Giving Days raises $300K for Southern Seminary
The second annual Giving Days initiative at Southern Seminary raised more than $300,000 to support the mission of the seminary. This year’s initiative generated, so far, more the 240 gifts.
“We are thrilled by all that was accomplished during Giving Days,” said Craig Parker, who is a senior vice president at the seminary and who heads up fundraising efforts for the seminary. “God’s kindness to Southern Seminary and Boyce College was on display each of the four days of Giving Days. The outpouring of support that came from alumni, students, trustees, and friends of Southern and Boyce served as a reminder of the profound impact this institution has had on scores of lives.”
The multi-day event, which happened April 19-22, comprised four parts: “Tell Day,” social media testimonials; “Serve Day,” a community-wide service project around the city of Louisville, Kentucky; “Giving Day,” a funding drive for the seminary’s annual fund, which helps offset tuition costs; and "Preach the Word," when the seminary honors the students and alumni who serve in preaching ministries around the world.
Students, faculty, and alumni shared their stories through social media for Tell Day on April 19. Several notable figures in the Southern Baptist Convention recorded testimonies during Tell Day, including James Merritt, Dan Darling, and Lauren Green McAfee and Michael McAfee, who is director of communications for the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.
On Friday, April 20, the school encouraged alumni and friends to make financial investments supporting the mission and students of Southern Seminary and Boyce College. A group of donors pledged $75,000 in matching gifts before the event. The effort ultimately resulted in the 240 financial gifts.
On April 21, students and staff from Southern Seminary deployed around the city of Louisville to paint, clean, build, rake and dozens of other tasks in service of the Louisville community. The city-wide project was led by the seminary's dean of student life, Jeremy Pierre. His teams of staff and volunteers organize the massive project in conjunction with officials from the City of Louisville.
Those efforts take a lot of work, but according to Jim Stitzinger, who is an associate vice president at Southern Seminary and who overseas aspects of Giving Days, the message the 1937 Project sends to the community is well worth it.
“The 1937 project mobilizes Southern Seminary and Boyce College to serve our community," he said. "It’s a powerful way we can go to the neglected areas of town and serve in a way that shows Christ’s love.”
Stitzinger said staff from the campus’s student life office puts a lot of time into coordinating with officials from Louisville to identify areas of need, as well as “considerable” effort in mobilizing the SBTS community.
“Deploying over 400 students is worth all the effort when we see the impact their hearts and hands have on our city,” he said.
“Southern’s campus is a wonderful place to learn, but Louisville is our city to serve. As students and staff deploy across town, we often discover areas to continue serving long after the 1937 Project concludes for the day. The Southern Seminary classroom is the finest place to learn, and the heart of students to serve shows that their studies are compelling them to action.”
Preach the Word
The Sunday following the 1937 Project was “Preach the Word,” a day that highlights the global pulpit ministries of Southern Seminary’s alumni. Currently, Southern has graduates serving in churches in at least 63 different countries around the world.
Parker said that while the Giving Days effort was in support of the seminary, the result is a display of how Southern Seminary has shaped the lives of students and alumni around the country.
“The gifts, the personal testimonies, the sacrifices of time and effort all told of the deep affection so many have for Southern Seminary and Boyce College,” Parker said. “It is tremendously encouraging to see how our mission has influenced so many lives, and that the work accomplished here has motivated so many to love our Lord Jesus more and to serve His church better.”