Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Cooperative Student Fellowship

I was very pleased to see that a group called the Cooperative Student Fellowship is now being formed at some universities. This will provide an alternative to the campus ministries offered by the SBC. (Southern Baptist Convention)

I don't think this is important because I just automatically think everything SBC is bad. My reason is much more personal. Looking back now, I started feeling my first calling into ministry shortly after I graduated from college. The LAST thing I wanted to do was go to school some more. And I did a little bit of research into the seminaries at that time. The SBC seminaries had nothing I was interested in. The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond hadn't graduated its first class yet, but I had heard that some moderates were going to Chandler at Emory. I just decided I didn't want any part of the Baptist mess that was going on. But I can remember thinking several times over the next few years how much I loved working at the church. But, was there really a place for me in the new Baptist world?

Now, imagine you are a young woman in college. You feel like you are being called into ministry. More importantly, you feel God is calling you to be a pastor. Now, imagine you go to the Baptist Campus Ministry and are told that what you are feeling is not possible. God may be calling you into ministry, but you are not going to be a pastor and you are not even going to be a deacon in your church.

That's why I think it is so important for CBF to offer an alternative. As I have said before, the split is complete and the division will exist for years to come, if not permanently. CBF needs to do its thing, and CBF needs to do its thing. CBF is, however, a much smaller organization, so getting groups like this started may take time, but they are, in my opinion, essential. As moderate Baptists, we need a place that will allow us to be the kind of Baptists we want to be.

You can read a story about the Cooperative Student Fellowship by clicking here.

You can also read an essay I wrote for CBF Florida Financial aid about women in ministry by clicking here. (I have provided a link to this essay before, but decided to repost it since it is very relevant to this post.)

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