“Give to the Max Day” is coming. This event is sponsored annually by Minnesota philanthropists in behalf of charitable organizations such as Central Seminary. It encourages a concerted effort by the non-profits to raise as much funding as possible online in a single event. This year’s Give to the Max Day is Thursday, November 12.
The organization behind Give to the Max Day is GiveMN.org, itself a Minnesota corporation that services all sorts of charitable endeavors. Not all of them are schools or even Christian non-profits. But GiveMN.org welcomes Central Seminary and even offers incentives to participate. For example, every hour during Give to the Max Day, GiveMN.org will give a $1,000 “Golden Ticket” cash prize to a charity that is chosen at random. Two “Super-Sized Golden Tickets” of $10,000 each will be awarded as well.
Central Seminary donors have even more incentive to participate in Give to the Max Day. This year, two generous donors have offered to match the first $25,000 in donations to Central Seminary. In other words, every dollar that is given will turn into three dollars, up to a total of $75,000. These matching gifts are an incredible display of generosity and a real blessing to everyone who donates on Give to the Max Day.
Donations like this are important for a healthy seminary. The fact is that students cannot and do not pay more than a fraction of the cost of their own education. Every seminary has to find a way to help fund the education of its students. Schools that train pastors and missionaries cannot ask them to pay the whole cost of their education. These students are already pressed to their limits. Most of them are married and many have families. Some of them are already working two or three jobs. They are trying to balance the demands of the classroom with the demands of work and family and church. Theirs is not an easy life.
If these students were training for medicine or law, they could borrow the money to pay for their education. Doctors and lawyers make enough to pay back sizable loans. But the graduates of Central Seminary are going to be pastors and missionaries. In some cases, they will barely be paid a subsistence wage. They will not be able to pay back a huge loan on a minister’s salary. It helps no one if they have to work for years to pay off their creditors before they can take a ministry.
The only solution is for seminaries to keep the cost of education low. Virtually every training institution that prepares pastors and missionaries has to underwrite most of the cost of their training. In the case of denominational seminaries, the denomination often picks up a hefty chunk of the tab. Independent seminaries cannot rely upon the largesse of a denomination. They have to appeal to donors to make up the difference.
At schools like Central Seminary, students do pay something for their education. Much of the cost, however, is borne by generous Christians who understand the need for an educated ministry. These committed believers know that someday their church will have to find another pastor, and they would like him to be as biblically informed and doctrinally acute as possible. They have the vision to understand that their support of a good seminary is actually an investment in the pastors and missionaries of tomorrow.
This is where Give to the Max Day comes in. Give to the Max Day multiples each donor’s gift, stretching it to help more students with the cost of preparing for ministry. Central Seminary has been participating in Give to the Max Day for several years, and each year has been more successful than the year before.
While Give to the Max Day is November 12, you can schedule your gift any time before then. The Give to the Max web site is set up to help you donate. You can find a link on this page.
The faculty and staff members of Central Seminary will be giving on November 12. They invite you to join them in “Giving to the Max.” Every dollar from every donor helps.
Central Seminary is very careful with your gifts. We practice strict financial discipline and accountability. We cut expenses to the bone. We balance the budget. We have an outside auditor review our books every year. Our goal is to make sure that every penny is used in the wisest way for the preparation of future Christian leaders.
Participation in Give to the Max Day is easy. Remember that Give to the Max Day is about using your computer to give. If you want to make a donation to Central Seminary, just point your browser to www.centralseminary.edu/give and follow the links (it is also possible to give to WCTS radio at www.wctsradio.com/give). You can do your giving on November 12, or you can log on now and enter a gift that will be activated on Give to the Max Day. If for some reason you are not able to use a computer to give, you can call the seminary office with your credit card number. Our phone number is 763.417.8250.
Give to the Max Day offers an unusual opportunity. The first $25,000 to be given will automatically triple. The day also offers other incentives for participation—incentives that have brought Central Seminary thousands of dollars in the past.
Every dollar raised on Give to the Max Day helps Central Seminary keep tuition low for seminary students. Low tuition payments help seminary students to care well for their families. Furthermore, low tuition delivers them from having to go into debt for their education. Your gift on Give to the Max Day is an investment in sound church leadership for the next generation.
Central Seminary has just finished a phenomenal academic year. As the new academic year has begun, we have already begun to receive many blessings. God has sent us many new students. He has provided our financial needs in marvelous ways. We have a fine new president and administration. We are excited at what God has done and energized to go forward. Would you consider helping Central Seminary on Give to the Max Day?
Men of God, Go Take Your Stations
Thomas Kelly (1769–1855)
Men of God, go take your stations;
Darkness reigns throughout the earth:
Go proclaim among the nations,
Joyful news of heavenly birth;
Bear the tidings
Of the Savior’s matchless worth.
Of His Gospel not ashamèd,
As the power of God to save,
Go, where Christ was never namèd,
Publish freedom to the slave;
Such as Zion’s children have!
What though earth and hell united
Should oppose the Savior’s plan?
Plead His cause, nor be affrighted,
Fear ye not the face of man;
Vain their tumult,
Hurt His work they never can.
When exposed to fearful dangers,
Jesus will His own defend;
Borne afar, midst foes and strangers,
Jesus will appear your Friend;
And His presence
Shall be with you to the end.