Monday, October 24, 2016

The Baptist House of Studies at Duke Divinity School and the Charles B. Keesee Educational Fund have entered into a formal partnership that will ensure that Duke students are eligible to apply for Keesee theological educational grants.

With the agreement, which Duke Divinity School Dean Elaine Heath and Keesee Board of Trustees Chair David Burhans signed on Oct. 17, Duke Divinity School joins ten other Baptist-related seminaries and divinity schools whose students are eligible to apply for the grants. Applications are limited to Baptist students in the M.Div. and D.Min. degree programs who are also residents of Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina.

Heath and Burhans sign the agreement with Freeman lookin on.
Heath, Freeman, and Burhans met to sign the agreement on Oct. 17.

Baptist House Director Curtis Freeman expressed appreciation for the trust and affirmation of the Keesee Foundation, which changed its charter in order for Duke students to be eligible for the grants. Previously, eligible institutions were limited to Baptist seminaries and schools. “Their support will have an enormous impact in reducing the debt burden of Baptist students at Duke, which in turn will enable them to serve more freely and faithfully as ministers in the church of Jesus Christ,” Freeman said.

Todd Maberry, senior director of admissions, recruitment, and financial aid for Duke Divinity School, welcomed prospective students to apply. “We invite Baptist residents of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina who are considering seminary to contact our office and plan a visit to Duke," he said. "We would love to help you discern if this is the place God is leading you to prepare for a life of service to the church and the world, and we are thrilled that through the generous support of the Keesee Foundation, that preparation will be more affordable.”

The Keesee Fund was established in 1941 by Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Keesee of Martinsville, Va., to support men and women in obtaining a theological education in preparation to serve in the Baptist ministry.

The Baptist House of Studies was established in 1988 as a ministry formation center embedded in an ecumenical divinity school. Currently 98 students from a number of Baptist denominations and associations are among the 633 divinity students enrolled in six degree programs. Eight Baptist faculty and senior administrative staff serve as mentors and advisors for students with Baptist affiliations. Baptists make up the second largest denominational group among students at the Divinity School.