Why should I partner with Overseas Council rather than engage directly with a Christian leader or partner institution in the region directly?
There are thousands of leadership training centers around the globe. Overseas Council has identified the most strategic of these institutions through careful examination of leadership, curriculum, governance and institutional management. Our partners represent leading institutions focusing on strengthening the leadership of the Church in a region. Our partner institutions are committed to cooperation and avoidance of duplication.
Overseas Council has worked with our partner institutions to identify the most strategic projects to help them continue to grow and develop as leadership training centers. We do not bring an agenda to our partners but rather listen to their dreams for their school. The projects identified by Overseas Council allow you to invest in the realization of these dreams. We have nearly 40 years of experience in identifying such projects and providing strategic funding in an expedient and efficient way.
Why do you only support seminaries overseas and not in North America?
Overseas Council invests its energies where the Church is growing fastest or against formidable odds. We acknowledge the importance of strengthening leadership training for the Church in North America and maintain ongoing dialogue with many leading seminaries in this country. However, we want to direct our time and resources toward helping brothers and sisters around the world have access to some of the Christian training resources that are readily available in this country.
Why should I invest in leadership training? Isn’t it better to invest in church planting and evangelism?
Church planting and evangelism are a calling shared by the Church around the world. We support these movements wholeheartedly. Yet we recognize that church planting is best accomplished by trained leaders, and successful churches rest on solid foundations. Overseas Council partner institutions are providing such foundational training for church planters and missionaries. They are also centers where leaders are reflecting upon the contextual needs of a region and producing the materials that will provide sound thought leadership for the Church.
Aren’t seminaries producing leaders who are out of touch with the needs of the Church?
The vast majority of the students in our partner seminaries are already ministering when they enroll. serving in the communities where they live. Overseas Council believes that effective Christian leadership training can happen only when the seminary is in active partnership with the Church. Overseas Council has carefully chosen institutions that are academically sound, institutionally strong and demonstrate a commitment to training leaders for the Church at all levels. We partner with programs that have a demonstrable influence on the grassroots of the Church.
Why does Overseas Council no longer offer individual scholarship students to support?
Effective November 15, 2006, Overseas Council no longer links donors and scholarship support with specific students. Rather, we connect donors with partner seminaries or regions of the world. We have moved the decision to the administrators and leaders at our partner seminaries who know the needs best. Scholarship money is awarded to students at their discretion. Those administrators will determine which students receive scholarship assistance from the support that is provided from Overseas Council to the partner seminary.
Trends both within the IRS and the wider non-profit environment have obliged organizations like ours to adapt to new circumstances. Overseas Council adjusted its policies and procedures accordingly. The IRS has specifically disallowed charitable deductions for payments to 501(c)(3) organizations that were determined to be tuition earmarked for an individual. In order for a charitable contribution to a 501(c)(3) to be deductible by a donor, the donee organization must have control of the funds, which is exemplified by the organization deciding how the funds will be expended. A donor may designate contributions for a particular purpose, such as scholarships. But if the donor earmarks contributions for a particular individual, and the donee organization exercises no control or discretion over the use of the funds, such contributions are treated as gifts to the designated individual and are not deductible as charitable contributions by the donor.
If I want to be a student or faculty member at an Overseas Council partner institution and/or are requesting scholarship assistance for my studies, what is your policy?
Overseas Council provides scholarship support to institutions only, not individuals. Only Overseas Council partner institutions are eligible for scholarship support. Please be advised that all queries from individuals regarding scholarships will not be considered. Please directly contact the institution that you are interested in for further information.
If I represent an organization or ministry and want to request financial assistance, what is your policy?
Overseas Council focuses on facilitating theological education with seminaries in the Majority World. We do not partner with individuals or organizations outside of this network, and therefore, we cannot accommodate your request.
If I represent a theological institution and am interested in applying to become an Overseas Council partner institution, what is your policy?
We do not accept unsolicited applications for partnership. However, if you are involved with a theological school, we welcome a brief description of your work.
Since Overseas Council is non-denominational, what Christian theology material is taught to students who attend the partner seminaries?
Overseas Council partners with institutions that affirm the Lausanne Covenant and the World Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith. Within that framework, there is much diversity in our partner institutions, including institutions with roots in Wesleyan, Reformed, Lutheran, Baptist, Pentecostal and Independent traditions. We do not seek to control what is taught in the classroom. While we seek to assist our partners in developing the most relevant curriculum to address the needs of Church and society, the material taught is ultimately left to our partner institutions’ discretion and expertise as they seek to prepare leaders based on the contextual realities of their region.
How will Overseas Council safeguard my personal information that is provided to them with a gift or for other purely administrative purposes?
Overseas Council does not disclose the identity of any donor, unless specific authority for such is provided in writing by the donor. Overseas Council’s computer systems are protected by several layers of hardware and software security that prevent unauthorized access to databases and applications.
How can I get information about Overseas Council’s revenues and how they are disbursed in a given year?
Overseas Council prepares an Annual Report with this information contained within it. To request a copy of the Annual Report, please contact Overseas Council at +1(317) 788-7250, (877) 788-7250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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