A Great Opportunity
It would be difficult to find two men who have been used by God to have a more profound impact on individuals, families and our community than Frank Barker and Bill Hay. Through faithful evangelism, teaching, preaching and discipleship, they have led many to faith in Christ and equipped many more for Kingdom service. They stood firm for the truth of Scripture in the founding of the Presbyterian Church in America; they served faithfully for many years as founding pastors of Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Covenant Presbyterian Church; and they started or accelerated countless ministries and missionaries.
The BTS Founders Fund has been established to honor the lives and ministries of these two servant leaders, to ensure the effectivness and viability of BTS, and to enable the Seminary to train even more students locally and globally.
A Great Ministry
In 1972, God gave Bill Hay and Frank Barker the vision and wisdom to establish Birmingham Theological Seminary to provide seminary training to students who would otherwise not have access. BTS is built to deliver quality, practical seminary education very inexpensively to church leaders locally and globally. All professors are in full-time ministry, and they teach for very little pay. The Seminary uses existing church space and has no desire to own or operate its own campus. And BTS has a small, highly efficient staff. As a result, the Seminary’s tuition rate is approximately 20% of the national average and the Seminary’s annual expenditures are less than 6% of the national average.
A Regional Seminary with a Global Impact
Because of its low tuition and flexible schedules, BTS has had the opportunity to train thousands of students, a great many of whom were already active in ministry even while taking classes. BTS typically has 175 students per semester in the classroom throughout Alabama and, in cooperation with Third Millennium Ministries, has more than 2,000 students taking free online courses (in English and Spanish) in 114 countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cuba and China. The Lord has clearly used BTS to make a significant impact across the ethnic, denominational and socioeconomic lines which so easily divide the church.
A Great Need
As the opportunities for ministry have multiplied, BTS has stretched its financial and human resources ever further, all the while striving to balance faith and good stewardship. The Seminary will continue to practice good stewardship of the resources the Lord has entrusted to it. But with additional funding, BTS could accomplish much more, like offering scholarships to students who cannot afford even the Seminary’s low tuition rates. Many of these needy students are pastors of small churches in challenging urban environments, where the need for more well-trained pastors is particularly critical. Additional funding would also allow BTS to offer classes in more locations throughout Alabama, educate thousands in Central and South America, and launch its free online certificate program in Mandarin Chinese.
It is our prayer that the BTS Founders Fund will provide the resources needed to bridge the gap and enable BTS to equip thousands to serve the church locally and globally.
Giving to BTS
Birmingham Theological Seminary is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that operates with its own articles of incorporation, by-laws and board of directors. Financial contributions may be made by check payable to Birmingham Theological Seminary or by electronic funds transfer directly from your bank account.
Gifts of stock and other non-cash assets should be made to BTS through the National Christian Foundation Alabama. alabama.nationalchristian.com.
There is no deadline for contributions to the Founders Fund and the Seminary intends to keep the Fund open for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, BTS is delighted to receive multi-year financial commitments to the Founders Fund and encourages donors to consider including the Founders Fund as a beneficiary of their will or trust.