Fundraising Policies


Fundraising at Mid-America has come through providing information to others about our purpose and how God has glorified His Son through this institution.  We consider this to be "friend-raising" rather than "fund-raising." We feel successful in developing the Seminary by gaining prayer support from friends of the Seminary. We feel that the most useful funds given to the Seminary are those given under God’s leading which comes after fervent prayer. We sincerely feel that there is a difference in asking for what God would have a person do than in just asking for money. 
 The Seminary encourages all faculty, employees, alumni, students, professional planned givers, advisors, and friends of the Seminary to tell the "Mid-America Story" at every opportunity with the above understanding. 
 Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary maintains a membership in the Christian Stewardship Association and is in agreement with and will adhere to the fundraising standards of that association.  All fundraising must be related to the purpose of the institution.
The only allowable contributions are as follows:  
 ·        Funds given for the operating budget of the Seminary, or any specific capital item within the approved budget of the Seminary.  
 ·        Contributions to the general scholarship, student aid, or memorial funds when the ultimate use is determined by the Seminary.  
 ·        Any special Christian emphasis as approved by the Seminary such as the annual Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings.   
Other fundraising considerations: 
·        Securities and gifts other than cash gifts received by the Seminary will be promptly negotiated if it is in the best business interest of the Seminary.  We will acknowledge to the donors receipt and condition of such property at the date of the gift, but we cannot attest to a fair market value of non-cash gifts.  No real estate may be received without Trustee approval following proper environmental reports as necessary. 
 ·        The IRS clearly prohibits an individual giving to the Seminary for specific individuals and have such funds entered on a contribution record.  The Seminary wishes to comply with the letter and the spirit of all IRS regulations. 
 ·        No funds will be solicited for any restricted purposes not approved by the Board of Trustees. 
·        No funds will be sought for any specific project which may be under feasibility study until after such project has been presented to the proper committee for review and then to the Planning Team for approval and possible Trustee action.  
 ·        Earnings on all endowment gifts will be used for general operating purposes unless the Trustees approve otherwise.  
 ·        Donors who wish to include MABTS in their will are encouraged to leave those funds to the Seminary with the instructions that they are to be used "for Seminary purposes at the discretion of the Trustees."  Therefore, when such unrestricted funds are received from wills and trusts, the Trustees will approve the use of such funds.   Funds received from wills and trusts for other approved Seminary purposes as stated by the donors will be honored for that purpose.  
The purpose of this statement is to encourage charitable gift planning by urging the adoption of the following Standards of Practice by all who assist in the charitable gift planning process at MABTS, their gift planning officers, independent consultants, attorneys, accountants, financial planners, and life insurance agents, collectively referred to hereafter as "Gift Planners." 
This statement recognizes that the planning and administration of a charitable gift is a complex process involving philanthropic, personal, financial, and tax considerations.  As such, it often involves professionals from various disciplines whose goals should include working together to structure a gift that achieves a fair and proper balance between the interests of the donor and the purposes of the Seminary and other charitable institutions. 
I.  Primacy of Philanthropic Motivation
The principal basis for making a charitable gift should be desire on the part of the donor to support the work of MABTS and other charitable institutions. 
II.  Explanation of Tax Implications
Congress has provided tax incentives for charitable giving, and the emphasis in this statement on philanthropic motivation in no way minimizes the necessity and appropriateness of a full and accurate explanation by the Gift Planner of those incentives and their implications. 
III.  Full Disclosure
It is essential to the gift-planning process that the role and relationships of all parties involved, including how and by whom each is compensated, be fully disclosed to the donor.  A Gift Planner shall not act or purport to act as a representative of MABTS without the express knowledge and approval of MABTS. 
IV.  Compensation
Compensation paid to Gift Planners shall be reasonable and proportionate to the services provided.  Payments of finders’ fees, commissions, or other fees by a donation organization to an independent Gift Planner as a condition for the delivery of a gift are never appropriate.  Such payments lead to abusive practices and may violate certain state and federal regulations. Likewise, commission-based compensation for Gift Planners who are employed by a charitable institution is never appropriate. 
V.  Competence and Professionalism
The Gift Planner should strive to achieve and maintain a high degree of competence in his or her chosen area and shall advise donors only in areas in which he or she is professionally qualified.  It is a hallmark of professionalism for Gift Planners that they realize when they have reached the limits of their knowledge and expertise and, as a result, should include other professionals in the process.  Such relationships should be characterized by courtesy, tact, and mutual respect. 
VI.  Consultation with Independent advisers
A Gift Planner acting on behalf of MABTS shall in all cases strongly encourage the donor to discuss the proposed gift with competent independent legal and tax advisers of the donor’s choice. 
VII.  Consultation with the Seminary
Although Gift Planners frequently and properly counsel donors concerning specific charitable gifts without the prior knowledge or approval of the Seminary, the Gift Planner, in order to insure that the gift will accomplish the donor’s objectives, should encourage the donor, early in the gift-planning process, to discuss the proposed gift with the Seminary.  In cases where the donor desires anonymity, the Gift Planner shall endeavor, on behalf of the undisclosed donor, to obtain charity’s input in the gift-planning process. 
VIII.  Explanation of Gift
The Gift Planner shall make every effort, insofar as possible, to insure that the donor receives a full and accurate explanation of all aspects of the proposed charitable gift.  
IX.  Full Compliance
A Gift Planner shall fully comply with and shall encourage other parties in the gift-planning process to comply fully with both the letter and spirit of all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. 
X.  Public Trust  
Gift Planners shall, in all dealings with donors, institutions, and other professionals, act with fairness, honesty, integrity, and openness.  Except for compensation received for services, the terms of which have been disclosed to the donor, they shall have no vested interest that could result in personal gain. 





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