Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spirit-Prompted Creativity through Community

Create student Angela Powell
Angela Powell entered seminary to pursue her ministry calling.  She had responded to the leadership of the Holy Spirit to begin Bright Future Ministries, but she realized that she needed to know more to be an effective leader.  As a create master of divinity student at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, she became part of a community that has equipped her with the ministry and entrepreneurial skills to expand that ministry.

Create is an innovative approach to theological education that helps a student develop his or her unique ministry vision.  Classes and internships are designed to equip, challenge, and empower students toward that goal.  Create is not your typical master of divinity program but calls students, instructors, and administrators to be open to “the wind of the Spirit” in a supportive faith community.

This is particularly true in Angela’s case.  For one of her create internships, she had the opportunity to work with the Institutional Advancement team of the seminary -- Molly Marshall, president; John Gravley, vice president for institutional advancement; Robin Sandbothe, director of seminary relations; Debra Sermons, director of recruitment; Francisco Litardo, director of social media community; and the administrative staff.

As she worked with the members of team, Angela learned much about fund raising, communicating vision, and teamwork. She observed, “As I witnessed the genuineness of this team, I have grown to understand and know what a true team player looks like as well as be one.”

Community born out of a Trinitarian theology brings new life.  In a Review and Expositor article, President Marshall once wrote, “When the community expresses its life as Imago Trinitatis, certain practices ensue: Generativity, Humility, Hospitality, Diversity.”  These attributes are what Angela discovered both in her create cohort and in her work with the Institutional Advancement Team.  As students are involved in community with other believers, they discern more clearly the leadership of the Spirit in their lives and ministries.

The new models of theological education adopted by Central—an entrepreneurial master of divinity degree, contextualized internships, global partnerships, language contextualization programs, online classes, coaching and mentoring for students—allow for the Spirit of God to work creatively through community as students are formed for ministry.  This is a unique gift.

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