Thomas D. Skinner, Vice President for Development, December 17, 2014
SPECIAL REPORT: THE IRA CHARITABLE ROLLOVER HAS PASSED FOR 2014.
On December 16, 2014, the US Senate passed HR 5771, which included a 1-year extension of expired tax provisions retroactive to January 1, 2014. This important measure reauthorizes the IRA Charitable rollover through December 31, 2014.
Donors age 70 ½ and older may transfer up to $100,000 from their IRA to Biblical Seminary and other qualified public charities. This transfer will be made free of federal income tax and the gift qualifies for the donor's required minimum distribution (RMD).
Individuals may begin taking distributions from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) as early as age 59½, but are required to begin taking them at age 70½. Normally, these distributions are subject to income taxes.
The IRA Charitable Rollover provision, established under the 2006 Pension Protection Act, allows individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their IRA, without treating the distribution as taxable income.
In order to qualify, contributions must go directly to Biblical Seminary or other qualified charities and be made from traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs. Donors may receive no goods or services in return for their contributions, and must obtain written documentation of their contribution from each recipient charity.
Donors who want to take advantage of this option should contact their IRA Administrators immediately. For additional information, feel free to contact me directly:
Office Phone: 215.368.5000, Ext.130
Cell Phone: 267.664.6211
Biblical exists to prepare men and women to communicate the story of Jesus with humility and authenticity, fidelity to Scripture, appreciation of the Christian tradition, and sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of today's culture.
The Library’s hours for Winter Break
Please Note: The Library’s hours for Winter Break (December 17-23) are Monday-Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
The Library will be closed for Christmas Break from December 24-January 3.
You may be familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but have you heard of Giving Tuesday? It’s an opportunity to give—and encourage a movement of giving—rather than consume. Watch this video to learn more:
Will you join us in participating in this day of giving back? Here’s how:
You can give at donate.biblical.edu or by calling 215.368.5000 x116! Any amount you’re able to give will help prepare men and women for ministry.
Take an “UNselfie” and share how and why you’re giving back this Giving Tuesday. (Make sure to use hashtags for #UNselfie, #GivingTuesday, and #BiblicalSeminary). Post it on your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Share with your friends to help inspire others to give this holiday season!
Our ministry would not be possible without faithful ministry supporters. Thank you!
“You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).
Ruth Dunzweiler, At Home with Her Lord
(May 24, 1936 – November 12, 2014)
A dear member of the BTS family, Ruth Dunzweiler, passed away on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. Ruth supported BTS’s ministry from our beginning in 1971. Her husband, Robert, was a founding faculty member.
“Mr. and Mrs. Dunzweiler sacrificed for our Lord—and for BTS. Mr. Dunzweiler taught at the seminary in ‘the days of austerity’ when even getting one’s paycheck was not a sure thing. He also taught at a time when coats and ties were the expected decorum. Many of us students noticed that he did wear a coat and tie to every class—but that he owned only one sport coat to teach in. He was methodical, thoughtful—deep in thought about the deep things of God, careful, in awe of the subject matter, reverent, and humble. His faithful, loving wife fully supported him while also serving in their church, home, and community,” remembers Dr. Todd Mangum.
Ruth served as the pianist and a Sunday School teacher in her church. She visited shut-ins in hospitals, their homes, and nursing homes. She also continued to faithfully serve the seminary through volunteering with mailings until her health condition prohibited her participation.
Ruth’s presence, faithful financial and prayerful support, and service to our community will be deeply missed, but the legacy of the Dunzweilers will live on through the men and women they helped prepare for ministry. Those men and women are now ministering to so many others. One example is our very own Academic Dean, Dr. Todd Mangum.
BTS alum, Rev. Howard Wells, officiated her memorial service at Bethany Bible Fellowship Church in Hatfield, Pa. Other BTS participants included: Mr. William Harding, Emeritus Faculty member; Rev. Joe Basile (MDiv ’78); and Dr. Perry Phillips (MDiv ’76).
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15).
Please keep the Dunzweilers’ children and grandchildren in your prayers.
DMin Student/BTS Staff Celebrates 25 Years in Ministry
Congratulations to our own Rev. Michael Heath as he celebrates 25 Years as an ordained minister and 3 years as pastor of Living Waters.
The Philadelphia Tribune recently featured Rev. Mike and the church story. With sermon titles like “Jesus and his Thugs” and community engagement that meeting real needs, it’s no wonder that the church is reaching many in the culture with the gospel as it continues to grow.
BTS is excited to have Michael on the recruiting staff. His is a graduate of the LEAD Master of Divinity program and is pursuing his Doctor of Ministry at BTS.
We're excited to be sharing your program with prospective students!
