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March 2016


More Than Money


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news at welch college


Welch College (formerly Free Will Baptist Bible College) in Nashville, TN, has been the official college of the Free Will Baptist Denomination since 1942. To find out more information about the school, visit

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Welch College to Offer Master’s Degree in Theology and Ministry

Welch College will offer the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Theology and Ministry starting during the 2016 spring semester, according to President Matt Pinson. On December 6, the college received formal approval from its accrediting bodies for a level change that will allow the school to grant master’s degrees. 

The program officially began with convocation and orientation on January 5. The M.A. program consists of hybrid courses, in which a portion of coursework is done online and the other portion completed during one-week, on-campus intensive sessions. 

Those wishing to complete the M.A. in 16 months can do so by taking both courses offered during each week-long intensive. (Those taking one course at a time will take twice as long to complete the degree.) The college offers free campus lodging during intensives and generous financial aid opportunities, including institutionally-funded scholarships and federally-guaranteed loans.

The first two courses will begin online February 15 and go through April 15, with on-campus intensives March 14-18. The first two courses will be Mission and Church Growth (taught by Barry Raper and Ron Callaway) and The Arminian Theological Tradition (taught by Kevin Hester and J. Matthew Pinson)

The course list for the program includes:

  • Mission and Church Growth

  • The Arminian Theological Tradition

  • Issues in Old Testament Studies

  • Discovering and Communicating Biblical Truth

  • Summative Experience

  • Church and Culture

  • Ministry and Leadership I

  • Theological Foundations

  • History of Doctrine

  • Issues in New Testament Studies

  • Ministry and Leadership II

  • Summative Experience (Project/Thesis Due)

“There’s a lot of excitement about this new opportunity,” President Pinson remarked. “Seats in
each class are limited, so I encourage you to inquire right away, if you or someone you know is interested in this degree. Please be in prayer for us as we initiate this new program.”

For more information, email Program Coordinator, Dr. Jeff Cockrell:


President’s Home to be Built on Gallatin Campus

By resolution of the Board of Trustees, Welch College will construct a president’s home on its new 66-acre campus site in Gallatin, Tennessee, according to David Williford, vice president for institutional advancement.

“The most recent plans for phase one did not include a president’s home; President Pinson felt that all resources and energies needed to be focused on the building of the core campus,” Williford said. “Plans changed when the lead donor to the Building on the Legacy capital campaign for campus relocation, Mrs. Alicia Celorio of the Do Unto Others Trust in Miami, FL, promised an additional gift that would make it possible for the home to be built without diverting any funds from the core campus.”

“In December of 2014, Mrs. Celorio completed the most significant pledge of the Building on the Legacy campaign. While visiting the West End campus over the years, she had spent time in the president’s home and saw how the home was a hub of ministry to college students and the college family. It was her desire to see that replicated on the Gallatin campus.”

James and Mary Beasley of Turbeville, SC, subsequently made an additional, significant pledge above and beyond their Building on the Legacy commitment. As directed by the Board of Trustees, the funds for the president’s home will not come from gifts to the Building on the Legacy campaign, but from special gifts made above and beyond Building on the Legacy gifts, as well as from the president’s housing allowance.

“We’re grateful to our two lead donors in the silent phase of the Building on the Legacy campaign, who had a special interest in seeing a president’s home built on this land into which they have already poured such great resources and wanted to give above and beyond their original pledges,” Williford said. “Rather than taking a personal housing allowance, President and Mrs. Pinson wanted their monthly housing allowance funds placed back into the new Welch campus through the construction of a president’s home for future generations of the Welch family.”

“In the long tradition of college presidents’ homes, the president’s home on the West End campus was a symbol of the sort of Christian community, hospitality, and mentoring we’re attempting to foster at Welch,” Williford said. “It provided a wide variety of wonderful community-building events for students, faculty and staff, and the wider Welch constituency. We’re so glad, thanks to these generous donors, this tradition can continue in Gallatin.”

The design of the house is underway, according to Relocation Consultant Bob Bass, and construction is set to begin on the house this month. Bass will oversee the construction of the home. Mike Murdock, a member of the Donelson Fellowship, a Nashville Free Will Baptist congregation, has been selected as construction manager to design the home and manage the building process.

“Mike has designed and built scores of excellent homes in the greater Nashville area,” Bass said. “He’s stepping up to the plate and doing this for the college at a fraction of what he would normally receive for the expertise he brings to the table. He sees it as kingdom work. Mike will produce an excellent president’s home that will mesh well with the overall design of the new Welch campus.”

“It’s great to see the amazing progress on the construction of the new Welch campus,” Bass said. “We are now completing the foundations and are about to see some vertical activity. After more than twenty years of work and anticipation on this project, it’s a wonderful sight to watch it all come together.”

To learn more about campus relocation or to give to the Building on the Legacy campaign, visit



©2016 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists