Category :: SBC News
Streamlined Master of Arts in Worship degree breaks distance, language barriers
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – A revamped School of Church Music (SCM) degree program has entered the final stages of pilot course testing and is set to launch in fall 2013. The new, streamlined Master of Arts in Worship (MAW), which features online and hybrid course options, allows students to gain theological and musical training without having to physically relocate for Fort Worth.
SCM Dean Stephen Johnson says the new degree will enable more people to seek further training without having to leave, neglect or postpone their current ministry service. Johnson also pointed out what he described as a “groundbreaking feature:” The degree will be offered in both Korean and English.
Johnson said the degree’s redesign comes as a response to the desire from many to pursue further education without stepping away from ministry positions.
“The Master of Arts in Worship was remade to become Southwestern's answer to worship education needs for those who must remain in their church assignment and cannot become resident students,” Johnson said. “The reformatted degree is now available through online and hybrid methods.”
Johnson explained that students can take the required theology courses online and complete their worship training in a hybrid format.
“For the worship studies, they have some initial reading, then come to campus for a special week of intensive classes [and] group worship sessions, and then they return home to complete the final project or paper,” Johnson said. “It is a wonderful way to have the best of both online and residential training.”
John Simons, associate dean of the SCM, said that while the degree will certainly cater to those who cannot leave their stations of ministry to attend seminary, the degree will still welcome those students who wish to take classes on campus, instead of online.
“Students in the program will come to campus each January and July for intensive worship hybrid classes, skills training, and group worship experiences,” Simons said. “Their theological studies can be completed online or in residence using our existing Southwestern resources.”
The new MAW has been streamlined down to 36 credit hours, whereas the previous degree required 40. The degree offers an equivalent education by combining nine courses in the worship area into four hybrid classes and then rolling the existing required practica and applied study portions into three comprehensive practica. The core for the degree, which includes courses such as Spiritual Formation, Systematic Theology, Old and New Testament, and Baptist Heritage will remain the same with the exception that the new degree will not require two semesters of auditioned ensemble.
Simons said the degree will include study of biblical foundations of worship and culture, worship leadership, worship design, congregational song, and philosophy.
“The newly redesigned degree [also] includes practicum skills training in arts management, media, and leading small instrumental forces in worship,” Simons said. “The MAW degree concludes with an in-the-field worship ministry project and document designed and created by the student and supervised by one of the ministry department faculty members.”
Simons described how the school will maneuver the multi-language feature.
“While the academic and skills training courses will be taught in either English or Korean, both cohorts will gather together for worship sessions that enable the two groups to interact, share and worship God,” Simons said.
Johnson said the change will affect all new students entering the Master of Arts in Worship degree program, from fall 2013 forward.
“This program is open to our alumni, who want further training while in the field, to any person with a completed undergraduate degree in any major,” Johnson said. “The target for this degree is any person who has a desire to serve or is already serving in a local church and cannot get away to come to campus for two years.”
Simons added that a small number of existing students will have the option to complete their degree under the current MAW degree or to switch to the new degree plan, but the new MAW will soon phase out the old and exist as the only degree of its kind.
“The MAW can be an excellent path of study for worship leaders or for pastors seeking added preparation in worship studies,” Simons said. “It is a degree that will foster cross-pollination of pastors, worship leaders, and missionaries; and it provides an added element of cross-cultural pollination between those studying in English and those studying in Korean.”
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News organizations during the Hurricane Sandy landfall and aftermath assisted in spreading the word about Southern Baptist Disaster Relief work in the Northeast. This was another opportunity to see others make known the invaluable work of faithful Southern Baptists sharing help and hope in time of crisis.
- Local charity assists with Hurricane Sandy relief effort (WSB Radio)
- PBS Religion and News Weekly, Nov. 2, 2012 (PBS)
- Family News In Focus (Nov. 1 episode. Story begins at 1 minute remaining)
- Texas Baptist Men driving relief to New York (NBCDFW Dallas)
- Southern Baptist relief effort begins efforts for Sandy (WSBTV Atlanta)
- Texas Baptist Men responding to Hurricane Sandy (CBS Dallas)
- Church group aids in Sandy Recovery (FOX 5 Atlanta)
- Local relief effort underway for victims of Sandy’s wrath (FOX 51 Gainesville, Fla.)
