A new partnership between American Baptist International Ministries and Central Baptist Theological Seminary honors retired American Baptist missionaries Alice and Gam Shae. The inauguration of The Alice and Gam Shae Theological Education Partnership was announced at the International Ministries World Mission Conference in Shawnee, KS on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007.
The partnership focuses on theological education of pastors and church leaders around the world. This was the kind of ministry to which the Shaes gave their long and productive years of service as International Ministries' missionaries in Burma, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. Dr. Gam Shae also served as professor of New Testament at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.
The new partnership builds on the long history of cooperation and commitment to international theological education by both International Ministries and Central Baptist Theological Seminary. The partnership will provide an opportunity for a two-week intensive seminary course (module) taught in an international partner's country by an instructor from Central Seminary. The course will include the participation of two students from the seminary in each teaching opportunity.
The partnership will also provide for Central Seminary to receive a short-term teacher and two students from an overseas institution for an approximately two-week intensive seminary course. Each module will provide for an adequate time outside the classroom for participants to interact with a variety of people.
An initial grant to fund the program has been provided by John and Pat Belden. John is an honored alumnus of the International Ministries board of directors and Pat serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for the American Baptist Churches of the Central Region. Both John and Pat are active members of the Prairie Baptist Church, Prairie Village, KS. Central Seminary will solicit ongoing funding for the program.
International Ministries and Central Seminary have a long history of partnership and cooperation. Forty-six Central graduates have served as International Ministries missionaries. For 37 years Central has hosted a "missionary-in-residence" program. International Ministries has facilitated numerous international guests who have taught at Central and served the seminary community. A significant number of international students have also studied at Central, now located in Shawnee, KS.
Formed in 1814, International Ministries is the oldest Baptist mission agency in North America. The organization serves the more than 5,800 churches of the American Baptist Churches USA. Globally, International Ministries partners with more than 500 educational institutions and 125 hospitals and medical facilities. More than 2,200 volunteer, short-term and long-term missionaries work together with some 15,000 trained national workers, who serve about 22,000 congregations and nearly 3,000,000 baptized members.