures, she added, “But that doesn’t mean you have to stick your head in the lion’s mouth!”

Read more on our mentoring initiative


Korean Program

From Military Officer to Military Evangelist: ByeongHo Lee’s Story

“I still have a lot to learn about theology as a minister in training, but I can now clearly see where God is leading me.  I will continue to face the

challenges in front of me. I am proud to be a MDiv student at CBTS. I am grateful.”

–ByeongHo Lee, MDiv student, Korean Program


아직 목회자가 되기 위해 훈련 중에 있어 배워야 할 것이 많지만, 이제는 하나님께서 저를 어디로 인도하시는지 분명하게 알 수 있습니다. 저는 계속해서 저 앞에 있는 도전들과 맞서 싸울 것입니다. 센트럴의 MDiv  학생인 것이 자랑스럽고 감사합니다.

Read more of ByeongHo Lee’s story

Read more of ByeongHo Lee’s StoryKorean PDF


Money & Ministry

Financial Coaching Transforms Student’s Financial Future

“I keep my debt before my eyes – not to be depressed about owing money, but as a way to motivate myself. I see how my planning is paying off and literally changing my life… I want people to know that any age is a good age to get your finances under control. It is not easy, it definitely is not pretty, but it is worth it. When you are freed financially, you are able to give freely to God and follow God’s call on your life.”

–Jessica Jenkins, MDiv student in the Women’s Leadership Initiative

Read more on our financial coaching program


Urban Missional Institute

Central Seminary Urban Missional Institute Appoints 2017 Fellow

“I feel blessed.  Blessed to be a part of this team that is going to have a hand in helping to raise awareness, understanding, and compassion for the urban world that is all around us.”

–Ethan Bunce, MDiv student and 2017 UMI Fellow

Read more on our Urban Missional Institute


FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities

FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities Director Marlene Po Commissioned as Associate Missionary

“It is a great privilege for me to serve in the Lord’s Ministry. I will walk with the guidance of God, follow the path of Jesus, and serve the children of God, who are the Burmese Diaspora Community in the United States of America.”

–Rev. Marlene Po, Director of FOUNDATIONS Judson Communities

Read more of Marlene Po’s Story

Read more of Marlene Po’s Story – Burmese PDF


Doctor of Ministry

New Director of DMin Program Works to Make Program Transformative

“When I first started working for Central Seminary, I was asked to develop strategic priorities for the 2017-2018 year. After numerous conversations, strategic thinking, an analysis of the program, and input from various people, I formulated three strategic priorities to help transform the program. Here transformation signifies improvements coupled with new initiatives, which will make the DMin program at Central a quality learning and transforming experience.”

–John Park, Des Peres Assistant Professor of Congregational Health and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

Read more on our DMin program


Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence

The New Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence

“What if every youth and adult leader in the world could be trained in conflict transformation? With today’s technology and Central’s amazing commitment to educate people for peace, this new partnership can reach the world like never before… My dream is that someday people will say, “Violence? What was that?” Praise God for visionary leaders and institutions like International Ministries and Central that make dreams come true!”

   –Sharon Buttry, along with husband Dan, partners for peace and nonviolence

Read more on the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence

PROD: 1547807738