ATLANTA, Ga. — Carver College has announced plans to launch an extension site in Louisville in early 2022.
Carver President Dr. CL Jordan, a former Kentucky Baptist pastor, said it will be the first off-site location in the college’s 78-year history.
The college will offer classes at Forest Baptist Church. Its pastor, Nate Bishop, will serve as dean at that location and will serve as its adjunct professor.
Jordan said the college hopes to extend its campus into other locations and states. He said Louisville was an obvious first choice since he spent 18 years in the city as pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in the Portland area. Also, he was active in associational and convention activities, serving on the Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board as a member and executive committee member. In the Louisville Regional Baptist Association (LRBA), he was the Mercy Ministry catalytic consultant.
Bishop, noting that he and Jordan have been long-time friends, voiced his excitement over the partnership with Carver College.
“The Lord placed this (partnership) on my heart,” Bishop said. “We have a desire to be a beacon of Christian education. This partnership allows access and opportunity to seminary level teaching within the local church. It’s a win for our congregation, a win for those in the community who may not feel comfortable in a seminary setting, but they are comfortable with the local church. This is a great opportunity to raise up future leaders in the church and send out people from the church or from the community.
Carver will begin by offering a certificate program in biblical studies. “Eventually we will offer our associate degree in biblical studies and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and business administration.”
The college is hopeful of attracting 10-20 students in its inaugural class. “We love the idea of being in Louisville because it will be very affordable. It will give opportunities to people who wouldn’t have an opportunity to attend other Bible colleges because of the cost,” Jordan said.
Jordan pointed out that Carver “has a rich history in biblical studies. Carver’s most notable alumnus is Dr.Tony Evans,” Jordan said. “We want to be able to produce more people like Tony Evans from our institution. We are a historical black Bible college, but we are definitely looking to diversify the institution.”
Jordan, who became the college’s president this past May, noted the college is starting a missions degree program. It will be a two-track program — a track for international missions and a second for urban missions. “We’re also partnering with other schools, colleges and institutions,” Jordan said.
“We’re excited we have started a lecture series program that is offered quarterly. We’re doing quite well and trying to get our enrollment up. We’re happy that the Lord has given us this opportunity.”
Bishop said the church will utilize its sanctuary, large screen TV and podium to host classes.
“I’m really excited because this almost decentralizes Christian education from only the seminaries and Bible colleges. We have a need for those, but this allows the local churches to engage at another level of Bible education for lay members,” Bishop added.
“This is the first test to see how we can expand this kind of training within local churches,” Bishop said. “There is a desire for extension centers in other churches.”
Bishop, a trustee to the International Mission Board, said the partnership can help fulfill education requirements for prospective missionaries.
Carver College was established to meet the need for an institution of higher learning for those desiring biblical and theological training. More than 1,000 men and women have earned degrees at the school. Carver’s graduates serve God around the world in countries like Kenya, Ghana, Jamaica and the United States.