SCHENECTADY, NY (WordNews.org) Aug. 1, 2019) — Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary is launching an aggressive online educational initiative in an effort to increase its enrollment and expand its impact throughout the Northeast region stretching from Buffalo to Boston and Plattsburgh to Pittsburgh.
Central to the online initiative, called Mid-America Global: Northeast, are Mentored Online Virtual Education (MOVE) communities. Students will be clustered in MOVE communities with a mentor who is centrally located. The communities are designed to combat one of the weaknesses the seminary sees in traditional online education: the lack of direct human interaction.
Heading this effort is Dr. Michael Haggard, who will assume the newly created position of Dean of Mid-America Global. Haggard previously was the director of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary’s Northeast Branch in Schenectady, New York, which closed following the spring semester. The seminary’s main campus in Cordova, TN, will continue to house students and provide traditional classroom education as well as through the online platform.
“As much as I believe in on-campus education, online education is clearly what our students want in the Northeast,” Dr. Haggard said. “I believe this new MOVE model will provide students with not just what they want but what the need: accessible mentors and in-person meetings combined with online classes that fit their busy schedules. While the methods may change the message never does.”
Mid-America offers Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees.
The initiative will be officially launched on Aug. 26 with Seminary President Dr. Michael Spradlin and Haggard sharing the vision and providing an update on recruiting efforts for students and mentors during a dinner in Schenectady, New York.
Haggard is in the process of recruiting 21 mentors who will have direct interaction with their online students; each mentor will have between two and 10 students in their community. Mentors will meet with students in groups between four and eight times per semester as well and have individual meetings. The meetings will focus on studies and evangelism and address any questions students may have.
To jumpstart enrollment, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary is offering each mentor five full scholarships to award to potential students. Students must meet the criteria to be accepted by the seminary and once admitted maintain a 3.0 average and be enrolled in at least two classes per semester.
Dr. Spradlin said Mid-America’s future has never been brighter.
“Mid-America’s commitment to reaching the Northeastern United States remains strong and important part of our mission, and we have big plans to revitalize our ministry in that area,” Dr. Spradlin wrote a letter to faculty and alumni announcing the changes. “Through MOVE, we will reach more students in an area where Mid-America pastors and ministers are desperately needed.”
Mid-America is seeking a buyer for the 30-year-old 15,000-square-foot campus that sits on nearly seven acres in Schenectady.
Learn more at http://www.mabtsne.edu.