January 13, 2020
Over the past five years, God has been at work through the partnership between Sioux Falls Seminary and Taylor Seminary. As co-laborers in the work of theological education, we have worked diligently to discern the future to which God is leading us. This past Advent season and, now, the start of this new year have been times of great reflection.
Matthew 1:21-23 seems to resonate deeply with what God is doing in and through the partnership between Taylor and Sioux Falls Seminary. It reads:
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
God with us. That phrase is at the heart of the Gospel.
God chooses to be with his people and the birth of Jesus, the moment when God became flesh, sets the stage for God’s ultimate display of sacrificial love on the cross. God chooses to be with his people, to be in relationship.
The power of relationships is difficult to overstate. Relationships help us discover more about ourselves, to be formed into the likeness of Christ, and to become more aware of how we might serve others around us. They are an essential aspect of what it means to be a follower of Christ.
At Sioux Falls and Taylor Seminaries, we believe the same can be said for organizations that seek to follow God’s will. As organizations who are on mission with God, we must be in relationship with other organizations who are doing the same. It is for that reason that we are so deeply committed to our partnership with each other—and after five years of partnership, the fruit God has produced is quite staggering!
Through our partnership, God has granted us the privilege to serve an ever-increasing number of students. Today, we serve 520 students distributed across four continents. Nearly 130 of those students are located throughout Canada, around 290 live in the United States, and roughly 100 are spread across more than 20 countries and multiple languages. By God’s grace, the Kairos Project has opened new doors to partnerships in Australia, Jamaica, West Africa, Costa Rica, and more.
Perhaps most exciting is the fact that we are working with nearly 1,000 mentors, 300 churches, and have students from every region of the North American Baptist Conference! Each of those numbers is exciting because they represent relationships—relationships that are impacting the students God has placed in our care. All students have the opportunity to be in relationship with people who care deeply about the call God has placed on their lives.
At the start of this new year, let us remember that God chooses to be with us, to work through relationships, we are excited to know his presence is actively felt through the relationships developed through the partnership between Taylor and Sioux Falls Seminaries. God is changing lives through these relationships and one quote from a student perhaps captures it best. After attending a gathering for the Kairos Project, the student remarked, “I was prepared to learn and to be challenged. I wasn’t prepared to have my life changed. When I went to stand up after class, I wasn’t sure the ground would still be there!”
As we move more deeply into the partnership between Sioux Falls and Taylor, we invite you to join us. God is doing wonderful things in and through this partnership and we invite you to participate in that work. Some are choosing to participate by referring a student. Others are choosing to make a financial gift. Still others are choosing to enroll in a program in response to the nudge God is giving them. Whatever your choice, we invite you to participate by offering your gifts. Thank you for your prayers and your willingness to join us in 2020 as we step boldly into the future together!