The Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina has voted to establish a partnership with Anderson University's Clamp Divinity School.
The Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina encompasses 1,100 churches and 230,000 members across the state. It was founded in 1877 by a group of black men who came together to enhance the quality of life in their churches and to provide a means of bringing churches together on a statewide basis to address the educational needs of African Americans of all ages.
In the BEMCSC partnership, the Clamp Divinity School will become the center for graduate theological education for churches of the convention. Members of participating BEMCSC churches will qualify for a special scholarship offered through the partnership for students enrolled in the master of divinity and master of ministry degree programs at Anderson.
James Blassingame, president of the BEMCSC, said the convention believes the partnership with the Clamp Divinity School "will be a blessing to our member churches and to present and future generations of ministers who will benefit from seminary training through this relationship." Blassingame has been pastor of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter since 1984.
The BEMCSC currently supports two liberal arts colleges, Morris College and Benedict College, but has not previously had a formal affiliation with a seminary or divinity school.
Michael Duduit, founding dean of the Clamp Divinity School, said, "[W]e believe this is an ideal partnership that will serve the churches of the BEMCSC and strengthen the Clamp Divinity School's outreach and service to the congregations of our state.
"Our focus at Clamp is to provide graduate training for pastors and church leaders that is solidly biblical and intensely practical, and in that we share a common Kingdom mission with the churches of the BEMCSC," Duduit said.
The Clamp Divinity School of Anderson University was established in 2009 and now offers master of divinity, master of ministry and doctor of ministry degrees in both traditional and online formats. Anderson University is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
More information about the Clamp Divinity School is available at www.auministry.com or by calling 864-328-1809.
Art Toalston is Baptist Press' senior editor. Anderson University staff contributed to this report.