Rosser Partnership

Carmel Baptist Church / Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Charlotte


Dr. Russ Rosser shepherded the adult ministries of Carmel from 2003 until his death in March of 2012. Russ was a husband to Carol for 47 ½ years. He was a father to Julie, Shelley, and David. And he was Papa to five grandchildren, who were the apple of his eye. And outside his immediate family, Russ was a pastor to countless thousands of people in his 54 years of pastoral ministry.

Russ epitomized what it meant to be a shepherd. He understood that spiritual development and life transformation took years of walking along side people through the good times and the bad. Listen to Russ’ own words on the subject in a devotional that he wrote for Gordon Conwell-Theological Seminary only a couple of months before his death. Russ writes:

Jesus Christ personifies Grace and Truth. As a mentor of men and women attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, my purpose was to model his grace and truth in their lives, demonstrating humility and the proclamation of the gospel. As a mentor, I was a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on and sometimes the deliverer of a good swift kick.

Mentoring God's servants takes sacrifice. However, nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice; everything is lost by failure to obey God's call. God led me into mentoring over two decades ago and this has brought the greatest joy because in serving his people, I am serving Jesus.

In honor of Russ’ lifetime commitment to raising up leaders and shepherding God’s flock, Carmel is excited to announce the Russ Rosser Legacy Partnership between Carmel Baptist Church and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Charlotte. It was always Russ’ dream that the church and seminary would work hand and glove together to raise up leaders for the work of the ministry. And that dream has now become a reality. Below are the three key aspects of the Russ Rosser Legacy Partnership:

Aspect #1: The Russ Rosser Shepherding Center
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Charlotte wishes to honor Russ by establishing the Russ Rosser Shepherding Center in their “Expanding the Vision” project currently underway.  
This center will be the home of Gordon-Conwell’s mentored ministry program (which was founded by Russ Rosser), a counseling area for students that need to talk with someone, the student and alumni services departments, and it will have dedicated space for students to pray and reflect when they need a break from their academic studies.  

As part of Carmel’s commitment to this partnership, the church has pledged to give $50,000 over a five-year period towards this effort.

Give to the Russ Rosser Shepherding Center:
If you would like to make a tax-deductible to the Russ Rosser Shepherding Center, please click here:  If you have any questions, you can email Alan Cellamare, Campaign Director for Gordon Conwell at  
Aspect #2: Student in Residency Program

Carmel Baptist Church and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary will partner in the formation of seminary students who attend both the seminary and the church simultaneously.  The church will provide opportunities for students to be mentored in the church context while he or she is attending Gordon-Conwell.  This model, which was initiated by Russ Rosser when he was on staff at Carmel is a well-crafted formation model that involves mentoring which focuses on spiritual formation, ministerial health, character building and personal well-being.  It will expose the student to different aspects of ministry while in seminary and follow the rigid guidelines established by the academic programs at the seminary.  

Applications for the Student in Resident program will be vetted on a case-by-case basis.   Approval for the program is incumbent on acceptance by Gordon-Conwell as a student AND Carmel Baptist Church as a Student in Residence.  Depending on experience level, students in residence will begin at an intern or ministry associate (pastoral positions) level.  

Apply to Gordon Conwell:
Click here to apply to be a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Charlotte:

Apply to Carmel Baptist Church:
To apply for the Student in Residence program at Carmel Baptist Church, please email Leslie Sheffield, Human Resources Administrator at to receive an application.  

Aspect #3: Educational Partnership

As part of this partnership, beginning in Fall 2014, Gordon-Conwell will teach three 10-week sessions over a 1-year period, training all of Carmel’s Adult Discipleship Community leaders in the areas of Old and New Testament, Theology, Church History, and Christian Living.  The purpose will be to equip members the Church in utilizing seminary faculty as resource in a condensed seminary experience aimed at adults who wish to take non-credit certificate, seminary level training for the purpose of having a more effective ministry in the church and world. As we get closer to the beginning of the first session, registration information will be posted. 

After this 1-year training, beginning in Fall 2015, Carmel will serve as one of South Charlotte’s host locations for Gordon-Conwell’s BibleJourney Program.  BibleJourney is a seminary based educational project to increase the level of Biblical literacy in the church.  Another goal of BibleJourney is to help church leaders gain the knowledge and skills to teach the Bible at a higher level and engage them in the teaching ministry of the church.  The BibleJourney classes will be available to anyone in the Charlotte community. 

Gordon-Conwell Seminary will provide both certification and non-credit lay education as needed by the church.  BibleJourney classes will be taught by seminary faculty at nominal fees to cover expenses.  In for credit instances, the student will be eligible for advanced standing, which can be applied to a student seeking a degree from the seminary. 

To learn more about the BibleJourney program, click here:
The program cost for the 2013-2014 academic year is $8,012 for tuition and books only. Room, board and other incidental costs are additional. Applicants must also pay the I-901 SEVIS fee as part of the visa process.  Note: All students must provide GCTS with their TOEFL score.