Published February 20, 2018
Guest column by Leah Simpkins.
It is not unusual for a student to complete grade school, undergraduate and graduate education in one state, but what if a student could do that with a Christian education?
Because of the generous giving of Kentucky Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program, Oneida Baptist Institute, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and the University of the Cumberlands are able to offer a unique partnership to students to provide a Christian education. OBI graduates can attend Clear Creek for $100 per credit hour and Clear Creek graduates can earn a Master of Arts in Christian Services from UC for $299 a class.
Samuel and Gabriella Fonseca are OBI graduates attending Clear Creek and they both receive this scholarship. Samuel Fonseca is originally from Brazil and his parents are missionaries in Senegal. OBI was his best choice for affordable school in a language he knew. Now he's in his third year at Clear Creek. Because he's an international student, Fonseca's tuition must be paid up front, which means the tuition rate of $100 per credit hour is crucial to keeping school affordable for him without going into debt. His wife, Gabriella, also graduated from OBI and now attends Clear Creek.
Because the MACS degree from the University of the Cumberlands is online, it allows those who are active in ministry to stay where they are while gaining new ministry skills to put into practice. The scholarship for Clear Creek graduates also offers the opportunity of a master's degree to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it.
Clear Creek alumnus Steven Mayle attended UC for the MACS degree. Mayle now preaches at First Baptist Church of Artemus in Artemus, Ky. He enjoyed how focused the professors at UC were on practical ministry training.
"It was open-ended essay, 'how do you apply what the author said in the context of ministry?'' said Mayle. "They were on the spot for any questions and making sure what I was doing was related to the pastorate. I would recommend it highly."
Mayle was also impressed by the UC faculty and staff's effort to include the online students.
"They make you feel as much a part of student life as if you're there as much as possible," said Mayle. "They make distance education very applicable to ministry."
Thank you, Kentucky Baptists, for investing in Christian education through your Cooperative Program giving!
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