California Baptist University Expands Partnership with International Mission Board to Achieve Greater Global Impact

California Baptist University Expands Partnership with International Mission Board to Achieve Greater Global Impact

by: Kristeen Farlow, Senior Director of Communications and Public Relations, California Baptist University

Riverside, Calif. (October 3, 2023) – In a move that demonstrates its commitment to serving the global community, California Baptist University (CBU) formalized its pledge to continue a partnership with the International Mission Board (IMB) with the signing of a five-year MOU extension earlier this year. The partnership provides opportunities for faculty to volunteer or teach remotely, enhance professional development for field workers and build upon collaborative research opportunities.  

These academic service trips are multipronged and align with CBU’s Core 4 – that university graduates are Academically Prepared, Biblically Rooted, Globally Minded and Equipped to Serve. At CBU, students will participate in global practicums with a distinct learning focus, offering opportunities to gain medical and healthcare experience in a broad spectrum of environments while also serving as disciples. 

“Healthcare is a global challenge with unique needs and approaches tailored to specific parts of the world. Working with IMB helps us educate students pursuing medical and health-related careers in ways that would be difficult to simulate without our partnership,” said Dr. David Pearson, dean of the College of Health Science. “CBU and specifically the College of Health Science appreciate our working relationship with the IMB, as it leads to opportunities that would otherwise go unfulfilled.”

This summer, CBU nursing students applied health promotion and disease prevention concepts in the community setting in Thailand. Students fulfilled course objectives by conducting community health needs assessments, evaluating cross-cultural healthcare for individuals, families and communities, and collaborating with interdisciplinary healthcare teams.

“While in Thailand, students visited seven homes in one day and showed the love of Jesus to everyone. The Thai national team said CBU students were an encouragement and a blessing through opportunities to share the gospel,” said Dr. Rebecca Meyer, director of the nurse educator program at CBU. “CBU nursing students always report that the academic service-learning experience helps them see how they can use their gifts and talents to show love, care and compassion to everyone.”  

During the practicum, students also filled the role of community health nurse by educating others about healthy hearts and healthy eating in schools, teaching CPR to community leaders, and conducting home health visits for homebound people. CBU nursing students were asked to facilitate “English Camp” as a way for children and teachers to learn about health promotion concepts while practicing their English language skills.

“IMB’s mission to disciple among unreached people and places aligns with CBU’s commitment to deliver upon the unmet medical and health needs of underserved communities around the globe,” said Dr. Rebekah Naylor, retired Director of Global Health Strategies at the IMB. “I look forward to how our combined efforts will spread the word of Jesus through deliberate and intentional work on the mission fields.”

Through a combination of classroom learning and training at CBU, students prepare to visit the global communities on these International Faculty-Led Experiences (IFLE). Students from nursing, health science, biology and social work have all participated in IFLEs over the last five years. Practicums occur three times each year – summer, fall and spring. IMB and CBU partnership locations are currently under evaluation for the 2024 year.

CBU will kick-off the partnership October 9-13 with Go Global Week, a campus-wide week of opportunities for students and faculty to connect with IMB personnel through class visits, faculty meetings, one-on-one appointments, and campus events, sponsored by the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Science, the International Center, and Spiritual Life.  Students also will have the opportunity to apply for International Service Projects that week.

“These IMB opportunities are the very manifestation of how CBU students can live their purpose,” said Charles Sands, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at CBU. “The global experience combined with making a deeply rooted community impact adds a richness to the curriculum that is simply unmatched.”

About California Baptist University

Founded in 1950, California Baptist University is a top Christian university on the West Coast. CBU offers more than 100 majors, as well as 40 graduate programs and seven doctoral programs. Affiliated with California Southern Baptist Convention, CBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities and the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities.

About International Mission Board

As a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, the IMB exists to serve Southern Baptists in carrying out the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®, Southern Baptist churches support thousands of missionaries and missionary teams who are making disciples and planting churches around the world.

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