Supporting the Compelling Vision of Carroll
I give to Carroll of my time, talents, and financial resources because of the model, the mission, and the leadership. I see four incredible strengths of Carroll that make me most excited about the future of Carroll Institute.
Missional Vision in a Digital Age
Carroll is uniquely equipped to transform/revolutionize theological education on a global scale. Because Carroll is small and operates out of a hub based in Irving, Texas, but works with local churches to provide in-person training and is also available to anyone online, whether or not they are near one of our teaching church partner locations, Carroll students get to attend seminary where they are already living and serving. The old model of modernity was to pack up, move half-way across the country or perhaps even halfway around the world. This model created many problems that are seldom addressed. Kind of the dirty little secrets of seminary, so to speak. Some of these problems lead to issues such as high divorce rates among seminarians. (I know I have heard statistics on this before, but was unable to find any for this article–I am open to correction here.) Another big issue Carroll can remedy is the financial burden of traditional seminary. But one that I have been thinking on for quite sometime and haven’t really heard others address is my belief that seminary in the traditional sense has actually created leadership vacuums among indigenous peoples, rural areas, and even urban regions that are highly unchurched and lacking seminaries.
The Answer to the Leadership Vacuum
80% of students that left their home country to attend a seminary in a first world country never return to their homeland to serve in a local church. They end up staying and serving a church in their new found home. While not a bad thing in and of itself, this model still creates a leadership vacuum back in the home country. The same can be said for those that leave rural, small town America to move from Indiana to Texas or Virginia to Illinois or Florida to New York. Carroll is strategically placed in a position to combat this leadership vacuum head-on. Carroll does not grant A1 Visas for students to leave their homeland and “come over here” because they don’t have to. Students don’t need to move or change location to attend Carroll.
Debt is greatly reduced in the Carroll model of online-offline seminary. Again, when you have to pack up, move yourself (and most with a family in tow), start from scratch, attend seminary while working to support said family, while working to pay for seminary, generally most students go into debt. One denominational study showed the average debt of their seminaries to be nearly $50,000.Money goes further at Carroll. Carroll is not a traditional brick and mortar school. Lower overheard as far as facilities and maintenance just means donations like yours and mine go that much further to train and educate future leaders, provide scholarships, expand library licensing agreements, and invest in future technological innovation and higher top notch faculty.
This Christmas season, as you are considering whom to give your financial support, I hope you will consider giving an end of year gift to B. H. Carroll Theological Institute.