The Future of Kairos Begins Today

Today, we are excited to announce the next chapter of the Kairos Project. By God’s grace, what began as an experiment in 2014 has become a global network of theological education! Joining the union of Taylor and Sioux Falls Seminaries announced last week are Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown, PA and Biblical Life Institute (BLI) in Freeport, PA. 

In this formal union all schools will come together to be governed by the same board and will share one accreditation, one staff, one faculty, and one mission. At the same time, we will honor the history and heritage of each institution. Each school, with its new partners, will continue accomplishing what it always has, which is preparing men and women for service in the kingdom of God. Instead of going into the future alone, the schools will be co-laborers in God’s vineyard as they leverage the Kairos Project to offer affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful theological education around the world.

By coming together, the schools will be larger than 90% of the accredited seminaries in North America with students originating from six continents and over 40 different denominations, programs in multiple languages, the second largest military chaplain program in the United States, and degree programs ranging from associates and bachelor degrees to research doctoral degrees.

Over the past 18 months, as this union has been coming together, much work has been put into enhancing the ways that partners can participate in the Kairos Project. As a result, as the next chapter begins today, there are already 35 affiliate partner organizations who are a part of Kairos. As legacy partners, Taylor, Sioux Falls, Evangelical, and BLI have combined their resources to expand what is possible through Kairos.

Going forward, the Kairos Project will offer innovative approaches to collaboration that will empower partners from around the world to develop servants for participation in the Kingdom mission. Comprised of schools, churches, ministries, and other kingdom-minded organizations, Kairos will share resources, ideas, and learning in order to make the Christ-centered development of people more affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to post exciting news about this momentous announcement – including information about a bachelor’s degree that costs only $300 per month, a counseling degree that can be completed from anywhere in North America, a first-of-its-kind Doctor of Theology program, a military chaplain program that is creating new pathways for students, a library with over 600,000 volumes, and an opportunity to THRiVE! in ministry.

Moving Forward Together

Announcing the Union of Taylor Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary:

Stepping Boldly into the Future

Taylor Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary are stepping boldly into the future of theological education by coming together to create a first-of-its-kind, bi-national system of theological education.  

After nearly five years of ever-deepening partnership, Taylor and Sioux Falls are entering a formal union wherein both schools will be governed by the same board and will share one accreditation, one staff, one faculty, and one mission. 

Through this union, the institutions will leverage the Kairos Project to provide affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful journeys of discipleship that can lead to certificates and degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. 

What is the Kairos Project?

With over 500 students, 1,000 mentors, and nearly 70 faculty members spread out across four continents, 30 countries, 4 provinces, and 30 states, the Kairos Project has become one of the largest, most diverse, and most innovative systems of accredited theological education in the world. 

Students in the Kairos Project engage in a journey of discipleship that prepares them to thrive in their vocations as they join God on mission. People from all walks of life are engaged in Kairos. Pastors, lawyers, doctors, nonprofit executives, fighter pilots, missionaries, church planters, and more are pursuing degrees that were once out of reach for them. Through this union, Taylor and Sioux Falls will expand the opportunities available through the Kairos Project. In fact, a fully- accredited bachelor’s degree and a research-level doctoral degree will be available starting this fall!

One Mission, Renewed Heritage 

Looking toward the future, Taylor and Sioux Falls Seminaries are grateful for the work God has done in and through them. The schools will faithfully honor the past as they fully appreciate and embrace the future God has in store. The unique heritage and identity of both schools will continue to be honored and celebrated even as God calls Taylor and Sioux Falls forward into a remarkable new journey. 

One way to honor the past is by retaining both institutions. In Canada, business will continue to be done as Taylor Seminary and in the United States as Sioux Falls Seminary. Faithful followers of Jesus have invested much time, energy, and resources in both of these institutions. It is important to remember this heritage and bring it forward into the future. 

Another way of honoring the past is through a commitment to offer undergraduate education once again. The vision is to launch an undergraduate program that is affordable, accessible from anywhere around the world, relevant to a student’s vocation, and faithful to the unshakeable truth of God’s word. The prayer is that this opens doors that have been closed for many years. Through this union, the seminaries are a bi-national system of education, a North American Baptist college and seminary, that can serve the North American Baptist (NAB) Conference. 

While honoring the past, the schools are fully embracing the future. God has much in store. Taylor and Sioux Falls are excited to be moving forward together, united around God’s mission, their NAB heritage, and their shared passion for serving the Body of Christ. 

Exciting Next Steps

As an exciting first step, the seminaries will launch the Kairos Development Network, an innovative approach to collaboration wherein partners from around the world can work together to develop servants for participation in the Kingdom mission. Comprised of schools, churches, ministries, and other kingdom-minded organizations, the Network will share resources, ideas, and learning in order to make the Christ-centered development of people more affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful. More information about the Network’s first partners will be announced next week!

If you’d like to stay up-to-date on what is happening at Taylor and Sioux Falls, please subscribe to periodic email updates here.

More Information

This article has also been published on the Taylor Seminary (taylor-edu.ca/union) and Sioux Falls Seminary (sfseminary.edu/union) websites. If you have questions or would like to talk with someone at one of the seminaries, please contact David Williams at Taylor Seminary (david.williams@taylor-edu.ca) or Greg Henson at Sioux Falls Seminary (ghenson@sfseminary.edu).

