2019 Annual Dean's Report

From left to right: Robert Elliott of the Reformed Baptist Church of Riverside California; Robert Briggs of Immanuel Baptist Church in Sacramento California; Jeff Johnson of Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids Michigan; Jeff Smith of Emanuel Baptist Church in Coconut Creek Florida; Jamie Howell of Grace Baptist Church in Taylors South Carolina; Brian Borgman of Grace Community Church in Minden Nevada; (and me, Bob Gonzales, Dean of RBS).

From left to right: Robert Elliott of the Reformed Baptist Church of Riverside California; Robert Briggs of Immanuel Baptist Church in Sacramento California; Jeff Johnson of Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids Michigan; Jeff Smith of Emanuel Baptist Church in Coconut Creek Florida; Jamie Howell of Grace Baptist Church in Taylors South Carolina; Brian Borgman of Grace Community Church in Minden Nevada; (and me, Bob Gonzales, Dean of RBS).

We are grateful for the prayers and support of churches and individuals who believe in a church-based model of seminary training. I offer this report to our supporters and friends on behalf of the board for Reformed Baptist Seminary.

Students & Graduates

We started with 9 students in 2005, and currently we have 85 enrolled this fall semester. Over the past academic year (Fall 2018 — Spring 2019), seven students have graduated from the Marrow program. If we widen the scope to include the past 14 years, 63 students have graduated with one degree and 5 with two degrees for a total of 68 graduates. Most importantly, the great majority of our graduates are actively serving in gospel ministry.

Student Online Campus

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RBS uses Populi, which is a college management system. Populi allows us to integrate all of the student’s personal, financial, and academic information, as well as to track the student’s progress and provide transcripts upon request. Each course is configured into lessons, which the students must complete. The lessons include lectures in video and/or audio format for the student to watch or listen to. Moreover, the student must complete required reading, take exams, and write book reviews and/or papers. In addition to our online seminary for our students, we also have an auditor online campus that is powered by PathWright. Individuals can search through our course offerings and select a course to audit free of charge. For more information, click on this link: https://rbs.pathwright.com/library/.

Recent Live Modules

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In January, we hosted a module on medieval church history in Sacramento California. Michael Haykin and Robert Elliott served as our lecturers. They highlighted some of the major theological developments during this period as well as the contributions and piety of some of the key figures. The lectures were recorded in video format against a green-screen and edited with an appropriate background for the theme.

We also offered a two-day module in September on Linguistics and Bible Translation. Mark Ward Jr., who serves as Academic Editor at Lexham Press, delivered seven lectures in which he addresses the basics of how languages work, as well as the theories and mechanics of Bible translation. His aim is to show how a sound understanding of linguistics and Bible translation can help us in properly interpreting Scripture.

(You can watch a four-minute “lecture medley,” which includes brief excerpts from our most recent modules here.)

Upcoming Live Modules

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During the week of February 13-15, 2020, Michael Haykin will provide a detailed study of the theology and piety of English Particular Baptists from their origins in the 1630s to the 1830s. Key themes will include: the community’s Trinitarian and Christocentric piety; the confessional heritage; the centrality of the Scriptures and the resulting spirituality of the Word; conversionism; the spirituality of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and the community’s theology of prayer, praying for revival, and the emergence of the modern missionary movement. Emmanuel Baptist Church of Coconut Creek Florida will host the module. Students and auditors are welcome!

Future modules we hope to offer include Ethics, Holy Spirit, and Biblical Theology among others.

RBS International

This past year I had the privilege of traveling to the Dominican Republic where I lectured to students of La Academia Ministerial de la Gracia (Grace Ministerial Academy) on the topic of Finding Christ in the Old Testament. AMG is the fruit of RBS’s modular training in the early 2000s and invites qualified students from various parts of Latin America to participate in a ten-month intensive training program. Juan Jose Perez, who participated in our original program and recently completed an M.Div. serves as the dean of AMG. I was blessed to participate in the eleventh graduation ceremony since their inception in the fall of 2008.

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RBS also entered into a partnership with HeartCry Missionary Society in 2018 to provide theological instruction in Nepal. We started the training with a module on the Doctrine of Scripture offered by Nick Alford and Doug Van Dorn. That was followed with a course on Principles of Interpretation featuring John Reuther. In February of this year, Jim Domm and John Price teamed up to lecture on the doctrine of salvation applied. George McDearmon taught a course on the doctrine of the church in May. Then, in August, a missionary in a closed-country in the Far East taught on the topic of missions and church-planting.

We have seven more modules planned and hope to complete the program in early 2022.

Financial Report

If you are one of our supporters, please be advised that you can request a much more detailed financial report at any time. Just email me, and we will forward you that information.

If you are one of our supporters, please be advised that you can request a much more detailed financial report at any time. Just email me, and we will forward you that information.

At just over halfway into our fiscal year our income was over $91K, our expenses just over $85K, the balance in our checking a little over $32K, and our savings balance $80K. That puts our total assets at nearly $114K.

As you can see, RBS operates on a relatively small and streamlined budget. This is one of the reasons our training is cost-effective and sustainable for smaller network of local churches.

In terms of our target income levels and current income levels, about 66% of our operating expenses is covered by student income. The other 33% is covered by donations. Those donations come primarily from churches, but we do have several individuals who are giving to the seminary. Ideally, we’d like to be at 60/40. In fact, to maintain our 501c(3) tax-exempt status, we need to receive a minimum of 33% of our income from donations.

If you are a supporting church, we are deeply grateful for your support, and we hope you will continue supporting us or maybe even consider increasing your support. If you are not yet supporting RBS, but would like more information about that, please feel free to contact us.

Once again, thank you for your partnership in the gospel!

Your servant,
Bob Gonzales, Dean
dean@rbseminary.org