Published April 8, 2010
CLEVELAND — “Truett McConnell College is on the precipice of something so special,” President Emir Caner declared to the College’s Board of Trustees, “that I think we should take a spiritual inventory of what our Lord is doing.”
The TMC trustees met on the college’s campus March 26 for their spring meeting and heard reports and recommendations from the administration as well as a stirring testimony from senior student Christian White.
White proclaimed, “I came to school to play baseball, not to prepare for the ministry, but I will be leaving soon to follow God’s call to ministry.
“I met a girl in high school who boldly lived out her faith. She is the one who led me to Christ. Last May I asked for her hand in marriage and our wedding is planned for June. We will be going to seminary together.”
White continued, “I have found a lot of love and direction from the TMC faculty. They have loved me closer to the Lord. This school is becoming a Gospel-centered institution. This school has helped me have strong convictions.”
Caner stated, “Two years ago our hopes were that God would raise up a generation who would unashamedly stand for His truth, sufficiently found in His Word.” He explained that a major step toward the accomplishment of that goal was to have TMC become the first Southern Baptist college or university to publicly declare and enforce the Baptist Faith and Message as its confessional identity.
This fall the president plans to lead four sessions during faculty meetings intended to help TMC professors understand the content of the confession of faith expressed in the BF&M.
The president is planning to personally interview each full-time and part-time faculty member with respect to the BF&M and give each one an opportunity to voice any concerns and ask any questions that will help them clarify the doctrines set forth in the confession. Then the faculty will be asked if he or she adheres, without caveat and with conviction, to each and every article in the BF&M.
The new faculty contracts, effective July 1, 2011, will reflect TMC’s belief in the confession of faith spelled out in the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message.
“Just two years ago,” Caner added, “we dreamed of a World Missions Center that would one day house a Bachelor of Arts in Global Missions. Now, we are on the cusp of announcing that degree, perhaps as early as May.”
Caner also commented, “Two years ago, the institution worried of financial viability and long-term solvency.” He reported, “Now, SACS has passed us and given us a glowing report. And, the budget presented to you today is actually in surplus, with hopes of paying down the line of credit to zero within the not-so-distant future.”
According to Caner, TMC has long been known as a two-year college. “But today,” the president remarked, “our athletes compete in two four-year divisions, with two of our teams nationally ranked by the NCAA. Academically, our programs are expanding efficiently yet rapidly, and within a couple of years we will be able to offer about as many programs as reputable schools such as North Greenville University.”
Caner admitted that TMC has been behind the technological curve in regards to online classes. Then he added, “Today, we can boast of having the only accredited online program of Baptist schools in Georgia in which students can complete entire degrees online. We can now bless those rural and bi-vocational pastors that have blessed us for so long.”
The trustees approved the proposed budget for the 2010-2011 school year – a budget that reflects a conservative approach which balances anticipated approach which balances anticipated growth with fiscal responsibility. One item in the budget, which should be of interest to all perspective students, provides $2.1 million, or 26.5 percent, of tuition and fees, room, and board in scholarships. In other words, the average student only has to pay 73 percent of next year’s cost to attend TMC.
The TMC trustees also approved a motion to create a Board of Visitors, a body composed of Southern Baptists and other like-minded evangelicals across the nation who will tell the story and support the vision of the college while also investing in the school financially. The president was also given the authority to appoint a Campus Planning Committee from the trustees to provide oversight and direction regarding a Master Campus Plan. New building projects would fall under the oversight of this committee. Plans are already being projected for an athletic field house and a math and science building.
The trustees were also present for the unveiling of ten historical documents, including the Ten Commandments, now displayed on the first floor of the Miller Building on the TMC Campus.
The historical documents were made available through Ten Commandments Georgia.
Caner summed up the meeting by declaring, “We could simply rest on our recent accomplishments and slow down to enjoy the ride a bit. But we can’t. We must be thankful for the blessings of the past, but never at the expense of the promises of the future.”
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