A new scholarship named in honor of Beeson alumna Jennifer Davis Rash, president and editor-in-chief of The Alabama Baptist, will provide financial aid for Southern Baptist women and other minorities at Beeson Divinity School.
The first scholarships from the $25,000 endowment will be awarded in Fall 2022.
“We are thrilled with this opportunity to honor one of our most esteemed alumnae in this way,” said Douglas A. Sweeney, Beeson’s dean. “Jennifer Rash represents Beeson in all the best ways. More importantly, she represents the Lord Jesus Christ in her ministries at The Alabama Baptist and beyond. We are praying that the Jennifer Davis Rash Scholarship will help us attract and train Baptist women like her for years to come.”
The scholarship was announced Feb. 25 at the TAB board of directors meeting in honor of Rash’s 25th anniversary at the publication—a milestone she says wouldn’t have been possible without Beeson.
Her undergraduate work at the University of Alabama pointed her toward journalism, and her two years serving on the missions field through the International Mission Board and Caribbean Christian Publications focused that call specifically on faith-based communications. To her, seminary seemed like the right next step.
“God was calling me to serve him through news reporting and storytelling, and I wanted to learn more about how to work out my calling in this way as well as grow closer to him in the process,” Rash said. “As I explored my options, Beeson Divinity School kept rising to the top for its well-known quality of instruction, professor-student mentoring opportunities, focus on community, interdenominational approach and, at that time in the mid-1990s, more advanced recruitment of female students.”
The opportunity to move to Birmingham and attend Beeson also put her in the right place to accept an opportunity to work at the main office of The Alabama Baptist. A quarter-century later, she serves at the publication’s helm.
“The ministry of The Alabama Baptist and TAB Media took a chance on me 25 years ago,” Rash said. “Numerous leaders and peers with TAB Media and across the whole of Alabama Baptist life invested—and continue to invest—in my development in the ministry of faith-based communications.”
Most seminaries today are more aggressive in recruiting the typically underrepresented minorities, such as women, than they were when she started studying at Beeson, Rash said.
“But the percentages are still small, and I'm excited to be part of helping the underrepresented among Baptists study at Beeson in the coming days and well beyond my lifetime,” said Rash, who also serves on the advisory board of Beeson’s new Center for Women in Ministry.
Gary Fenton, advancement officer at Beeson and a member of TAB’s board of directors, said Baptists have been blessed by Rash’s contributions at TAB.
“We’re very grateful for her 25 years of service to The Alabama Baptist. She has served in so many roles and now doing an outstanding job as editor,” Fenton said. “We have benefited from her so much, and we are so grateful for the innovative approach she’s bringing at a time when Baptist news publications are in the process of changing and often declining.”
Rash said she is grateful for the opportunity to be involved in ministry in this way and excited about how God will continue to work through Beeson students and graduates.
“What a tremendous privilege and touching realization to know that ministers of the gospel will be preparing for their callings through this scholarship, which was endowed by the 178-year-old ministry founded to connect and inform Alabama Baptists so that they might be able to stay properly focused on missions, evangelism and disciple making,” Rash said.
Give to the Jennifer Rash scholarship or other scholarships.