- Local charity assists with Hurricane Sandy relief effort (WSB Radio)
- Alpharetta group making 450K meals a day for Sandy victims (WSB Radio)
- Sandy's storm devastation 'unprecedented,' leader says in mobilizing Baptist volunteers (Baptist Press)
- 1 million meals to be offered in NYC (United Press International)
- Hurricane Sandy brings in multiple volunteers (Mission News Network)
- After Hurricane Sandy, Chaplains And Faith-Based Organizations Offer Aid And Tend To Spiritual Needs (Huffington Post)
- VIDEO: Volunteers head north to help with Sandy relief (WSBTV.com)
- East begins to clean-up after Superstorm Sandy (WSBTV.com)
- Superstorm Sandy: Christian Relief Organizations Ready for Massive Deployment (Christian Post)
- Southern Baptist Convention/North American Mission Board on VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)
Task force: Keep legal SBC name, but adopt informal name, 'Great Commission Baptists'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- The task force appointed to study a possible name change of the Southern Baptist Convention is recommending the convention maintain its legal name but adopt an informal, non-legal name for those who want to use it: "Great Commission Baptists."
The report Monday (Feb. 20) ended weeks of speculation by Southern Baptists and fellow evangelicals as to what the task force would do. The convention was formed in 1845, and a name change was first proposed in 1903, although one was not adopted then, or since.
The task force was appointed by Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright.
"This is an issue that just won't die," task force chairman Jimmy Draper said in presenting the task force's recommendation to the Executive Committee, which approved the recommendation Tuesday, sending it to SBC messengers for a vote at the June annual meeting in New Orleans. With about 70 Executive Committee members present, only about six members voted in opposition.
The name "Southern," Draper said, is a barrier to the Gospel in some regions of the country.
The recommendation would mean that the legal name of the convention would remain "Southern Baptist Convention" and could be used by any church which wishes to use it. But other SBC churches could call themselves "Great Commission Baptists" if they wish. Draper said the new term would be a "descriptor."
NAMB trustees voted unanimously to elect Douglas Dieterly as trustee chairman. Dieterly, executive pastor of Plymouth Baptist Church in Plymouth, Ind., has served as first vice chairman of NAMB's trustees since 2010.
God’s Plan for Sharing, the decade-long national evangelism emphasis of the North American Mission Board, marked its second major milestone at Easter as churches throughout the Southern Baptist and Canadian National Baptist conventions use evangelistic events to reach out to their communities. Read more...
Are you ready to fight hunger Oct. 9th?
With World Hunger Sunday approaching Oct. 9, churches and other groups who want to engage the issue of world hunger have a variety of resources available to them, in addition to the resources already available at www.gobgr.org.
One new item is a video entitled "What are you going to do about hunger?" that takes a look at what the World Hunger Fund does and what the hunger needs are around the world. You can view, show and download that video at www.vimeo.com/28065204.
Another new item for 2011 is World Hunger 101, a two-hour church wide event that explores the issue of world hunger. The downloadable event pack from WMU includes suggestions about ways to introduce the topic and how to consolidate a full understanding of issues related to hunger. Each age-level session plan includes promotion ideas and hunger project ideas.
World Hunger 101 is available for download at www.wmustore.com.
For the week of June 14-19, 240 students and their leaders served the Lord in Indianapolis. Students spent their days roofing, painting, and doing other construction projects in the Indianapolis community. Their evenings were spent at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School, where they participated in worship, Bible study and team-building. On Wednesday night, the students served in seven community events: two block parties, feeding more than 200 homeless people at the Baptist Center, various VBS events and handing out VBS flyers for area churches. Ten people accepted Christ during the week and many recommitments took place. World Changers will be back in Indianapolis June 13-18, 2011.
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255 TEENAGERS ARE COMING TO INDIANAPOLIS, JUNE 14-19, 2010 AND THEY WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
NATIONWIDE, May 2010 – This summer more than 23,000 students have made a decision to pay money out of their own pockets in order to help improve living conditions for people across the United States and Canada.
255 students from across the nation will be in Indianapolis the week of June 14-19 working on a variety of assignments that range from painting houses to putting new roofs on homes. The students come with their church youth groups, and on average pay $250 to take part in the week. This summer, 97 World Changers projects will take place in more than 85 cities from Alaska to Florida, New York to California, and many places in between. World Changers is in its 20th summer of operation and is an initiative of the North American Mission Board (Southern Baptist Convention).
Following a six-session “how-to” study that participants complete prior to coming, students serving Indianapolis will hit the ground running. The major work begins Tuesday of the project. The students will be staying at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet for the week. This initiative is in partnership with Indianapolis, Crossroads Baptist Association, as well as local agencies and businesses.
NOTE: There will be a designated Media Relations specialist on site in your city the week of the project that will be able to coordinate interviews with students and residents as well as provide worksite location information for video and photos.
