SFS Fall 2007 Board Meetings

SFS Fall 2007 Board Meetings

October 26, 2007

I share with new board members that I ask primarily that they "engage" with our ministry.  After all, they are the responsible people for the seminary; we work for them.

The Fall 2007 Board of Trustee meetings finished on Saturday, October 20, after two days that demonstrated how a board should function in "engaging" in governance process.  What a great time to review the last six months and project where we are going.

We introduced five new board members, four North American Baptist Conference pastors and one local realtor.  Even they engaged in the process by asking great questions and contributing wisdom at key places.  One board member noted, "It sure is great to have new trustees because they look at everything with new eyes.  We take so many things for granted."

One reason for the good meetings came from the positive reports we brought.  Student numbers are rising with 50 new students this fall (not all full-time, of course).  Ministry Impact Fund contributions are ahead of last year by a substantial amount.  The "From Here to There" campaign has had a great start with significant dollars pledged by staff, faculty, administrators, and board of trustees.  With three "Intimate Gatherings" under our belts, one in Kansas, one in Sioux Falls, and one in North Dakota, important partners in our ministry are considering what they will do to support us.  In all my travels people are excited about the momentum that seems to be growing and the positive changes that are coming.

We shared the state of the new facility plans with the board.  They are pleased with the plans to date, but suggested we make the entry area "pop" more so that curb appeal rises.  Our architect is coming up with some ideas for the building committee meeting next Monday.

The move of the library into the Mikkelsen Library at Augustana College, across the street from the new building, received attention.  Augustana got a gift of $6,000,000 to renovate the library to merge our collection with theirs.  The gift would not have been given if the seminary was not involved.  The donors asked that the library place a note in the entry saying "Soli Deo Gloria," "solely to God be the glory," a testimony how God had blessed the donors' lives.

At each step of our journey of change, we seem to gain affirmations of God's approval.  Indeed, to God belongs the glory.  We are dependent upon him completely for how he is turning around our ministry in the upper Midwest region.  The Kingdom of God will grow and be stronger as we serve this region and beyond.

Progress on contextual learning was reported.  Cory Seibel and the faculty are making good steps to define how we walk and will walk alongside students as the focus of their education shifts from the classroom to the site of ministry.  The move to a new paradigm of learning drives many of our decisions aimed at the future.

Many other things came up for discussion and conversation in the course of the meetings.  Suffice it to say that it is wonderful to have such partners in our ministry of equipping servant leaders for the ministries of Christ.  A thanks goes to our Board of Trustees and their leadership.