Tabor College receives funds for theological education

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USMB forwards funds to Kansas college

USCMBC press release

Tabor College has received $250,000 from the U.S. Conference of MB Churches (USCMBC) for developing graduate theological education and pastoral training. USCMBC Leadership Board Chair Steve Schroeder and Vice Chair Marv Schellenberg made the presentation to the Tabor College Board of Directors at their May 6-7 meeting on the campus in Hillsboro, Kan. Tabor College is the Mennonite Brethren liberal arts college owned by the Central, Latin America, North Carolina and Southern District MB Conferences.

“We are delighted to be at this place, offering support for collaboration with Tabor College to help us as a national family with graduate theological education and pastoral training in partnership with our seminary,” says Ed Boschman, USMB executive director.

Boschman says that from the beginning changing how U.S. Mennonite Brethren provide graduate theological education was a two-step process. The first step was the decision to transfer the Fresno, Calif., MB Biblical Seminary (MBBS) operation to Fresno Pacific University, a change announced Feb. 5, 2010 and completed June 1, 2010. FPU is owned and operated by the Pacific District MB Conference. Recently MBBS-Fresno became Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary.

“Part B was to develop a collaboration with Tabor College for the purpose of graduate theological education and pastoral training nationally and particular for the Midwest,” says Boschman.

In March 2011 the MBBS Board of Directors disbursed $1.1 million from a distance education fund, benefiting Canadian ($250,000), U.S. ($250,000) and global ($500,000) Mennonite Brethren and allocating an additional $100,000 toward a core curriculum for international distance education.

“These funds are the vehicle that is making it possible for us to move forward with the second part of our plan,” says Boschman. Boschman says there are “few terms of reference” attached to the funds, although the Leadership Board is asking the college to include the eight core courses being developed for the international distance education program.

A task force that included Lynn Jost, dean of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, Bruce Guenther, interim president of MBBS Canada, and David Wiebe, interim executive secretary of the International Community of Mennonite Brethren, are leading the development of the Web-based core courses.

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