Baptist College of Florida partners with local church to launch extension campus

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Pictured above: Calvary Church facility purchased for Calvary College use.

CLEARWATER– The Baptist College of Florida recently has announced a partnership with Calvary Church in Clearwater to launch a new extension campus slated to open in August 2024.

Named Calvary College, the campus will strive “to change the world through the unchanging word by providing excellent, Christ-centered higher education to our students,” said David Rice, director of operations for the extension campus.

A school has great sending power when partnerships are harnessed and resources are leveraged to the end that the nations be reached.

Clayton Cloer President, The Baptist College of Florida

Such a partnership furthers the mission of The Baptist College of Florida, led by its seventh president Clayton Cloer.

Convinced that “college students need to be educated with a Christian worldview in order to stand for Christ in our communities, churches and the world,” Cloer believes that Florida Baptists have a responsibility and opportunity to educate and shepherd students.

In a recent interview, Cloer said that he is looking forward to “partnering with Florida Baptist churches to train the next generation of pastors, missionaries and Christian leaders. A school has great sending power when partnerships are harnessed and resources are leveraged to the end that the nations be reached.”

At Calvary College’s launch, students will experience an in-person learning environment with options to take online courses through the school’s main campus in Graceville.

“The ‘pioneer class’ of Calvary College is prepared to receive 150 students as new enrollees in August 2024,” said Rice. “Moving forward we have the resources to accommodate whatever increase God chooses to trust with us.”

In addition to receiving a distinctively Baptist education, “Calvary College students will be invited to participate fully in the life of Calvary. … Students will have access to our Florida Baptist ministry partnerships around our region, state and world,” said Rice.

“Opportunities for preaching and teaching, worship and production, generational ministries, missions, education and even business and psychology will be made available to all Calvary College students as a part of their collegiate experience.”

Calvary Church “comes to this partnership with an open heart,” Rice said. With a churchwide emphasis on “building relationships to bring people to dynamic life in Christ,” the church is excited to “participate in Jesus building His kingdom by raising up His champions for generations to come until His return.”

The church has recently purchased a 30,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its main campus for Calvary College to serve the needs and expansion of training and equipping the next generation through education.

“Florida Baptists are very blessed,” said Rice. “God has given us so much in people, land, buildings and other resources. Let’s bring everything we’ve got to the table in order to magnify the glory of Jesus. … Let’s work until the glory of Jesus covers our state.”

“Florida Baptists need and deserve a great, distinctively Baptist university. The system that Dr. Cloer is building is going to serve Florida Baptists well while creating a new paradigm for higher education among our people.”

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