If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Jonathan Wilson, please call 770-410-6475 or email Jonathan at email@example.com.
The people of First Baptist Church Maryville and the Winters Family greatly appreciate our prayers and ask you to continue to pray for the congregation, Pastor Fred’s family, and the assailant and his family. However, we ask you to e-mail any condolences to firstname.lastname@example.org instead of posting them here. We would like for this site to be filled only with memories and stories of our beloved Pastor Fred. Other guests, please utilize the Prayer Request section of our site for passing along your prayers and well wishes.
Churches with WMU stronger SBC supporters
Southern Baptist churches that have Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) organizations support the denomination financially at significantly higher levels than congregations without WMU, according to an analysis of reported church giving.
The new breakdown of giving patterns suggests missions education by WMU continues to play an important role in inspiring local churches to give more money to the Cooperative Program (CP) and missions offerings.
A review of annual statistics collected by LifeWay Christian Resources found that churches that have age-level WMU organizations like Girls in Action and Women on Mission support the CP, the SBC's unified budget, and the two annual SBC-wide special missions offeings at higher per-capita levels than those without ongoing missions education.
The study, conducted jointly by WMU and SBC North American Mission Baord (NAMB), found that churches with missions-education programs gave $43.28 per member to CP, compared to $23.65 per capita by churches without such programs.
Giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions was $3.29 per capita from churches without missions education, compared to $9.05 from those with missions education. Per-member giving fo rthe Annie Armstong Easter Offering for North American Missions was $5.34 for churches with missions education, compared to $1.54 for those without.
WMU and NAMB further examined the giving levels among churches that reported having Baptist Men on Mission (formerly Brotherhood), Challengers and Royal Ambassador programs and those that do not.
Regardless of the size, the entities' findings show that per captia giving to CP and the missions offerings was greater across the board in churches that reported having ongoing missions education.
"Southern Baptists have a rich missions legacy, and the foundation of that has been mission education," said Jim Burton, NAMB's mission education team leader. "We believe missions learning is the foundation for missions sending, and this data supports that conviction.
"When Southern Baptist churches drift away from mission education, they directly put the future missions support from their church at risk," Burton continued. "Having no mission education, particularly in lieu of para-church options that will not reinforce our missions priorities, cuts short the shared vision of cooperative missions that has defined our denomination's missions efforts."
Wanda S. Lee, WMU executive director/treasurer, also underscored the value of missions education for everyone in the church, from preschoolers to adults.
"The heart of Southern Baptist missions efforts must be founded on our members' understanding of three basic concepts: everything I have belongs to God; I am responsible for using whatever I have to honor God; and a world is waiting to hear the good news and I am responsible for seeing that they hear.
"When these concepts are planted firmly in believers' lives as they are through ongoing missions educations, tithing and cooperative giving follow," Lee said.
Geoff Hammond, NAMB president, said these insights are particularly important in light of the increasingly challingeing mission field NAMB missionaries face.
"The urgent need to reach North America with the gospel is apparent every day, and Southern Baptists who have a missions education foundation are better equipped to meet the challenges of fulfilling the Great Commission," Hammond said. "The work of our mission education team and the Woman's Missioanry Union, along with other partners, is making a difference."
Over 120 years, WMU has helped raise more than $3 billion for interanational missions by promting the Lottie Moon offering and $1.1 billion of North American missions through the Annie Armstrong, according to Lee.
This year WMU produced nearly 4.2 million Christmas prayer guides in six languages, distributed by state WMU organization to churches in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. About 174,000 Week of Prayer posters were sent to churches, and 4.8 million Lottie Moon Christmas Offering envelopes were placed in pews in Southern Baptist churches.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (ABP)
“…give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord.”
I Thessalonians 5:12-13
Each October, many churches designate a day to show appreciation to their pastor and church ministerial staff member. Need fresh ideas?
One Fishing Lure
Determine one small item your pastor enjoys, such as M&Ms, fishing lures, popcorn, coffee, or golf balls. Ask each church member, including youth and children, to bring one of that item on Pastor Appreciation Sunday. For example, each family member will bring one bag, any size, of peanut M&Ms. Bring extras for guests and forgetful members. As your church thanks God for your pastor on Sunday, each member can walk to the front and place their token of love in a large basket.
The Church Building & the Church
Present your pastor with a beautifully framed photo or painting of the church building. Use an extra wide matting and ask all church members to sign the mat before adding glass.
Distribute your minister’s e-mail address to all church or class members, asking each one to send an e-mail note, describing something specific that they appreciate about their pastor. E-mails should be sent one specific day or week, creating an e-pounding of blessings!
