COVID-19 presented its share of challenges for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College in 2020. The pandemic made life harder for students and professors alike. With all the difficulties brought on by COVID guidelines and social distancing, new initiatives and partnerships brought welcomed news to the seminary community.
Leavell College launched a “house system” to promote fellowship, community, and discipleship and promote a well-rounded experience for students. Patterned after the college systems at Oxford and Cambridge, the houses – Elliot, Bonhoeffer, and Moon – are named for historical Christian leaders that exemplify the values listed in the school’s mission statement. In addition to the house system launch, Leavell College also received newly renovated offices in the Hardin Student Center and unveiled a new logo early this spring.
Financial gifts to the school made a big impact during COVID-19. This year’s Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, saw record giving with $253,000 raised with a $100,000 matching gift, benefitting the school’s Providence Fund. And, during the height of the COVID-19 surge in Louisiana, special student scholarships provided for the summer term helped outset the financial burden for students impacted by COVID-19 and drew a record summer registration in total credit hours.
A new partnership designed to promote church planting and missions was approved in the Spring. The partnership between NOBTS and the North American Mission Board will result in a new church planting center on the NOBTS campus to coordinate and enhance church planting assessment and training. The center will train church planters to serve throughout North America as well as in New Orleans.