Connected Campus

2.10 Student Support Services

 

The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that are intended to promote student learning and enhance the development of its students.

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary’s (MABTS) stated purpose is “to provide graduate theological training for effective service in church-related and missions vocations through its main campus and designated branch campuses. Other levels of training are also offered. The seminary attempts to guide students into a thorough understanding of the Bible and its relevance for today, preparing those who have been called of God to preach and teach the Word of God. Further preparation is offered through instruction in preaching, counseling, administration, and cross-cultural ministry” [1].

 

The seminary is committed to the support of both residential and distance-learning students in order to promote their success both academically and personally. The student body profile at MABTS consists of associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral students and the Student Services Program functions to promote student learning and personal development at each level. This emphasis points to the necessity of integrating student services with academic services to provide a seamless experience and continuity in fulfilling the purpose of the school. These services begin with recruitment and follow through with admissions; registration; counseling in academic, personal, and career concerns; housing; and participation in campus life, organizations and social events.

The Student Services Program includes the following:

 

Recruitment

 

All seminary personnel, in a sense, are recruiters. However, MABTS employs a Director of Admissions [2] and Admissions Counselors [3] who lead the effort in recruiting students who are primarily called to vocational gospel ministry. The Director and admissions counselors visit high schools, college fairs, colleges, and denominational and other meetings throughout the year with the aim of distributing recruitment material. Other activities include campus tours for prospective students, participation in a Preview Day each semester, community presentations, speaking engagements at churches and conferences, and use of the seminary website for the purpose of recruitment of residential and other students to fulfill the seminary’s stated purpose.
 

Admissions

 

Serving students begins with personal contact with the admissions office. The use of admissions material [4] (see Federal Requirement 4.6) and the seminary promotional video (which may be accessed on the homepage under “Welcome to Mid-America” at www.mabts.edu) helps give potential residential and other students information about possible enrollment. Through the process of counseling, students are given information on campus housing [5], tuition and fees needed [6], the Practical Missions Program [7] and campus life [8].

 

Orientation/Registration

 

The orientation and registration process begins in August at the beginning of the school year and reoccurs in January at the beginning of the spring semester [9, 10]. Orientation notebooks [11] are distributed and new students are introduced to the president and program leaders of the seminary. They are given a campus tour and are provided the opportunity to meet with their faculty advisors before registering for classes. Students are then directed to the seminary bookstore where they may purchase textbooks for the current semester. Students are taught how to register online for their courses and do so at the end of orientation on that day.

 

Counseling

 

Residential and other students are offered admissions counseling to help determine if they are suitable candidates for the seminary. If they enroll, they are given academic counseling from their faculty advisor at registration in regards to course selection. Under the direction of the Campus Life Office [12], the Campus Life Director offers counseling in the areas of housing, secular employment, personal counseling, marital counseling, financial counseling, and spiritual guidance. Students wishing to be employed by a local church may receive ministerial counseling from the Director of Church Relations [13].

 

Campus Life

 

Students are encouraged to participate in all areas of campus life including the Student Government Association [14], the Mid-America Women’s Institute [15], the MABTS gym (complete with fitness equipment, a walking track/jogging track, and basketball court) [16], and family oriented events, such as a fall festival and spring picnic on seminary grounds. Students taking courses via distance education are made aware of student support programs, services, and activities through the seminary website [17] and through their student email account [18].

 

Gifts

 

The seminary is operated through funds received from student tuition and fees, endowment income, income from wills and trusts, direct gifts from interested individuals, and designated gifts from churches to the general scholarship fund. The seminary’s low tuition is made possible through the regular gifts of individuals and churches that include the seminary in their budget as a direct missions project. The seminary welcomes support from those who are interested. The annual cost of one student’s education exceeds $17,000. Residential and other students pay less than $5,000 of this amount. In effect, the student’s education is underwritten by friends of the seminary at the equivalent of a scholarship of above $10,000 each year [19].

 

Scholarships

 

There are currently 30 scholarships [20] available to continuing students based on merit. There are three departmental scholarships awarded to students based in part on their performance in the core curriculum for that department.

 

Financial Assistance and Student Aid

 

Students contribute regularly to the Student Benevolence Fund to provide emergency assistance to fellow students. Students apply [21] for these monies and they are distributed by the Scholarship & Financial Aid Committee, which consists of the Director of Campus Life/Dean of Women (Chairman), the Vice President for Finance and Operations, the Director of Admissions, the Director of Practical Missions, and the Student Benevolence Representative from the Student Government. These funds are regularly distributed to residential and other students. Relief funds for students at the Northeast Branch are distributed through the Director’s Office [19].

 

Documentation

 

1. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 8-9

2. 2014-15 Employee Handbook, p. 30

3. 2014-15 Employee Handbook, p. 36

4. MABTS Admissions Material

5. MABTS Website, Student Housing

6. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 37-40

7. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 59-61

8. MABTS Website, Campus Life & News

9. 2014-15 MABTS Academic Calendar

10. 2014-15 MABTS Orientation Schedule

11. 2014-15 MABTS Orientation Notebook

12. 2014-15 Employee Handbook, p. 30-31

13. 2014-15 Employee Handbook, p. 30

14. 2014-15 Student Supplement and Housing Handbook, p. 2-3

15. MABTS Website - Women's Institute

16. 2014-15 Student Supplement and Housing Handbook, p. 40-42

17. MABTS Website - Daily Advisor

18. Daily Advisor E-mail to Entire Student Body

19. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 35

20. List of Available Scholarships

21. Financial Aid and Benevolence Form

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