This week has been exciting for the Baptist House of Studies at Perkins School of Theology. It has been officially announced that our program has received a $2.7 million grant from The Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation which will fund about 10 full-time students in degree programs within the Baptist House of Studies. Here is the story:
There are so many leaders to thank who have blazed a trail for the students, and they are being thanked. What a difference this is going to make for people who want to be formed as Baptists in the state of Texas, not conservatively, and have more than one option. I do not view this as a competition but as an opportunity for all of us to grow and sharpen what we believe that will include more people—no more exclusion. There is room for more and no need to tear anyone down. I also have high hopes this will affect our churches, and that theological changes will start taking place. If not, new churches will form. It is a matter of life and death.
In this post I want to talk about why Perkins is so important to me. Even without he BHS, I would choose Perkins again. That statement says a lot because I identify as a Baptist big time and everyone knows it. I am known as the Spicy Baptist on campus who is always Baptisting. The reason is that at Perkins the theological education provided is out of this world. They take scripture seriously but also give you freedom to express how scripture is speaking to you. As long as you argue it well, and do no harm, the professors receive it and even listen to it! I am astounded by how well-received I have been by my professors. They have loved me through it all. I came not sure I was fit to be called or if my trauma could handle anymore religion. My professors and the BHS team (Jaime, Andy, and George) stayed with me and drew closer to me. They believed in me and did not want me to give up. They helped me find more resources for help and were there for me night and day. This made all the difference in the world, and this gift is not just for me. This is the character of the Baptist House of Studies and Perkins School of Theology.
Here is my “Nevertheless She Preached” promo highlighting my love for Perkins at Wilshire, the church I love.
These three incredible years at Perkins have changed me beyond what words can describe. I am more confident, polished, and in love with scripture and spirituality than I have ever been in my life. I am seeking approval less and less, but at the same time I treasure the encouragement and approval I do receive. We do need some! I am receiving feedback as building me up and not tearing me down now—this does go back to my childhood and needed to be healed. I am less triggered by bad theology these days, and that says a lot because it is really playing out badly in our public life. I am feeling whole and at home in my own body. I needed the Baptist House of Studies and I needed Perkins for this to happen. The people here are incredible. I would list them individually but I would miss somebody if I did and that would make me so sad. Every professor and every student have made a real impact in my life. I fall more in love with life every time I am with you. I will let the pictures d the talking for the rest of this post.