一個財務健全的神學院應該從三個方面來得到收入：學費，募款及基金會撥款，而且最好能均衡的從每個方面得到。基金會的撥款能使學院為學生提供較低的學費，並減少神學院每年募款的壓力。 正道福音神學院基金會（“LESF”）成立於2000年，最主要的目的是在財務上支持正道福音神學院（“LES”）。 這個“第三條腿”是為提供LES的長期經費的穩定性及其擴張做打算。
一個基金會通常會從它的淨值中提出4-5％來支持它的神學院。因此，為了學校目前的年度預算420萬美元來提供健康的支持，LESF需要每年捐出140萬美元。要實現這一目標，LESF至少應該有2800萬美元的淨值。可惜的是，LESF目前只有約900萬美元的資產。這與哈佛基金會和富勒基金會相距甚遠，他們的資產分別約為350億美元和2.2億美元。我們的基金會目前不夠健全，因為神學院的成長速度超過了基金會，這給神學院的年度募款造成了很大的負擔。為了改善這個問題，我們的林院長挑戰基金會，看是否能在2019年將其資產增加到至少1500萬美元。 董事會已將2017年的目標設定在1100萬美元，或者今年至少籌集200萬美元。雖然 LESF籌集資金很難，但為此目標董事會成員已經同意每星期與LES禁食禱告，相信神必祝福。
LESF一直致力於通過良好的投資來提高收益並降低成本。 例如，我們投資了一個房產并租給漢堡王快餐店，在過去八年中年收益率都高達10％以上。 最近，我們收購了另一個房產并出租給基督教兄弟汽車公司，每年投資報酬率6.4％，該公司也致力於提昇基督教信仰和價值觀。 兩項投資都有租金增加條款。 我們還使用了Commonfund這樣的投資公司，提供我們多元化投資良好的回報，同時壓低了成本。
最近，當我更接近60歲時，我想到了我們為我們的孩子留下什麼樣的腳蹤。 我再次被神提醒我們如何空手而來，也會空手的離開。然而我們可以將財富向前投資在上帝的國度和事工中。 作為上帝祝福的管家或委托人，當我們遇見祂時，我們都要向祂交賬（見“馬太福音25章和路加福音19章中的才幹比喻”）。 留下遺產給我們的下一代是一個祝福，但像沃倫·巴菲特（Warren Buffet）所說：“父母應該給孩子留下足夠的錢，讓他們覺得自己可以做任何事情，但又不能給太多，以致於他們什麼事也不做。” 吉姆·埃利奧特 (Jim Elliott) 也說過：”能放棄那不能保有的，來得著那不會失去的, 這人一點也不傻” 。因此，我的妻子和我已經在LESF裡成立了一個家庭宣教基金，希望我們的孩子們能夠繼承我們的榜樣繼續投資在神的國度，這就像為神建一座祭壇來紀念祂的祝福。
Greeting in the Lord.
A financially sound seminary should receive its income from three sources: tuition, annual donation, and its foundation, preferably equally from each source. Contribution from its foundation allows the seminary to provide lower tuition for students and reduce stress from the seminary’s annual fundraising. Logos Evangelical support Logos Evangelical Seminary (“LES”). This “third leg” was intended to provide long term financial stability for LES and its expansion.
A foundation usually contributes 4-5% of its net worth to its supported seminary. Therefore, to provide a healthy support for our current LES annual budget of $4.2 million, LESF needs to be able to contribute $1.400,000 annually. To do so, LESF should have at least a net worth of $28 million. Unfortunately, LESF currently only has approximately $9 million in assets. This is in contrast to Harvard Foundation and Fuller Foundation which have assets of approximately $35 billion and $220 million, respectively. Our foundation is therefore in poor health. The seminary growth has outpaced its foundation. This places a lot of burden on the seminary’s annual fundraising. To ameliorate this issue, our LES president has challenged LESF to increase its assets to at least $15 million by 2019. LESF board has set our 2017 goal at $11 million or to raise at least $2 million this year. It has been difficult for LESF to raise fund but LESF board members have agreed to fast and pray with LES once a week for this goal and trust in the Lord for His blessings.
LESF has always strived to increase its returns and minimize cost through sound investments. For example, we invested in a property, rented to a Burger King restaurant, yielding 10+% annual return during the past eight years. Recently we acquired another property renting it to Christian Brothers Automotive Company yielding 6.4% annually while promoting Christian faith and values. Both investments have rent increase clauses. We have also utilized organizations such as Commonfund to provide good returns on our diversified investments while minimizing our cost.
Recently, as I approach my sixth decade, I thought about our legacy to our children. I was again reminded of how we enter the world empty handed and will also exit the world empty handed but we can send our financial blessings forward by investing in God’s kingdom and ministry. As steward or trustee of God’s blessings, we will all be accountable to Him when we meet Him (see the Parables of the Talents in Matthew 25 and Luke 19). It is a blessing to leave inheritance to our next generation but like Warren Buffet said, “Parents should leave children enough money so that they would feel that they could do anything but not so much that they could do nothing.” Jim Elliott also said “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” As a result, my wife and I have established a Family Mission Fund in LESF, hoping our children will follow our example and continue to invest in His kingdom. It’s like establishing an altar to the Lord for His blessings.
Therefore, I would encourage all donors to consider investing in His kingdom and establishing a legacy by making a major donation to LESF, so that we can continue to support His ministry locally and globally through LES.
John S. Chou, Chairperson, LESF