The last general education school in Kentucky affiliated with the Southern Baptist denomination is stepping out on its own. University of the Cumberlands staff say they want to assure students and parents alike that the university will remain a religious campus. Campus ministry leaders also say they will not be changing missionary work or involvement in the community. If anything, they will continue to grow it. The Herald Leader reports the school is choosing more autonomy over financial support. The Kentucky Baptist Convention is able to pick all trustees on the university’s governing board in the current agreement. University of the Cumberlands president, Dr. Larry L. Cockrum, says the school currently cannot include certain alumni on the Board of Trustees due to this agreement because they are from other Christian denominations besides Southern Baptist. The KBC decided in August that it would not keep the agreement with the university if it had no voice in choosing trustees. According to the Herald-Leader, the break will be costly for the University of the Cumberlands, which reportedly agreed to give $1 million to the KBC for church planting and plans to return $350,000 in program funding to Kentucky Baptist churches. The school hopes to handle the loss of financial backing by increasing the number of online classes and cutting tuition by 60 percent to attract more students. Staff say the decision is not expected to be made official until November 12th.
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