Kentucky Baptists have long believed in the value of a Baptist education. In fact, students today can begin with kindergarten and continue all the way to a terminal doctorate in a Kentucky Baptist Convention educational institution. With spring being the season for trustee meetings at our educational institutions, now is a good time to provide some highlights regarding their ongoing ministries.
News coming out of Oneida Baptist Institute is extremely positive these days. Construction for a new 200-resident boys’ dormitory is set to begin in June. This building will also include new classroom space for 120 students. OBI will be reopening its doors to the public for kindergarten and elementary classes. In the early years, OBI was a K-12 school, but for many years, the K-5 classes have only been for OBI faculty and staff children. These new K-5 local, commuting students will attend OBI tuition free. Even before the formal, public announcement, students from the community are already registering. During their formative years, these students will have the advantage of spending every school day in a distinctly Christian environment where they will hear the gospel and see the gospel being lived out by their teachers and fellow students. Even before this anticipated influx of new students, enrollment growth at OBI over the past two years has been staggering.
We can celebrate the news that Clear Creek Baptist Bible College is currently ranked fifth out of all Bible colleges in the U.S. and Canada as the most affordable and offers a complete bachelor’s degree online. Having adopted the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message as a confessional statement, CCBBC is sold out to the KBC and SBC with students learning about the Cooperative Program and giving through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. This year the student body gave the largest AAEO it has ever given!
The news coming out of my alma mater, the University of the Cumberlands, has never been better. UC now has far and above the largest total enrollment of any private college or university in the state of Kentucky. A recent emphasis on graduate degree programs at UC has enabled the university’s graduate student headcount to now fall behind only the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville among all public and private institutions in the state. UC has also recently taken steps to ensure faculty and staff do not reflect poorly on the Christian character of the institution. The university’s handbook states, “In order to fulfill its purpose, the University may legally discriminate on the basis of religion in employment, and the University has sought and been granted exemption from certain regulations promulgated under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which conflict with the University’s religious tenets.” This language means that UC has been legally ensured the right to hire faculty and staff who are committed to our Christian faith.
Kentucky Baptists are grateful for our educational institutions. We pray God will continue to use and bless them to the end so that generations of Kentucky Baptists will continue to be equipped for gospel work until Christ’s return.