Areas of Emphasis
Over the years, the BSK community has developed key areas of emphasis that have helped focus our efforts and passions. Sometimes our commitment to these areas is expressed in special events, partnerships or programs, but all are woven into appropriate places in our curriculum and community. Scroll down this page to discover insights into several areas of interest, including women in ministry, racial justice, pastoral care and rural ministry.
Women in Ministry
God calls women to ministry, including the pastoral ministry. BSK approaches curriculum and formation in ways that assume and support this fact. We are intentional about women in leadership, from textbook authors, to chapel speakers and event leaders. Our regular Journey for Justice events often focus on issues relevant to women in ministry. For three of the last four years, a BSK student has been the recipient of the Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pastoral Ministry from Baptist Women in Ministry. BSK views the opportunity for women to express their calling as a justice issue.
All persons are children of God. BSK is committed to working for racial justice. This spiritual issue affects not only what is taught, but how and where BSK serves. Our presence on the campus of Simmons College of Kentucky is a central part of our work toward racial justice. Students can earn a full M.Div. in the context of an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) as well as benefit from the vibrant community of West Louisville. Simmons President Dr. Kevin Cosby welcomed BSK to campus in 2017, “In most instances, racial integration has always been a unilateral process where blacks move into white space. BSK has reversed this model and decided to move into black space. This is a reversal of the white flight of former generations. This is perhaps the first time in history that an accredited seminary has moved onto the campus of an HBCU. And we say, ‘Welcome BSK.'”
Chaplains and pastoral counselors provide critical ministry to persons through hospitals, prisons, churches, the military and counseling centers. Ministers also find expertise in pastoral care to benefit the quality of their ministry. BSK has designed a program that provides training in pastoral care and counseling within the context of Master of Divinity studies. This emphasis enables students to take strong steps toward licensure or certification. Our program is offered under the direction of Dr. Wade Rowatt, Professor of Pastoral Care, and Dr. Rick Landon, Adjunct Professor of Spirituality and Pastoral Care. BSK offers opportunities at key medical facilities for C.P.E. (clinical pastoral education) in both Louisville and Lexington.
Each context for ministry offers unique opportunities, assets and challenges. Rural congregations can play significant roles in their settings, contributing to the strength of families, the development of leaders, and the wider vibrancy of rural communities. In collaboration with the Berry Center, BSK will begin offering an M.Div. with a concentration in Rural Ministry in Fall of 2019. Students in this track will benefit from unique elective courses around issues of rural ministry, as well as opportunities to grow through interactions with the Berry Center. A funded one year internship in a rural congregation both enriches the experience of students, but also supports the ministry of rural churches.