SBC Funding Study Committee
Interim Report 2
Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention
February 17-18, 2003
The SBC Funding Study Committee has continued to evaluate data concerning the financial condition of the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention. The committee has been seeking to analyze current and potential revenue sources, understand the implications of various models of allocation, enunciate SBC priorities in funding, and explore opportunities for efficiencies in spending.
The preponderance of its time to date has been spent on the issues of the seminaries’ needs, particularly in the area of faculty salaries. Although a number of options to address the problems are under review, the committee is not prepared to make a recommendation at this juncture. In the next few weeks, not only will study of the seminaries’ situations be continued, but also analysis of the other entities’ financial status will be completed. More importantly, the SBC Funding Study Committee will begin to research the larger issue of future funding trends in the denomination. The goal will be to propose actions to enhance growth in financial support for Southern Baptist Convention ministries through the Cooperative Program, the mission offerings, and other appropriate forms of giving.
The SBC Funding Study Committee has one recommendation for the 2003-2004 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget. There has been for some time a growing interest in increasing the level of teaching about the Cooperative Program at the six Southern Baptist seminaries. Seminary leadership has affirmed the value of such teaching and various approaches have been used from school to school to address the subject. In recent months Executive Committee staff and seminary leaders have explored ways to include Cooperative Program education more intentionally and more intensively in the curriculum. The SBC Funding Study Committee believes it is time to establish a regular course of study on the Cooperative Program as a required part of basic degrees offered at the seminaries. The objectives of such a course would be to acquaint the student with the manner in which the Southern Baptist Convention conducts and funds its ministries and to challenge the students to become effective proponents of the purposes and the programs of the SBC.
Therefore, the SBC Funding Study Committee makes the following recommendation to the Cooperative Program Subcommittee:
That the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention include in the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget proposals the provision that the first $250,000 received above 100% of the budget be allocated to the SBC Operating Budget for use in developing programs for enhanced Cooperative Program education among seminary students at the six Southern Baptist Convention seminaries; and
That the SBC Funding Study Committee consult with the seminary presidents and Executive Committee staff to develop a mutually agreeable specific program proposal to be presented for approval to the SBC Executive Committee at its June 16, 2003, meeting.
The SBC Funding Study Committee will make further reports to the Executive Committee as warranted, including findings and recommendations that address the financial challenges facing all our entities.
SBC Funding Study Committee
Bill Anderson, Chairman