Connected Campus

2.4 Institutional Mission

 

The institution has a clearly defined, comprehensive, and published mission statement that is specific to the institution and appropriate for higher education. The mission addresses teaching and learning and, where applicable, research and public service.

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary’s (MABTS) mission statement is “to provide undergraduate and graduate theological training for effective service in church-related and missions vocations through its main campus and designated branch campuses” and is published in the 2014-15 Catalog [1]. The mission statement was approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) upon initial approval on August 30, 1978 [2]. It may be found on the seminary website under the “Why Mid-America?” link, “About Mid-America,” under “Our Mission” [3]. The mission statement of the school is disseminated to students through the 2014-15 Student Supplement and Housing Handbook [4] which is distributed each year at New Student Orientation, through the Doctor of Philosophy Handbook [5] and the Doctor of Ministry Handbook [6] which are all made available for returning students during the first week of the semester. The mission statement is distributed to the faculty and staff through the 2014-15 Employee Handbook [7]. Each employee must affirm that they have received and read the contents of the employee handbook by signing an Acknowledgement of Receipt of Employee Hanbook [8].

 

The mission of the institution is appropriate to higher education and focuses on teaching and learning in that it “provides undergraduate and graduate theological training.” Within the context of the community, focus is given on the teacher, the learner, the curriculum, and the learning environment, which informs the teaching/learning process. The distinctiveness of the institution can be seen in that it provides training for “effective service in church-related and missions vocations.” The focus of the educational endeavor bridges theory with practice through the Practical Missions Program, which “is an integral part of training for every student enrolled at Mid-America. This program is named ‘Practical’ Missions for a purpose.” This enables students to “feel prepared to be an effective witness both in word and deed” [9].

 

The scope of the institution’s mission reflects the full scope of educational programs offered in that it speaks to “undergraduate and graduate theological training.” All degree programs (undergraduate and graduate) focus on the institutional mission and are primarily developed for local church ministry. The bachelor of arts in Christian studies program is a postsecondary professional degree “designed to equip students for effective Christian ministry in local churches, missions, or denominational service” [10]. The master of divinity program is a “professional graduate degree beyond the bachelor of arts or equivalent, designed to equip students for effective ministry as a pastor, associate pastor, church planter, evangelist, or missionary” [11]. The master of missiology and intercultural studies program is a “professional graduate degree beyond the bachelor of arts or equivalent. It is designed to equip both male and female students for effective ministry as cross-cultural missionaries” [12]. The master of arts in Christian education program is “a professional graduate degree beyond the bachelor of arts or equivalent, designed to equip students for service as a minister of education, minister to youth, minister to children, or administrator in the local church; a missionary in the area of Christian education; or a teacher or administrator in a church-related school” [13]. The master of Christian education program is “a professional graduate degree beyond the bachelor of arts or equivalent, designed to equip students for service as a minister of education, minister to youth, minister to children, or administrator in the local church; a missionary in the area of Christian education; or a teacher or administrator in a church-related school” [14]. The doctor of ministry program “assists those whose responsibilities range broadly in pastoral, missionary, or administrative ministries by enhancing both competency and excellence in the practice of ministry” [15]. The doctor of philosophy program “equips students for advanced scholarship, independent research, effective teaching and preaching, and service in church-related ministries that benefit from advanced Christian scholarship” [16].

 

The mission statement of the institution is implemented after input from students (questions 9-12 on the annual student survey), faculty (question 2 on the annual faculty survey), doctoral students (question 2 on the doctor of ministry [n.b. survey responses are reversed on DMin survey e.g. strongly agree = D., etc.] and doctor of philosophy annual survey) [17]. These responses are reviewed and assessed by the Executive Administration Committee of the seminary annually and then are presented to the Board of Trustees each August [18] for discussion and approval.

 

Documentation

 

1. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 8

2. Letter from Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)

3. MABTS Mission Statement

4. 2014-15 Student Supplement and Housing Handbook, p. 1

5. 2014-15 Doctor of Philosophy Handbook, p. 1

6. 2014-15 Doctor of Ministry Handbook, p. 4

7. 2014-15 Employee Handbook, p. 2

8. 2014-15 Employee Handbook Acknowledgement Receipt

9. MABTS Website, Practical Missions

10. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 105

11. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 121

12. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 125

13. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 131

14. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 135

15. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 167

16. 2014-15 MABTS Catalog, p. 181

17. 2013-14 Students, Faculty, and Doctoral Student Surveys

18. Trustee Meeting Minutes August 2014

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