Page Four - Historical Sketch

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Commitment to Local and World Missions

      NOBTS is the home of the Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Growth, the first such center in the SBC. The Leavell Center provides detailed, immediately useable, and up-to-date demographics on any U.S. neighborhood, to assess evangelism/church growth potential. NOBTS is the only SBC seminary to offer such a service.

     The seminary's location makes it the ideal missions laboratory. Ministry opportunities abound within the seminary's unique urban setting. In addition, many mission trips are offered to students in each academic year. During the summer of 1998, students and faculty groups were involved in mission projects in not only New Orleans but also in Salt Lake City, Rhode Island, Ecuador, Italy, France, Romania, Tanzania and Trinidad.

     NOBTS established the Intercessory Prayer Center in the midst of campus housing, open around the clock and connected by the Internet to Southern Baptist missionaries around the world. It also established the World Missions Resource Center to provide the most up-to-date information available on Southern Baptist missionaries and the countries where they serve.

Accessible Education Through Extension

     NOBTS is committed to making education accessible, thus the development of its extensive extension center system across the Southeast. It oversees a complete campus located outside Atlanta in Decatur, Ga., with nearly 500 students. In addition, extension centers currently are located in Orlando, Graceville, Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa, Florida; Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama; Jackson and Clinton, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Angola, and Shreveport, Louisiana; and Cleveland, Tenn.

     In 1998, the Association of Theological Schools chose NOBTS as one of only two schools for a pilot program because of its many years of experience in distance learning.   

Ministering to the Ministers Family

     The leadership of NOBTS recognizes that education and preparation for ministry extend beyond the pastor to his family, and specifically to his wife. Therefore, for more than 20 years the seminary has offered student wives free classes and free childcare in its Certificate of Excellence program.

     The seminary is also committed to the children of students. Each week, a campus youth minister leads Campus Youth Challenge meetings, which are designed to build up students' children in the faith and prepare them for the opportunities they will have in the ministry. 

     In addition, NOBTS offers a unique campus Christian homeschooling network, the Christian Home Educators Support System.  A paid staff member gives direction and guidance for those new to homeschooling and offers special activities each month, networking all campus homeschool families. 

Looking Ahead

     In keeping with their mission focus on the Great Commission and the Great Commandments, administrators envision innovations cultivating healthy churches throughout the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as increased access to quality theological education.

     They also plan to retool existing degree programs and develop innovative degree programs to address the specific needs and interests of students.

     Finally, they envision an enhanced campus environment through
which to accomplish these goals.

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