The beginning of a new school year is always exciting and energizing. The school year that started last week at Bethlehem College & Seminary is no exception. We begin the year with our largest enrollment in school history (about 245 students). We are grateful to the Lord for bringing us students from 26 states and 4 countries. All of them are here because they feel called by the Lord to pursue an education which will equip them to understand both God’s Word and God’s world in ways that will prepare them for a lifetime of effective ministry and work.
New beginnings. New opportunities. New mercies. Every day, every month, every year. This is a normal part of the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. And so it is at our school. At the start of this school year, we are launching into another new initiative that we are praying the Lord will use to accomplish His mighty, gospel purposes.
Even as the Lord continues to bring us students from all over the US and from several countries, we are now sensing the Lord leading us to be more aggressive in seeking students of color from the US—especially African Americans. We have desired this from the beginning, but during our start up years, we just haven’t been able to dedicate the time or energy toward this end. We also know that there have been two significant factors working against us: 1. a lack of awareness (they don’t know about us) and, 2. we can’t compete financially with the generous financial packages offered by nearly every other Christian institution of higher learning. We have only been able to offer them our already low tuition, but even that is higher than what they would pay at the other (much more) expensive schools.
Therefore, we are launching a new scholarship initiative specifically for African American students and other American students of color. We are calling it The All Peoples Scholarship. It is formally launching next week at the National Baptist Convention Annual Conference here at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With the launch of The All Peoples Scholarship, we will be offering three full tuition scholarships to qualified minority applicants in each of our programs.
We aren’t at all interested in pursuing “political correctness.” But what we are interested in, is training and educating people of all ethnic backgrounds—and African Americans in particular—so that they can be equipped to preach powerfully and teach faithfully the gospel of Jesus Christ in every corner of America and the world!
Praising the Lord of all,
- Please be in prayer for The All Peoples Scholarship initiative. We are very excited about this, but recognize that only the Lord Himself can bring about fruit for the Kingdom through it. Pray that many qualified, potential students would apply for this scholarship this Fall and in the years to come.
- Please also be in prayer for all of our new students this Fall. Many of them have moved here from long distances and are going some big adjustments—new city, new roommates, new school, new professors, rigorous courses and programs. It can be challenging during these first few weeks of the semester. Pray for God’s grace to abound in their lives and for their joy in the Lord to be full.
- Also, please keep our Self-Study writing project in your prayers as well. These next few weeks are critical for us to complete the writing of this important document which we pray will extend our accreditation for another 10 years—if the Lord wills!
- And, as always, continue to pray for our finances. The Lord has been merciful and gracious to us this past year. Now pray that He will be even more gracious and merciful to us this year!