In its final act before closing its doors, a Baptist seminary that was born in innovation is helping undergird some new ventures in theological education.
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond will distribute a portion of its remaining assets to help launch a new Center for Faith, Justice, and Reconciliation and a Baptist House of Studies at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond.
The Center for Faith, Justice, and Reconciliation will serve as a theological think tank dedicated to building the beloved community through the promotion of justice, systemic change in local churches and communities, while striving to achieve the reconciliation of all people and creation.
The Center will be housed in the Lou and Randall Lolley Center for Baptist History in the library of Union Presbyterian Seminary. It will offer short-term educational programs for seminarians, churches, and members of the community while serving as a forum for developing ideas and best practices on issues of racial justice and reconciliation.
Founding Dean of Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Dr. Bill J. Leonard will serve as the Center’s chair of the Board of Directors.
Additionally, Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities at Wake Forest University, Dr. Corey D. B. Walker, will be the Center’s inaugural president.
“The vision that inspired the founding of BTSR continues with the establishment of the Center for Faith, Justice, and Reconciliation,” said Walker. “In a time of profound cultural, political, and spiritual crisis rooted in systemic racial injustice, CFJR will extend the legacy of BTSR by offering a unique space to develop distinctive theological perspectives and ideas to aid in building beloved community. This gift provides CFJR with a firm foundation to faithfully respond to the urgency of the moment and live out our faith in the world.”
Plans for the Baptist House of Studies are still underdevelopment. However, Dr. Brian K. Blount, President of Union Presbyterian Seminary is optimistic about this new partnership and hopes it will help forge closer interdenominational relationships.
Source: Presbyterian Mission