Taylor COVID-19 Response

As you are no doubt aware, things are changing daily in terms of Alberta Health Services protocols for the COVID-19 virus, particularly with regard to post-secondary institutions. In keeping with this, please note the following:

  1. With COVID-19, the seminary has moved all courses online and effective Tuesday, March 24th, the campus and general office will be closed to the public.  These changes will remain in effect until further notice.  Questions may be directed to the seminary by email (info@taylor-edu.ca ) or by phone at (780) 431-5200. Voice mail messages will be checked regularly by the office administrator who will forward those messages to the appropriate people. In case of emergency, call security at (780) 913-2240.
    • NB: Two of the May one week modular courses will be offered via livestreaming (PL633 and PC632). 
    • Change to Course PT540 (Spiritual Formation) – This class, originally scheduled to be held at Camp Caroline, has now been reconfigured into a synchronous online course from May 4-8 inclusive. For those students who wish to take this class in a retreat format, it is currently scheduled for the 2021 Winter semester (May 9-13, 2021 at Camp Caroline).
  2. As mentioned last week, inter-library loans within the NEOS consortium of physical resources (e.g., books) are not available at this time. The following protocol has been clarified with Karina Dunn, librarian of the Taylor/Vanguard College library holdings:
    • Vanguard College Library hours – effective March 23, the library will be available to students by appointment only. Contact Karina Dunn at https://appoint.ly/t/library to book a time. Library hours are 9 am-3pm Monday-Friday (Email: library@vanguardcollege.com; phone: 780-452-0808).
    • The due date of items signed out at present as well as future shipments from Taylor/Vanguard is May 30. Items may be returned to the Vanguard College library.
    • To order electronic copies (PDF) of essays in edited books or book chapters through the NEOS system, go to Google Scholar and copy the complete citation information of that book/resource, then email library@vanguardcollege.com. Karina will request the digital copy if it is available within NEOS, and once received, will send the PDF via return email.
  3. The Graduation ceremony scheduled for May 2nd will be postponed until further notice. We are looking at ways to celebrate our grads at a later date.

 

The School of Women in Ministry Partnership

At Taylor Seminary we believe it is important for theological education to be a system of interconnected parts. That is to say theological education is something that requires seminaries, denominations, local churches, ministry leadership training programs, and more to work together. By working together we are able to more fully represent the Kingdom of God and more fully embrace the unique value each partner brings to the journey of theological education. 

As a result of seeing theological education as a system, Taylor Seminary works hard to develop partnerships with kingdom-minded ministries who are passionate about developing followers of Christ for the call God has placed before them. One such partnership is with the School of Women in Ministry.

Originally developed by Pamela Heim in the United States for women involved in leading women’s ministries, The School of Women in Ministry was launched in Canada in 2002. Since the first Canadian school in Langley, BC, over 100 women from a range of Christian denominations and diverse ministries across Western Canada have graduated from the program. Below is some exciting news about the program, shared by Christa Eisbrenner, the Dean of the School of Women in Ministry. 

After some years without a Canadian program, the School of Women in Ministry is being relaunched for the Canadian context in partnership with the Baptist General Conference of Canada, Taylor Seminary, and Sioux Falls Seminary. This international movement has been traveling around the globe to places like Switzerland, France, USA and has just wrapped up it’s first school in Mongolia. Plans for future schools in Japan, Romania and Uganda are also underway! But first, the School of Women in Ministry will be here in Alberta, with live feed satellite sites in BC and Manitoba!

In most career positions, there is an expectation of professional development that is either required or expected. Yet, within the church setting, we have a host of volunteers who have little or no training for the ministry in which they serve. Many women currently involved in church programs long for coaching and training opportunities; others are hesitant to become involved as they feel unprepared for a leadership role. If the church is to fulfill Christ’s mission, women want and need excellent training to increase their competence and confidence in ministry. The School of Women in Ministry is specifically developed to offer an affordable, accessible and applicable way to meet these needs. 

To fit into the lives of busy women, we meet in the classroom on six Saturdays over an 18-month period. Those six class days follow an essential overview for anyone who wants to grow in spiritual formation, biblical knowledge and ministry training. In between class days students will complete assignments that are relevant to their lives and ministries, as well as a ministry project of their own design. Students will stay in community through online forums, as well as meeting with a professional Christian life coach to help the student discern how their learning and practices are unique to their lives. This model of learning has strong parallels to the Kairos Project, a global network of theological education with hubs at Taylor Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary. We are proud to offer a partnership with Kairos that empowers students from the School of Women in Ministry to use this training towards a certificate or masters degree!

It’s an exciting opportunity to be involved with real-world, applicable learning for busy women who desire that God would use them where they are – or in a new way! The School of Women in Ministry is an equipping ministry that is designed to teach and encourage women in the areas of theology, church history, service, leadership, and ministry work with the goal of using their gifts in service to Christ; both within the church and community.

The school exists to serve the church by equipping, training and supporting the women in the body of believers to serve with more vigour, intentionality and effectiveness than ever before.

  • How would your church be impacted by women who were equipped and excited to apply the Word of God more infinitely within their lives, and the lives of those around them? 
  • What if they brought that training back to you and the others in your church?
  • What if the women in your church had the confidence and competence to carry out what God was calling them to?

The School of Women in Ministry aims to help answer these questions and more. There’s no telling what could happen when God moves! Be a part of it!

We at Taylor are excited about this partnership and the fact that it is led by Christa Eisbrenner, an adjunct professor here at Taylor. If you’d like to learn more about their program, please check out their website by clicking here. If you’d like to learn more about the Kairos Project, go to www.taylor-edu.ca/kairos!