Recently, Dr. Rick Shenk, Director of Non-Traditional Programs, announced that we have been approved to start an extension site in Rochester. This announcement resulted from a lot of conversations, meetings, prayer, and preparation! We are grateful to God for this opportunity to equip people in Rochester for Christ exalting ministry.
Personally, this campus is also a dream come true for me. When my family moved back to Rochester in 2018, we believed that God had led us here, but I was not sure what he had planned for me. My wife, Sarah, works as a Nurse Practitioner in the NICU at Mayo Clinic, and she loves her job: caring for the babies who need special medical attention. Living in Rochester makes a lot of sense for her career, but my heart and passion is theological education: training men and women for ministry in their local contexts. For years, I have regularly traveled to Central and South America to train Christian leaders in places where it is not possible for them to receive formal training. Moving to a city without a clear outlet for my ministry call was a challenge; however, it quickly became apparent that there is a hunger, and a need, for theological education in Rochester. I am grateful that the Lord has brought me to this place, at this time, to be part of this work of equipping people for ministry through spreading joy in Christ!
It has been an exciting journey to see how God has worked to bring together many people who also see this need and can help make this new Bethlehem campus a reality. Since our official approval by the Board of Trustees, we have been working to appoint adjunct faculty, recruit students, and finalize details on our campus meeting site. Each one of these endeavors provides unique challenges, but the process has been a joy, and I am looking forward to many more conversations about this campus in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Appointing Adjunct Faculty
One of my favorite tasks this spring has been interacting with those who desire to teach at the Rochester campus. The Lord has blessed us with many men in the Rochester area who are not only academically equipped to teach, but who are passionate about training people for ministry through theological education. I am grateful to God that, as a new campus, we will be blessed with outstanding professors! I also look forward to seeing these men joyfully exalt Christ each week through their teachings.
We are working hard to bring together a strong cohort for our classes in the fall. It has been a privilege to share with potential students that we are actually going to have courses in Rochester very soon. The excitement in these conversations has been contagious! One of the challenges for recruiting students has been to move this excitement into action—we have several potential students praying through how full-time theological studies will fit into their lives and budgets for the fall.
Campus Meeting Site
Emmanuel Baptist Church has been very gracious to offer their education wing as a host site for our campus. The facilities are set up perfectly to host the classes that we need each semester, and the elders have been very helpful throughout this whole process. We are currently working to get the appropriate paperwork to the state to receive final approval.
Dr. Rocky Coleman
Rochester Site Coordinator
- Thank God for the opportunity to spread a passion for God’s glory through theological education in Rochester.
- Thank God that he brought me and others to Rochester for the purpose of starting this campus.
- Ask God to help us through the remainder of the process of appointing qualified adjunct professors. Specifically, we are praying for a long-term professor for the Greek courses here in Rochester.
- Pray that God will continue provide students for both the B.Th. and M.A. programs.
- Pray for the potential students, who are deciding how these programs fit into their lives and budgets.
- Pray for the state approval process for our meeting site.