Over the years, I have been amazed to see God’s working in the lives and through the lives of Leavell College students and professors. God allowed me to join the faculty of NOBTS 25 years ago, and my particular area of responsibility was Leavell College. He gave me the opportunity to be a part of the original faculty when the seminary decided to begin the BA degree program. For the last 25 years, I have had the joy of seeing God at work and discovered great joy in being used by Him for His honor. Quietly going about the task to which God has called us, we have been seeking to impact this world through allowing God to impact us – and in turn, impacting our students. We are a unique segment of NOBTS.
The faculty makes Leavell College Unique
All of our faculty members are individuals who have the academic credentials to teach, but more importantly, we all have sensed a call to ministry through Leavell College. This is a calling and not simply a teaching position. In addition, our faculty members are currently involved in local church ministry so we not only teach about it but more importantly, we are doing ministry. We believe that God is not finished with the church and we demonstrate that by our lives. I am amazed at my colleagues -- at the depth of their love for God, their love for the church, and their love for the students.
The students make Leavell College Unique
We are preparing students for ministry. Every student in our college has demonstrated a call to ministry so there is a focus among our students both in the classroom and in their personal lives.
I am amazed by our students. Our students are embracing Leavell College’s commitment to Scripture as they seek to discover how to best reach people of all ages and of all nations. I see within them a passion not only for God but for His Word and His church. I find great encouragement in what God is doing in their lives and through their lives.
The seminary makes Leavell College Unique
We are uniquely a part of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Our students have the opportunity to be a part of many great seminary events and to experience the teaching of our graduate faculty, as well as our highly qualified undergraduate faculty. In addition, we are preparing our students for graduate work so that they can make the transition with ease.
The location makes Leavell College Unique
New Orleans is the perfect training ground for any ministry and the place where opportunities for ministry abound. Though we are a “southern” state, our city is a melting pot of cultures and religious beliefs. This provides the perfect setting for doing ministry and for growing in the development of a kingdom-oriented focus for ministry. The people in our city are seeking for something, and we know that true satisfaction can only be found in Christ.
The curriculum makes Leavell College Unique
We are accredited by SACSCOC so our degree has the appropriate general education courses. In addition, our faculty has developed a unique curriculum through prayer and planning that prepares a student for effectiveness in kingdom ministry. Everything we do in class is focused on ministry and the local church.
A Bright Future
Over the past 25 years, we have seen great growth. Our current student head count now numbers close to 2,000 students. Our 5,000th graduate will cross the stage in May 2018. Numerous faculty members and students have been a part of Leavell College’s ministry. The impact of these students and faculty members will not be known this side of eternity, but lives have been changed. Each day provides a new opportunity to be a part of God’s working in the lives of others as our Leavell College family is used by God. Without question that is the greatest growth – not our enrollment but the kingdom impact! In this we greatly rejoice.
Our God is faithful! And we believe that God continues to allow Leavell College to experience His favor. He has blessed us and He has done a great work. We stand amazed at His working. Our entire faculty stands amazed that He allows us to be a part of His working. And our entire Leavell College family, including our students, our staff, and our faculty, stand amazed at His working within our lives.
As we celebrate 25 years, we look back and see much to celebrate. With great anticipation, we look forward and anticipate many more opportunities for celebrating God’s work among us and through us. Why?
First and foremost, we believe that this is a ministry that God has brought about. That in and of itself gives it the utmost of importance. The college was brought about after prayer and has been sustained by God's gracious hand.
We also realize the importance of training the ministry leaders for the present ministry and the future ministry. A part of what we are doing is trying to help students be effective in their ministries now -- and to prepare for them whatever God is calling them to do in the future as well.
Above all these, though, we are praying and encouraging our students to develop a vital relationship with Christ. Without this vibrant relationship, ministry becomes perfunctory.
Dr. Thomas Strong III is Dean of Leavell College at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.