Once each year Central Seminary uses In the Nick of Time to make an appeal. The reason is unique to our situation in Minnesota: the organization giveMN features an annual giving event for all charitable organizations called “Give to the Max.” During the event, giveMN offers special incentives, including cash awards, to organizations that participate. Central Seminary began to take advantage of “Give to the Max” about ten years ago. The event has grown every year, and not just for Central Seminary.
Originally “Give to the Max” was held on a single day. Within a few years, the response was so overwhelming that giveMN’s servers could not handle all the donations. This year, “Give to the Max” has been expanded to half a month: November 1-16. You can give online at any time, mail your gift directly to Central Seminary, or call the seminary offices and use your credit card to give. Only the online giving counts toward the official giveMN total, but all giving counts toward our in-house, unofficial total. And that number is important. Why?
Central Seminary has generous friends who love to encourage others to give. This year, two of our friends have put up $50,000 in matching gifts. These donors are willing to double every dollar that comes in for the “Give to the Max” event, up to $50,000. In other words, if the rest of us can pool our efforts to give $50,000, the total gift to Central Seminary will be $100,000!
For some schools, that figure is peanuts. At Harvard or Yale it’s hardly a faculty lunch. But for Central Seminary, $100,000 is a really big deal. It goes a long way toward educating the next generation of pastors and missionaries for the church and for the gospel.
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This is an exciting year at Central Seminary. To begin with, it’s a year of growth. Our student population is up 20% and class registration is up nearly 40%. In an era when small colleges and seminaries of all kinds are struggling to hold their own, we are amazed at God’s goodness to us.
This is an exciting year because of our financial stability. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, our income has exceeded our expenses for the past five years. Some of those years have been tight—we’re not fat cats—but we’ve always ended the year in the black. That’s God’s goodness, and your generosity.
This is an exciting year because our academic credibility is better than ever. Besides the accreditation that we’ve held for a decade, we have achieved candidacy with a second accrediting association, the Association of Theological Schools. We are rapidly progressing toward final accreditation with that group. In the meanwhile, our graduates are achieving recognition for their contributions to the academy. For example, Pastor Ryan Martin’s PhD dissertation will be published by T&T Clark, a top academic publisher.
This is an exciting year because of new initiatives. For the first time, it is possible for students to participate in our classes from anywhere in the world. The Lord has provided us with technology for distance education that has given us a truly global outreach. We no longer need to establish campuses in foreign countries—people in those countries use their computers to participate directly in our classrooms.
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When you give to Central Seminary, you are investing in the ministries of students like Jonathan Hamilton. Jonathan came to us from a pastorate in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan because he saw a need for better biblical and theological training. He has moved his family to the Twin Cities where, just like many other students, he has had to find work and housing.
While our students must pay tuition, we do our best to keep that figure affordable. From a financial standpoint, we are one of the best bargains around, and we want to keep that up! Seminary students can’t afford to accumulate debt, because they must graduate with the freedom to pastor small churches. The only way to keep our tuition low is for people like you to help us.
Our students only pay about 13% of the cost of their education. The rest of the cost is borne by people who are willing to invest, not only in their future ministries, but in the churches to which they will minister. “Give to the Max” is about churches and church members investing in the churches of the future.
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We’re in the middle of “Give to the Max” right now. God is providing for us through this event. Would you consider becoming part of His provision?
You can give online at centralseminary.edu/give. Just follow the prompts. Or you can give by mailing a check to Central Seminary (900 Forestview Ln N, Plymouth, MN 55441). Or you can call the seminary at 763.417.8250 to give by credit card. All your gifts are tax deductible.
Thank you for your friendship to Central Seminary. We are grateful for your prayers and for your financial help. Together we will equip the next generation of spiritual leaders for Christ-exalting, biblical ministry.
It’s time to Give to the Max! Give to the Max is a two-week fundraising initiative to help Minnesota non-profits raise money. This year we have a $50,000 matching gift! Working together, we can raise $100,000 to lower the cost of ministry education and to facilitate the proclamation of the gospel throughout the world. Give to the Max is November 1-16, 2017, and any gift you give during that time will apply to our matching gift.
Let Zion’s Watchmen All Awake
Philip Doddridge (1702–1751)
Let Zion’s watchmen all awake,
And take the alarm they give;
Now let them from the mouth of God
Their solemn charge receive.
‘Tis not a cause of small import
The pastor’s care demands;
But what might fill and angel’s heart,
And filled a Savior’s hands.
They watch for souls, for which the Lord
Did heavenly bliss forgo;
For souls, which must forever live
In raptures, or in woe.
All to the great tribunal haste,
Th’ account to render there;
And should’st thou strictly mark our faults,
Lord, how should we appear?
May they that Jesus, whom they preach,
Their own Redeemer see;
And watch thou daily o’er their souls,
That they may watch for thee.