WARNER ROBINS — The South Georgia Extension Center through New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is among those to be closed as part of a financial restructuring due to COVID-19.
The seminary made the announcement last week after its April 14-15 Board of Trustees meeting. The South Georgia location, hosted by Central Baptist Church in Warner Robins, was one of seven extension centers that will close after the fall semester. In addition, the board voted to defer approval of the 2020-2021 budget until the June 2 meeting of the seminary’s Executive Committee.
NOBTS/Leavell College President Jamie Dew attributed the budget vote delay to a desire to more accurately grasp the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.
In addition to the one in Warner Robins, trustee members also voted to close undergraduate centers in Lafayette, La.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Tampa, Fla. Graduate centers will be closed in Pensacola, Fla. and Jacksonville, Fla. The South Georgia center had hosted programs for both graduates and undergraduates.
The seven centers had been experiencing declining enrollment for several years, the release stated. Teach-out plans will be developed for students affected by the closures.
The three remaining Georgia extension centers will continue in operation, NOBTS director of communications Gary Myers told The Index. Those are the North Georgia Hub at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth; the Duluth Center, which meets at First Baptist Duluth and hosts the Korean Theological Institute; and the Jonesboro Center, which meets at First Baptist Jonesboro. In addition, the seminary’s certificate training program will continue among various locations.