White Cross Partnership Announcement
White Cross Canada is close to the heart of many churches and individuals in the Alberta Baptist Association. A history of committed involvement, financially as well as through volunteers, means that the ABA shoulders much of the weight in supporting this important work. In light of this long tradition and deep passion for this work, we are pleased to announce that a new partnership has been signed between the Alberta Baptist Association and Taylor/EP Wahl Centre to partner together to support the ministry of White Cross Canada in the future. Together Taylor and the ABA will provide the necessary supports to maintain the important work of White Cross Canada.
We should make it clear that this partnership will not impact the operations or funding of White Cross Canada. White Cross will continue to function as it has in years past. Taylor will continue to host the operations of White Cross on the Taylor campus as we have done in the past, and will make sure that material donations in support of the work of White Cross are directed there.
One administrative change that will happen is that beginning January 1, 2021 receipts for financial donations to White Cross Canada will be issued by the ABA rather than by Taylor. A letter will go out shortly to White Cross donors/supporters with more information about this partnership. This letter will include instructions to help make sure donations get to the ABA in a timely manner. We should also make it clear that any monies sent to Taylor to support the work of White Cross after January 1st will be passed on to the ABA so that monies are used as they are intended.
We are excited about this new partnership. We believe it will be good for the ABA, for White Cross Canada, and for Taylor. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact either David Williams (phone: (780) 431-5207; email: email@example.com) or Terry Fossen (phone: (780) 438-8852; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kairos Joins the Digital Theological Library
The Kairos Project is now a co-owner of the Digital Theological Library (DTL), “a co-owned, born-digital library of religious and theological studies.” Launched by the Claremont School of Theology, the DTL now counts among its co-owners Gordon Conwell, Missio Seminary, Denver Seminary, and Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (and several others). The mission of the DTL is to provide its co-owning institutions with the highest quality digital resources in religious and theological studies at the lowest possible costs.”
A New Approach to Undergraduate Education
Today, we continue to share a bit about the new undergraduate program that is available through the Kairos Project. For our friends, supporters, and alumni, undergraduate education is an important part of this institution. In 1967, the North American Baptist Conference officially recognized North American Baptist College (the previous name for Taylor Seminary) as the official undergraduate training institution for the entire denomination.
For many years, North American Baptist College served students from across the North American Baptist Conference and particularly people located in Alberta. When the college programs were closed in 2008, there was a deep sense of loss across the denomination as a whole and particularly within the Alberta Baptist Association. Training young people for service in the kingdom mission had long been an important aspect of this institution.
Today, as a result of the schools uniting under Kairos, we are excited to offer a fresh expression of undergraduate education. We are now able to function as a North American Baptist college and seminary that provides educational opportunities from bachelor degrees all the way through to research doctoral degrees. This new degree will launch in fall 2020 and will be accredited by one of the largest and most influential accreditation systems in North America. As such, students in this program can be assured that they will not only receive high-quality education but also know it will be recognized around the world as such.
College is an important time in one's developmental journey. We believe that a fresh expression of undergraduate education is required if we are to adequately prepare students to thrive in their vocations. It is for this reason that we are taking a different approach to undergraduate education. Bachelor's degrees in both Canada and the United States are designed around concepts that assume a certain reality that is quickly fading. In some cases, this is more pronounced in the US than it is in Canada. But even in Canada, there is rising concern about how programs are not designed to meet students where they are. We think there is a better, and more affordable, way to walk alongside students in this journey.
Each semester, students (whether on campus or online) will travel through three types of learning pathways - each designed to integrate vocation, faith, and context. One pathway is comprised of weekly small group cohort sessions led by faculty who also serve as mentors to students in the program. Another avenue for learning comes through online pathways designed to encourage students to work with a mentor team on projects that are relevant to their vocations and contexts. For example, if a student is pursuing a career as a software engineer, the pathways can be customized to account for that. If a student is planning to be a pastor, the pathways can be adapted to that vocation. These adaptations happen under the direction of a faculty-led mentor team. Finally, all students will come together once per term for a Kairos Gathering. Gatherings are a learning pathway designed to help students reflect on case studies from their contexts. Throughout the program, students can work with their mentor teams to adapt assignments, pursue passions, and create a portfolio of work developed in the crucible of real-life, not the classroom.
While developing this customized learning journey, students will have the opportunity to engage in learning opportunities from 1) institutions around the world, 2) partner organizations that work in areas ranging from software development to pastoral ministry to accounting and more, and 3) immersive international experiences on four different continents.
Put simply, this program is designed to meet people where they are and help them get to where God is calling them to be.
You can read more about it by looking at Sioux Falls Seminary's article that is posted here.
New Program Responds to Needs of Others
We are in the middle of a global pandemic, which means it can feel a bit odd to talk about new and exciting things happening within the Kairos Project. With wage subsidy programs, deferred deadlines for tax payments, and various subsidies for industries, several individuals, churches, non-profits, and businesses are surveying their options for weathering this season. Indeed, we are in the midst of paradigmatic change. As citizens of the Kingdom, we believe it is important to find ways to walk alongside those God places in our care. This is true on both an individual and institutional level.
Throughout the network of partners within Kairos, we are seeing people provide things like: telemental health services so people can continue meeting with counselors despite shelter-in-place orders, prayer and support for students who are losing jobs or facing challenges in their congregations, or help being extended to partners around the world.
In many ways, that desire to be responsive was the original catalyst behind the launch of the Kairos Project. In the very first article that Sioux Falls Seminary posted on the Project in 2014, Greg Henson shared that traditional approaches to education had, in many instances, created a system of theological education that was prohibitively expensive, lacked integration, and was disconnected from day-to-day life and ministry. The same had happened in Canada, which led to Taylor's commitment to join Kairos as a legacy partner.
In short, we sought to develop something that was affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful.
Over the past two weeks, we have shared a few articles about this exciting endeavor. First we announced our union with Sioux Falls Seminary and then a launch of a global network of theological education. Today we continue to share about what God is doing and how we are responding to those around us.
Beginning this fall, students will be able to pursue undergraduate degrees through the Kairos Project that are accredited by the same organization that accredits degrees for places like Ohio State University, University of Notre Dame, and others. We will share much more about the program next week, but allow us to share a few highlights today.
1) The program can be completed from anywhere in the world.
2) Tuition is $300 USD/month - this means the cost of tuition will be nearly 25% lower than the average price of a bachelor's degree in Canada.
Come back next week to hear more about the program's design, the unique opportunities it provides, and how you can join us as we lean into this new initiative. If you'd like to read a bit more today, feel free to jump over to Sioux Falls Seminary's website. They posted an article here.