NBTS E-Story

Financial Gifts to Strengthen a Covenant with God

In this letter, Rev. Dr. Karyn Ratcliffe (Class of 1997) explains how her financial support of the Seminary, an important part of her spiritual practice, pays dividends toward strengthening and expanding her own sense of ministry.

Dear Members of the NBTS Community,

President Mast asked me to share with you one of my spiritual practices.

I made a promise to tithe my salary to the Seminary in 1997 when I graduated from NBTS with a Masters of Divinity. As a part-time youth minister with a starting salary of only $15,000, my first gift of $1,500 barely made a dent in my husbands and my household budget.

Four years earlier, while working in my chosen career of accounting, I found myself hungering for a deeper walk with God. I began to pray. Though I deeply desired to become a minister, I was unable to envision such a drastic change to my life or how I would ever meet the financial challenge. One day my boss called me into his office and told me I no longer had a job. Recognizing the hand of God in my life, I enrolled part-time at NBTS.

Looking back, it was a huge leap of faith. After four classes, I ran out of money. But I inquired about financial aid and the Seminary offered me a full scholarship. If the Seminary hadnt invested in my future, I might never have become a minister. To support the school that once supported me became a covenant between me and God.

Today I am the Senior Minister of The Packanack Community Church in Wayne, New Jersey  the same congregation that hired me as a part-time Youth Minister 16 years earlier. I admit, as my salary has grown, that annual check has become harder to write. But the sacrifice is nothing compared with the joy and blessing I receive every day as an ordained minister. God has kept the covenant with me, and I can only imagine what God has done with the checks I have written to NBTS.

Its all too easy to imagine the financial challenges that may hinder making an annual gift to the Seminary. I ask you to prayerfully consider how your life might change if you were to make a covenant with God. Gifts to the Seminary Fund help students translate their callings and gifts into faithful Christian ministry. The Fund pays for financial aid and a myriad of student needs, including daily expenses like electricity, security, heating and air conditioning. Your gift will not only put future pastors in the pulpit, it will be the beginning of a life-changing experience for them and for you.

Please make a donation today, trusting God will do great things with it.

Donations can be made online or by U.S. Mail.

May God bless you and keep you!

Rev. Dr. Karyn A. Ratcliffe
Senior Minister, Packanack Community Church

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