Urban LEAD MDiv Students Get First Hand Global Perspective
How can one truly comprehend another man’s journey without first walking a mile in his shoes? While this old adage may seem simplistic, it is this hands-on perspective to ministry that is at the heart of Biblical’s Intercultural Ministry Experience (IME).
This past summer, Cohort 19 had the opportunity to spend a week in Uganda for their IME, ministering together with several national pastors to foster a missional community throughout their region of East Africa. During this time, Cohort 19 met with pastors from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania, and South Sudan. Their unique interactions with each of these pastors helped enhance the students’ understanding of what it means to minister on a global scale.
The Fruits of Fellowship: Pastor Wachira
Early in their week in Uganda, students were reminded of the importance of working as a collective group, utilizing their diverse backgrounds and experiences to form a diverse collective. As a mighty cooperative, they focused their attention on God’s presence: seeking his purpose and listening for his voice. Such collaborative interactions produced an atmosphere rich with fellowship, as all present came to appreciate their need for each other in the global community.
Realistically, it can be challenging to work together with our differences; however, the experience is entirely richer for the endeavor.
Pastor Wachira of PACE Ministries summarized this sentiment well: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In Uganda, Cohort 19 experienced pastors from seven nations learning to go together, as they themselves were learning to do the same. From this intimate fellowship, students came to realize how much we as Christians need each other in ministry and in life.
Servant Eyes: Pastor Micah
Later in the week, Cohort 19 visited the University Community Fellowship (UCF) church, which ministers predominantly to college students in the surrounding area. UCF’s mission is to meet young people where they are, disciple them, and equip them with practical skills for life and ministry.
During this excursion, students attended a Bible Study at UCF where they shared testimonies as well as a message. In addition, Pastor Micah Rwothumio, host pastor at UCF, shared how God is teaching him that godly leaders must have “servant eyes” to accompany their servant hearts. These “servant eyes” allow leaders to see the gaps, or practical needs, in the lives of people to whom they are ministering. As such, Pastor Micah is seeking to meet these needs in the lives of his congregation and the local community, by empowering young people to take action and make a practical difference that opens the door for spiritual growth. Consequently, this next generation of leaders is reaching beyond the doors of the church, to the local community and ultimately to the world.
Hope, Not Fear: Pastor Darius
On the morning of July 4th, independence was the theme of the day. Cohort 19 heard from pastors from four East African nations, who shared about life and ministry specific to their home nation. As one ministers in the global community, there are undoubtedly going to be obstacles to the gospel: famine, political unrest, displacement from generations of war, and the list goes on.
With such great turmoil throughout the East African region, it would be easy for these pastors to be discouraged. Yet despite these hurdles, many of these African pastors exuded a great sense of hope, choosing to focus on how God is transforming their nations. In this land that much of the world has been taught to fear and distrust, Pastor Darius proclaimed, “I LOVE my country! Sometimes when I pray…I cry.” His brokenness for his country was contagious, as Cohort 19 shared his passion for the lost.
For those Christians who have ministered globally, the power of prayer can never be under-estimated. Therefore, continue to pray specifically for these nations: Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania, and South Sudan. Pray that they continue to become more stable in their young independence. Pray for these seven pastors as they strive to “go together,” that the fruits of their fellowship would be tangible and lasting. Pray that their “servant eyes” will see as Christ sees, and that the needs that are uncovered would be met both physically and spiritually. In the end, praise God for the indescribable work He has begun in East Africa and will see to completion.
Text adapted from accounts submitted by several Cohort 19 members: Kenyatta Rush, Chris Owens and Rob Marshall.
BTS Featured at WFIL Event
On Saturday, October 25th, LEAD Master of Divinity cohort president Monica Hall represented Biblical Seminary at the Power of Friendship Luncheon at Family Worship Center in Lansdale, PA. Over 100 hundred women attended this event that was sponsored by WFIL AM 560 and Daily Disciples Ministries, Inc.
Monica spoke to 40+ women and generated interest about Biblical Seminary and what we have to offer. Speakers Bobbye Brooks and Tonilee Adamson shared their powerful testimonies about their friendship and keynote speaker, Leslie Martin, gave a message empowering women to step into their calling and be used by God.
Dr. Dave Dunbar is teaching a new course this winter term
The Theology and Practices of the Spiritual Life
Here’s a snapshot of the course from Dr. Dunbar:
“The Gospel invites the disciples of Jesus into the life of the Kingdom of God, not only a future hope but a present reality. This course will examine what a kingdom life
looks like and how we might actually expect to engage in such a life. Students will reflect on biblical materials and readings from the traditions of Christian
spirituality and will also experiment with selected practices that followers of Jesus have found helpful for cultivating growth in Christ-likeness.”
Thursday, 4:30 – 7:30 pm, starting January 15, 2015