Your Gifts Support
AT A GLANCE . . . Who We Are and What We Do . . .
BTSR opened for classes in September 1991 to question, discover, learn, and serve in Christ’s name. Springing from historic Baptist soil, the seminary became an expression of innovation and creativity in theological education. The seminary was established originally by the Alliance of Baptists, but it has since been nurtured by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
From the original 32 students who enrolled in 1991, the student body has more than tripled and the curriculum has evolved into an expansive network of learning experiences. BTSR offers a responsive schedule to meet the needs of today’s student with day, evening and weekend courses, online learning and cross-registration programs with Union Presbyterian Seminary and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, as well as two dual-degree programs with Virginia Commonwealth University.
The BTSR experience is transformative . . . Whether a young student fresh from college, a second career adventurer, a life-long learner, new pastor, laity or seasoned clergy, our students come from all walks of life and hail from twenty different countries and thirty-nine states to attend BTSR. The seminary currently has 699 graduates serving all around the world in local congregations, social service agencies, educational institutions, chaplaincies, and on the mission field.
BTSR donors have pride in knowing that their gifts are used to advance the Kingdom by preparing ministry leaders for the twenty-first century for placement in churches and organizations in Virginia and throughout the world. Donors’ gifts help provide for an excellent BTSR faculty, a stimulating and relevant curriculum, a full lineup of guest speakers and visiting instructors, tuition assistance, student aid, student housing, need-based scholarships, life-long learning courses, programs and resources for the community, and much more.
Here are a few examples of the many ways that gifts to the seminary are put to good use:
With doctorates from such institutions as Duke, Oxford and Zurich; authorship of countless books and scholarly articles; and a far-reaching schedule of personal presentations in religious and secular venues; BTSR’s faculty is one of the best in the nation. We take pride in our faculty and so do our students as, year after year, they refer new students to join the seminary.
Through a cost-sharing agreement with Union Presbyterian Seminary, BTSR provides for its students the use of the nationally acclaimed William Smith Morton Library located on UPSem’s campus. Our students have easy access to one of the best-equipped resource centers in American theological education along with BTSR’s online library resources, onsite study center with computers and a growing library of theological periodicals, manuscripts, the classics and reference materials.
Student Aid and Tuition Assistance
Tuition and Fees cover only a fraction of what it costs
to educate a minister. Many students with financial needs are able to enroll and grow into their calling thanks to your gifts. Your support helps us provide need-based scholarships, student aid for books and fees, and the many student services that help navigate our students through their degree-seeking experience.
Mission Immersion Experience (MIE)
Master of Divinity degree-seeking students are required to take an MIE trip as part of a semester course where students study, travel and immerse themselves into the culture of a foreign country and discover the way the Gospel is heard and practiced. BTSR President, Dr. Ron Crawford tells students, “If you are lucky you will go to Kenya and stay in a manure covered hut and learn from a person who lives on a dollar a day what it means to have the love of Jesus in your heart.” The MIE Program has enabled seminarians to study in many other countries including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Argentina, Malaysia, Costa Rica, China, and in places closer to home including Appalachia and, beginning in 2015, an opportunity for a mission immersion in our own city of Richmond.
Buildings and Grounds
After more than twenty years at the Brook Road campus, in September 2013 BTSR opened the doors to a new, 17,000 square foot home a few miles away in the north side community of Villa Park. The school’s design captures the spiritual centeredness of the seminary and its students, and emphasizes the role collaboration plays in the future of theological education. Our new, cutting-edge facility helps us focus our resources on the advancement of our mission and the enrichment of the educational experience for our ministry leaders of the twenty-first century.
The Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees are the core programs at BTSR and donors’ gifts help support everything from curriculum development to classroom equipment to graduation ceremonies. Whether studying Biblical Hebrew, Worship and Pastoral Care, or Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife, BTSR students are educated within an extensive and intensive learning environment that prepares them for God’s calling.
Gifts from donors are the lifeblood of BTSR. It’s only with your gifts and support that we are able to prepare ministry leaders for the twenty-first century. Your gifts enable us to be here, to provide the education, resources, and support to train and educate our students so that they can thrive in the ministry into which God has called them. We are grateful for your support, your prayers and your commitment to our mission!
BTSR is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization; contributions are fully tax deductible within the limits set by law. For more information, please contact our Advancement Office at (804) 204-1235.