Directors of Associated Baptist Press honored the Baptist General Convention of Texas and announced a $100,000 matching-funds challenge from a Texas Baptist family during a meeting in San Antonio. The BGCT has long been one of the major financial supporters of the independent Baptist news service. Executive Editor Greg Warner announced a $100,000 matching-funds challenge from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation. The foundation has promised to match all individual donations to the news service, up to $100,000, until the end of 2008. John and Eula Mae Baugh’s granddaughter, Jackie Moore of San Antonio, serves as an ABP director and on the Baugh Foundation board.
Scholarship application deadline soon. The Baptist History & Heritage Society is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a university or seminary student doing research in Baptist studies. Any student interested in applying for the scholarship must submit an application packet postmarked by May 1. It should include the student’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address; the name of the school, course and professor in which the student is engaged in research in Baptist historical studies; and a 250-word description of the research project. The student also must commit to prepare and submit to the Baptist History & Heritage Society, within one year of completing the research, a 3,500-word article for consideration for publication in the society’s journal, Baptist History and Heritage, and/or for placement on the society’s website. The student’s application also must include an endorsement letter from the student’s professor supporting both the student and the research project being conducted by the student.
Richmond seminary announces layoffs. Four full-time professors and at least three administrative staff members at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond will be cut in an effort to reduce costs, said seminary President Ron Crawford, who was elected to his position about a year ago. Though he did not release the names of the professors to be dismissed, Crawford said he has communicated with each one, and the school is offering severance packages that exceed a full year’s salary and full personnel benefits. The 19-year old seminary is burdened with a $6 million debt and faces a significant deficit in its budget this year—about $450,000 out of a $3.6 million budget.
Criswell trustees squelch rumor. Criswell College trustees put to rest a rumor that the college—started by First Baptist Church of Dallas in 1975—would become part of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s undergraduate program. Trustees voted without dissent that the college would not become part of the seminary. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary, served 17 years as president of Criswell College.
Mercer trustees approve strategic plan. Mercer University ’s trustees approved a 10-year strategic plan for the university that calls for more than $1.2 billion in new investments in the institution’s endowment, faculty and staff, facilities and technology, and academic and co-curricular programs over the next decade. The plan will be funded through aggressive expansion of Mercer’s endowment from approximately $200 million today to more than $1 billion by 2018, and by developing new academic programs and other initiatives that generate additional revenue for the institution.
Dickson named dean of Mercer music school. John Dickson of Texas Tech has been appointed dean of Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music. Dickson served previously as professor of conducting and associate dean for doctoral studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Church Music. He is former minister of music and worship at Second Baptist Church in Lubbock
New England Baptists seek expatriates. The Baptist Convention of New England is celebrating 50 years of Southern Baptist work in New England and 25 years as a constituted state convention. The celebration will culminate at the convention’s annual meeting Nov. 13-15 in Marlboro, Mass. As part of the anniversary observance, New England Baptists want to get in touch with Texans who served there in the past. Texas Baptists who served in New England are encouraged to send contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.bcne.net.