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Carson-Newman, TBMB agree to BFM inclusion

by Mark Brown, C-N University Relations

Carson-Newman University trustees recently agreed to incorporate the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message as part of Carson-Newman University’s operating procedure. The agreement ensures the partnership of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board as the University fulfills its mission to help “students reach their full potential as educated citizens and worldwide servant-leaders.”

“Bearing witness to our faithful embrace of Christianity’s cardinal doctrines, our institution’s articles of faith stand like an Everest on our University landscape. We have always enthusiastically testified to being intentionally, distinctively Christian, and we will continue to do so as we proclaim our historic Christian witness within the Baptist tradition,” said President J. Randall O’Brien.

Carson-Newman University’s relationship with Tennessee Baptists spans the history of the institution. The symbiotic relationship has transpired over more than 165 years, from the school’s direct connection to local churches, long before a state denomination existed, to the recent agreement.

The partnership has produced church leaders, including pastors, other ministers, missionaries and lay leaders who have made an impact across the state, as well as around the world. It’s also shaped occupational laity, professionals across the spectrum of education, business and other roles in society, whose lives have been molded by Carson-Newman’s Christ-centered commitment to faith and learning.

Since our founding in 1851 as Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary, our beloved school of providence and prayer has been intentionally, unashamedly Christian,” intoned Dr. O’Brien. “Through the years our constituents have rallied around our commitment to academic and Christian excellence. And, quite frankly, that is the salt and light of the Carson-Newman experience – heart work and head work that honors Jesus.”

Along with providing a strong connection to prospective students from the pews of Tennessee Baptist churches, the relationship has yielded operational budget dollars, currently $1.875 million annually.

Religion Department Chair Dr. David Crutchley says the addition is a significant development to a partnership that has such a strong heritage. “Our students and faculty have profited from the investment of the Tennessee Baptist Convention in the past, and we continue to share the common dream of making a difference for the kingdom of God.”

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