The Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School released an update on Nov. 10 that illustrated substantial growth in the Center for Ministry Training (CMT).
The CMT is the dynamic hub of recruiting, training and sending pastors, church planters and missionaries that are impacting the world for Jesus Christ from Lynchburg, Va, according to the CMT website.
This year, 30 new churches were started through the Center for Church Planting. Church Planting Emphasis Week saw 172 students in the introductory church planting event and 126 students applied for a summer ministry internship, according to the report.
In the summer of 2010, 40 students completed ministry internships.
“When I came to Liberty in 2006, (the seminary) had planted eight churches — in 2009, we planted 40,” Director of the Center for Ministry Training David Earley said. “This year we’ve planted 30 so far, but we aren’t done yet.”
CMT also raised the money to give out 46 scholarships to seminary students for the spring semester, according to the report.
The Servant Scholarship is funded by the Center for Ministry Training supporting churches, each of which contributes to the Center for Ministry Training. The scholarship is intended to assist residential students who are preparing to enter full-time ministry in the local church, according to the CMT website.
“The idea is that (the recipient) is not only getting an education, but also giving back,” Early said.
In 2010, the Office of Church Relations provided supply preaching to 50 churches with students and transitional pastors to nine churches, according to the report.
“Supply preaching is when we send students out to local churches — about a dozen a semester,” Early said. “We supply transitional pastors when a church has lost a pastor. The transitional pastor will go in for nine months and prepare the church for a new pastor.”
The LBTS seeks to keep ministry at its forefront, pressing students on and providing application for hands-on ministry, according to Early.
“A lot of seminaries are dying — ours is growing every year because we keep ministry the priority,” Earley said. “The vision of Jerry Falwell Sr. was that ministry would be the priority.”