DALLAS?Criswell College has received a $3 million gift to establish an endowed scholarship program for outstanding collegians who sense a ministry calling.
The $3 million donation is the lead gift for The Timothy Project, a scholarship program initiated by donors Curtis and Shirley Baker of Lindale. The Timothy Project will fund full scholarships and an annual mission trip for five exceptional students, which this fall includes a National Merit Scholar who chose Criswell over other schools.
The goal, Criswell College President Jerry Johnson said, is to see the endowment grow to $5 million in five years or less through additional gifts by Christians who capture the vision of The Timothy Project. The scholarships, which are funded from the endowment’s interest, will cover tuition plus the cost to the school to educate the student, which is approximately twice that of tuition, Johnson said.
“We are overwhelmingly grateful to Curtis and Shirley Baker for their vision and for their very generous lead gift that establishes this scholarship program,” Johnson commented. “The Timothy Project allows us to say to some of the best and brightest incoming collegians who sense a calling to Christian ministry, ‘We have something for you at Criswell College.'”
The project’s name is based on 1 Timothy 4:5, from which the Apostle Paul exhorts young Timothy: “Do the work of an evangelist.”
“This is really about doing the work of an evangelist, about missions and evangelism before they go out from Criswell College” based on monthly “iron-sharpens-iron mentoring” with Criswell faculty and required weekly involvement in ministry activities, Johnson explained.
Students applying for the scholarship must be actively involved in activities such as church planting, missions, the Dallas Life Foundation, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention ministries, or other approved projects.
Also, Timothy Scholars must maintain a B+ academic average, exhibit “genuine leadership potential and ability,” participate in ministry at the Dallas Life Foundation, an inner-city mission, and provide periodic written and oral progress reports to donor-sponsors.
“It is a new scholarship model for us. A similar program for Ph.D. students at Wheaton College is the only other such scholarship program that I have heard of,” Johnson said.
The W.A. Criswell Foundation is managing The Timothy Project Endowment under a 5 percent annual return policy. Johnson said additional donors may contribute at any level by contacting Criswell College (214-818-1334) or the W.A. Criswell Foundation (214-818-1371).