In a move that brings together New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s (NOBTS) heart to reach the city and the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) efforts for gospel impact in New Orleans, NOBTS trustees approved a partnership with NAMB to launch a church planting center on the NOBTS campus.
The impact of the new center will resonate well beyond New Orleans as church planters are trained and sent out to serve throughout North America.
The approval came during the regularly-scheduled fall board of trustees meeting Oct. 13.
“We are thrilled to partner with NAMB in reaching the city of New Orleans,” said Jamie Dew, president of NOBTS and Leavell College. “We believe that this city provides the perfect context for training in urban ministry and church planting. If you can do ministry in this city, you can do it anywhere.”
“This partnership allows our students a wonderful opportunity to make an impact for Christ in a city that desperately needs the gospel, and it strengthens the good work that NAMB is already doing here in the city,” Dew said.
Dew’s heart for missions and engaging the city is expressed in the NOBTS mission statement adopted last year, committing the seminary to prepare servants to walk with Christ, proclaim His truth and fulfill His mission.
NAMB President Kevin Ezell believes the partnership can assist in NAMB’s efforts to meet the growing need for equipped church planters across North America.
“I am incredibly excited about where Jamie Dew is leading NOBTS, and this partnership will make the seminary a hub for anyone who wants to be immersed in the skills needed for church planting,” Ezell said. “We have the capacity to plant hundreds of additional churches each year if there are more qualified planters available, and I believe this partnership will help us do that.”
The opportunity as presented to the trustees noted the seminary’s “genuine desire to reach this city” and pointed to NOBTS’ unique location providing the opportunity for urban ministry, church planting, church revitalization and compassion-based ministry.
As a NAMB Send City, New Orleans is the beneficiary of NAMB resources, church planting efforts and ministry initiatives. The center will centralize NAMB’s investment in the city.
The center will be located on campus in a 4,900-square-foot space inside the Hardin Student Center. The center’s location will provide visibility as well as the opportunity to enhance student life.
NAMB will use the space for labs, assessments, training, coaching, “Catch the Vision” tours and conferencing. NOBTS will have access to the area for meeting space as needed.
MissionLab at NOBTS will continue to facilitate church mission trips and provide mission opportunities in New Orleans, but the NOBTS/NAMB partnership will bolster missions opportunities in the city, network resources, and coordinate missions and church planting efforts.
NOBTS will work closely with NAMB on academic and mission projects in the city of New Orleans.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Marilyn Stewart is the assistant director of communications and Gary Myers is director of public relations for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.)