As BLI shifts into Kairos, we join over 30 partners around the world. These partners include schools, churches, mission agencies, and counseling centers. What draws us together is a desire to work with one another to serve the Kingdom of God. We are also joined through the use of the Kairos platform, an operational strategy that serves students in a way that is affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful. While all these partners have varying levels of connection with Kairos, BLI has joined three other schools at the deep level of integrated partnership.
Sioux Falls Seminary
In 1858 Sioux Falls Seminary’s began when Rochester Theological Seminary in New York established a German Department and appointed a new faculty member as its head. From the department’s founding, a small number of German-speaking churches affirmed the endeavor and helped make the school a success. In the decades that followed, the department grew in number of faculty and students and began to assume an identity of its own—becoming the German Baptist Seminary.
In the 1930s and 40s, the churches of the North American Baptist (NAB) Conference, formerly known as the German Baptists, were spreading westward through the prairies and to the west coast. So in 1949 the seminary, having changed its name to North American Baptist Seminary, relocated to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in order to be more centrally located to its constituency. However, the purpose of training pastors and church leaders remained central to the school’s mission.
Once again, to become more effective in its day, Sioux Falls Seminary relocated to new facilities in July 2009. In recent years, the scope of the seminary has expanded. In addition to serving its key constituency of the NAB, Sioux Falls Seminary is chosen by students from many different denominations. Students from throughout the United States and around the world are choosing Sioux Falls Seminary for their journey of theological education.
Throughout the Great Depression and World War II, leaders of the Evangelical Congregational denominational kept alive a vision for an evangelical Wesleyan-Arminian theological seminary. In 1953, Evangelical Congregational School of Theology opened in Myerstown, PA with two full-time and three part-time professors and twelve students. Now they have a student body of roughly 130 from over twenty denominations and independent churches. Evangelical strives to “develop servant leaders for effective ministry in a broken and complex world” with John Wesley’s concern for “rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.” Evangelical offers master’s degrees in Divinity, Ministry, Marriage and Family Therapy, Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Bible, and Religion. They also offer a Doctor of Theology. On a personal note, both BLI’s president, Dr. Bailey, and librarian, Rita Bailey, graduated from Evangelical.
Named after Hudson Taylor, pioneering missionary to China, Taylor Seminary began in 1940 as an institute to train laypeople for ministry. They maintain that commitment as a core part of their identity. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, a large city of over one million people, they were also founded by the North American Baptist denomination, which is why they and Sioux Falls Seminary began working together on opposite sides of the US/Canadian border. Taylor was an early adopter of the Kairos platform, so they have much experience to offer us as we utilize it in the months ahead. They offer a Master of Divinity, a Master of Theological Studies, and a Master of Christian Ministries, all within a commitment of faithfulness to Scripture and Christ.
BLI is excited to join these great Kairos partners!
Check out the latest post about the Kairos Undergraduate Program