Use the same basic idea, but ask each member to send a text-message to the pastor or staff member.
Order a jigsaw puzzle with a photo of your church family or church building. Internet puzzle companies make 100 or 1000 piece puzzles from a photo.
Love Our Pastor
Take out a full-page ad in your local newspaper, featuring a photo of your pastor with each church member's signature around it. Include a declaration of your church's love and appreciation for your pastor.
Give each church member a stamped envelope that is pre-addressed to your minister's home. Ask them to send a very specific, personal note of appreciation this week.
Make It a Month
As a church, deacon body, ladies group, choir or youth group, make October a true month of appreciation for your pastor. Ask individual volunteers from the group to write their name on one day of an October calendar. On the assigned day, that person expresses appreciation to the pastor in a unique way. Each day will be different. The pastor might receive a letter or gift. It could be a meal, a shoeshine or a "thank you" balloon bouquet. After a whole month of pleasant surprises, won't your pastor feel appreciated? And won't God be honored by your acts of love for His servant?
While You Were Out
Hanover Baptist in Indiana surprised their pastor with a gorgeous new home office. With his wife's input, of course, they worked with a decorator and volunteers to turn a spare room into a home office while the pastor was out of town. They did paint, wallpaper, window coverings, shelves, desk, chair, computer, and decorator items.
Gift of Prayer
Give your pastor the gift of prayer. Create a chart, and allow members to choose a specific time that they will commit to pray weekly for the pastor this next year. They do not need to come to a specific place—just pray on their way to work or pray each Tuesday at 2 PM. The project could be done by a deacon group, choir, class or the entire church. Present the prayer promise chart to the pastor as a gift. Then remember to pray!
A Class Idea
All the Sunday School classes of the church could pool their resources to purchase a full set of Bible commentaries. Every individual class could sign inside one of the books, then present it as a gift from their class.
Gift from Deacons
Each deacon purchases a gift certificate to a restaurant, carwash, coffee shop, or book store. He writes a personal note on the back, then all coupons are placed inside a card for the pastor.
Gift from Kids
Wouldn’t it be fun for every child at church to create a signed bookmark for their pastor or children's pastor, using cardstock paper, crayons or markers? Laminate the bookmarks, and then call all the children forward at the end of worship to put their bookmarks in a basket for the pastor.
Gift from Youth
Create huge poster board hearts and a giant love note for everyone to read. Place them on stakes in your pastor's front yard during pastor appreciation day. You could add balloons, but not toilet paper.
More Ideas for a Gift from the Church
Restaurant certificates, magazine subscription, tires, Bible software, a trip, a book, theatre or sports tickets, flowers for his wife, babysitting coupons, a new car, a grandfather clock, a suit for pastor and a dress for his wife, a new car, a new desk, home landscaping.
Ideas for Individual Members to Honor the Pastor
Your church demonstrates appreciation, but how can you, as an individual church member, honor and encourage your ministers? A few fresh ideas:
Write your minister an encouraging note the first day of every month this year. Tell him how last Sunday’s sermon impacted your week. Take him to lunch and tell him how much you appreciate him as your pastor.
Stay Awake In Church
Sit near the front during worship every Sunday during Pastor Appreciation Month. Actively listen during the sermon. Make eye contact. Nod your head. Take notes. Say "amen" at an appropriate time.
May I Borrow Your Car?
As a special surprise during Minister Appreciation Week, borrow your pastor’s car and have it detailed, oiled and lubed, washed and gassed.
Brag about Him
Brag about your pastor every chance you get - and not just at church. Write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper during Minister Appreciation Month to compliment your minister. Introduce him to your friends and work associates.
Show respect by calling him “pastor.”
During Minister Appreciation Week, present him a "Best Pastor in Madison" t-shirt, substituting your town's name.
Be the first church member to volunteer for something. Accompany your pastor on ministry visits. Show up early for church and help. Stay late and help. Faithfully and joyfully use your spiritual gifts within the church body.
During Minister Appreciation Week, anonymously mow and edge your pastor’s lawn. Provide a generous book allowance for him in your church budget. Be sure that he's paid an appropriate salary. If he has houseguests coming again, deliver a great casserole. Exempt clergy from bringing dishes to pitch-in dinners.
Love His Family
Do something special for your pastor’s wife. Help pay for his teens to attend the church's youth retreat. Babysit his kids for free during a wedding or funeral. Include his family in your holiday celebration. Help his children apply for college scholarships. Deliver a Thanksgiving turkey to his house.
Quit complaining. Quit complaining. Quit complaining. Quit complaining.
Excerpt from Fresh Ideas (B&H Publishing, 2007)
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