Campbellsville University Forms Partnership with State African-American Baptist Association

By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University has strong ties with Baptist churches and Baptist leaders in the African-American community and that tie was bound tighter Feb. 13 when CU joined in a partnership with the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky.

At the GABKY’s 63rd annual pastors’ conference at the Galt House East in Louisville, CU president Michael V. Carter and Dr. Russell Awkard, moderator of the GABKY, signed the agreement that affirmed GABKY’s work with Campbellsville University and celebrated the growing working relationship with the university in Campbellsville, Ky.

“It’s exciting to put this partnership on paper as a force with a new sense of community,” said Carter. “As we celebrate our centennial, we realize the world is a bigger place and there are many challenges and opportunities at the end of the block.

“We see young people who are ill equipped for the future, and we want to build ways to communicate and work together that we have not realized before,” he said. “We want to bridge the gap and be faithful partners and work together in love.”

The best way CU is helping young people attending General Association of Baptists in Kentucky churches is the establishment of a scholarship program for qualifying students.

The new “General Association of Baptist in Kentucky Award” will provide scholarship aid to any student from a General Association church.

Three other minority scholarships offered include the following programs: Minority Teacher Education Scholarships, Minority Christian Ministry Scholarships and President’s Minority Leadership Award. Al four scholarships are available for freshmen and transfer students who enroll at the main campus in Campbellsville.

Carter said the scholarships begin in the 2007-08 academic year and amount to a “hefty sum.” Awkard affirmed the partnership agreement and termed it “historic.” He said, “It is significant that we enter into this covenant agreement with Campbellsville University. God is blessing this partnership.”

CU and GABKY will explore the possibility of CU’s Technology Training Center and Louisville Education Center providing the GABKY technical assistance in the development of a web page for the GABKY including CU hosting the web page if possible. GABKY will provide the content and will be consulted on the design of the web page.

CU will appoint a “General Association of Baptists in Kentucky Pastors and Church Leaders Council” for purposes of exploring ways and means of working together, how CU may help the churches of the GABKY, how CU may, in tandem with Simmons College of Kentucky (located in Louisville) and others, provide training and continuing education opportunities for GABKY churches and leaders (e.g., regarding leadership, evangelism, missions, ministries, youth ministry, worship arts, etc.).

The GABKY will be invited to co-sponsor periodic CU church relations’ events (e.g., sessions held by the Center for Bivocational Ministry, the Office of Church and External Relations, the Louisville Education Center and the School of Theology, etc.).

CU will periodically sponsor sessions on GABKY history and heritage via CU’s new Baptist Heritage Series.

The GABKY moderator and/or superintendent of missions will serve on an advisory group, along with the CU vice president for church and external relations, to assist with CU’s ongoing “Dialogue on Race – Campus and Community,” including recommending key speakers, serving as facilitators for dialogue sessions, racial reconciliation award recipients and related items. CU will also work closely with member district associations of the GABKY on similar initiatives as may be requested.

CU will be a financial sponsor of, provide displays at, and participate in major GABKY events, including but not limited to, the Annual Meeting, Pastors Conference, and other similar events.

Dr. Robert Childs, editor of The American Baptist newspaper, which is the oldest African-American owned and operated weekly paper in the world, talked about his newspaper and CU agreed, in the partnership, to expand its ongoing advertising in The American Baptist. CU has been a regular advertiser in the publication for the past few years.

Dr. Joseph Owens, moderator of the Consolidated District of Baptist Churches, and pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington, told the audience that “it takes a partnership to do our Master’s work.”

Owens, who is a graduate of Campbellsville University, said he received salvation, was baptized, was called to preach and met his wife, Elizabeth, of 33 years, while at Campbellsville.

“My heart goes out deeply to Campbellsville University,” said Owens, who is also a member of CU’s Board of Trustees.

The Rev. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at CU, also spoke and introduced Carter as a “humble servant” of God.

Chowning, who pastors Saloma Baptist Church, has worked with Akward for over a year in getting the partnership established. Chowning’s church is a member of GABKY, along with St. Matthews Baptist Church in Louisville, which is pastored by Dr. Les Hollon, also a member of CU’s Board of Trustees.

For more information about the partnership, including the minority scholarships, contact Chowning at or (270) 789-5520.

Campbellsville University, now celebrating her Centennial year, is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” 14 consecutive years as one of the leading Southern master’s colleges and universities, Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his eighth year as president.

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