btsr-logo-white-bluebgcroplargeAverett University and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) today announced a partnership to offer BTSR its master of divinity (MDiv) graduates a prescribed path for a master of business administration (MBA) through Averett University. For enrolled students, BTSR will provide a shortened MDiv degree format, at which upon completion they can apply to enter into Averett’s Graduate and Professional Studies’ MBA program. The advantage to students is a shortened track to complete their MDiv in order to move into the MBA program at Averett sooner.

Many recent MDiv graduates become ministers at smaller churches, which often don’t have employees to handle accounting, finances and marketing for the church. This degree path will equip future ministers with the necessary business background so that they can go and instantly lead a church directly out of school.

“This partnership between Averett University and the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond is a testament to our dedication to expanding program offerings to support those who seek to serve in the ministry and who want to strengthen the skills necessary to lead their churches and congregations effectively,” said  Averett University President Dr. Tiffany Franks. “Averett University embraces its Judeo-Christian heritage as we strive to enhance students’ faith development by nurturing and actively pursuing opportunities for them to deepen their faith and to serve.”

In addition to its membership in the Baptist General Association of Virginia, Averett maintains its decades-long history of a Baptist Student Union, which more recently was renamed the Christian Student Fellowship. Each week, more than 50 students gather twice: once for food, fellowship and inspiration at neighboring West Main Baptist Church, and once for student-led, evening worship with their own praise band and student speakers on campus.

“BTSR is delighted to share this partnership with Averett University,” said BTSR President Dr. Ron Crawford. “Offering a shared master of divinity degree and a master of business administration degree will make both schools stronger and provide needed educational experience for both fields. We need ministers with a strong understanding of business and we need business leaders with a strong sense of ministry.”

BTSR opened for classes in September 1991 to question, discover, learn and serve in Jesus’ name. Springing from historic Baptist soil, the seminary became an expression of innovation and creativity in theological education. The seminary was established originally by the Alliance of Baptists, but it has since been nurtured by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist General Association of Virginia. BTSR currently has more than 700 graduates serving all around the world in local congregations, social service agencies, educational institutions, chaplaincies, and on the mission field.