The Albert Baker Fund Educating Christian Scientists, Blessing the World Thu, 07 Sep 2023 18:44:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Albert Baker Fund 32 32 Educating Christian Scientists, Blessing the World The Albert Baker Fund false The Albert Baker Fund podcast Educating Christian Scientists, Blessing the World The Albert Baker Fund c9c7bad3-4712-514e-9ebd-d1e208fa1b76 31187602 ABF will be hiring a Major/Planned Gift Officer! Tue, 22 Aug 2023 04:27:15 +0000 Purpose

The Major/Planned Gift Officer develops, plans, directs, and coordinates the fundraising strategies and programs of The Albert Baker Fund (ABF), in accord with the mission of ABF, “To serve the Cause of Christian Science and humanity by providing resources for the education of Christian Scientists.” The Major/Planned Gift Officer is responsible for growing and maintaining a philanthropic network of donors to support the ABF Mission.

Reporting Relationships

The Major/Planned Gift Officer (MGO) reports to the CEO. The MGO collaborates with the Manager of Administration, Scholarships and Student Support Manager, Controller, and ABF Board members.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities in Order of Priority

  1. Develops and implements ABF Major Gift and Planned Gift Programs to accomplish annual and ongoing fundraising goals.
  2. Supports ABF Annual Giving Program, working with ABF staff and external contractors.
  3. Directs ABF fundraising activities and maintains compliance with established plans, procedures, policies, within approved operating budget.
  4. Responsible for the ABF image, including ties with the extended Christian Science community.
  5. Annually assesses existing fundraising programs and processes in order to make recommendations for improvement and simplification.
  6. Responsible for ABF donor database.
  7. Provides input to improve the ABF website to support fundraising efforts
  8. Performs other tasks as assigned by the CEO.

Skills, Knowledge, and Experience

  1. Proven fundraiser with five years major/planned gift fundraising experience. Ten years experience (preferred).
  2. Understands and can successfully implement Major Gift and Planned Gift Programs.
  3. Acts with integrity, empathy, energy, enthusiasm, and confidentiality. Must have a strong desire to work in a dynamic, mission-driven environment.
  4. Skilled relationship builder.
  5. Effective communicator.
  6. Strong time management and travel management skills.
  7. Experience with contact management systems.
  8. Planning and budgeting experience.
  9. Demonstrated experience with a full range of communication and computing technologies along with commitment to maintain expertise; experience with (preferred).
  10. Experience connecting with co-workers and conducting business remotely using appropriate technologies.
  11. Willingness to turn readily to God for guidance.
  12. Student of Christian Science.
  13. Member of The Mother Church.
  14. Christian Science class instruction (preferred).
  15. Work experience in a faith-based organization (preferred).

Work Routine

While there is a preference for the person holding this position to reside locally, the duties and responsibilities could be achieved by a person residing remotely. The MGO is required to travel at least 25% of the time to grow and maintain the ABF philanthropic network of supporters. If not residing locally, the MGO will travel to the ABF Folsom Office 6-8 times per year. There is the possibility of some international travel, including Africa. The successful applicant will receive a competitive salary commensurate with experience, as well as a comprehensive benefits package. Title and duties may be adjusted based on the background and experience of the successful applicant.

To Apply

Send a letter of intent, including your interest in this position and how your knowledge, experience, and skills will enable you to successfully fulfill the required duties and responsibilities of this position, along with your resume, to the following address:
The Albert Baker Fund
Job Applications
111 Woodmere Road, Suite 210
Folsom, CA. 95630

This position will remain open until filled.  (Applications are now closed.)

ABF Africa Presentation Thu, 04 May 2023 23:12:30 +0000 At a special Zoom presentation held on May 2, ABF’s CEO, Joe Ritter, gives a presentation on his recent trip to Africa where he visited six different countries. Watch the presentation replay below.


Harvey Heiges shares why he funds Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarships Tue, 02 May 2023 18:00:27 +0000 Dear Friends,

This spring 101 Albert Baker Fund Scholarship recipients are graduating from college. We are so grateful to our generous donors who helped fund the education of a new generation of healers.

It may surprise you to learn that, although these students received an Albert Baker Scholarship and scholarships from their colleges and other organizations, many are graduating with significant student loans. The average education debt of our scholarship recipients is $20,000, and repayment of this debt often takes more than 15 years.

Our goal is to help these young Christian Scientists graduate from college debt free by increasing the amount of our scholarships. This year each of our scholarship recipients will receive a $3,500 Albert Baker Scholarship. With your help, these students will also receive a $1,500 Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship, thereby increasing their total award to $5,000.

Make a donation now

Harvey Heiges shares why he funds Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarships

The Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship was established last year to provide donors the opportunity to pass forward the blessings they have received. One of these donors is Harvey Heiges of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and McLean, Virginia. Harvey earned his PhD from the University of Washington in Seattle and spent his career in the field of transportation. He worked for the Federal Department of Transportation and then the Central Intelligence Agency until his retirement.

“I learned about The Albert Baker Fund a few years ago when one of my granddaughters received a scholarship. Her first award consisted of a scholarship and a loan. The following year her award was entirely a scholarship. I was particularly pleased to learn that ABF had changed its policy to drop loans so that students are no longer fettered with repayments.”

“Last summer ABF offered me an opportunity to support Christian Science, particularly the next generation of young people who are the future of the Christian Science movement, by funding a Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship. ABF’s high standards in selecting students to receive these scholarships have given me confidence that the most deserving and strong Christian Science students are receiving my support. For this reason, I funded two scholarships last year and eight scholarships for the upcoming academic year.”

“I hope you will join me in funding a Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship. The fact that the scholarship recipients are in contact with their sponsors will give you a sense of participation in the student’s progress. The Albert Baker Fund is a top-notch organization worthy of your and my support.”

— Harvey Heiges, Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and McLean, Virginia

“ABF’s high standards in selecting students to receive these scholarships has given me confidence that the most deserving and strong Christian Science students are receiving my support.”

Last year Harvey funded a Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship for Delaney Gatine and Gracen Huffman

Delaney Gatine
Delaney is committed to using her legal education to change the criminal-justice system. She shared, “We need to look at criminals as people and account for people’s humanity. I hope to begin my career in criminal litigation and, ultimately, to become a judge and concurrently work on criminal-justice reform.” Delaney attends Sunday Services at her local Christian Science church and studies the Christian Science Bible Lesson regularly. Delaney loves reading the Sermon on the Mount. It reminds her of her duties as a follower of Christ and encourages her to hold herself to a high, moral standard.
Delaney Gatine
Delaney Gatine, Juris Doctor
The George Washington University Law School, Class of 2025
Gracen Huffman
Gracen attends the University of San Diego because it fosters an atmosphere of outreach, has a high-level business school, and provides opportunities for students to be changemakers. Christian Science has played a pivotal role in Gracen’s under-standing of her life experiences. She shared, “A time that it was really difficult for me to see God’s presence was when I was working in South Africa. Seeing that level of poverty made me feel very insignificant, and, at first glance, it was easy to feel that God didn’t care for them. Redirecting my thought allowed me to love those people so much more and do a lot more good for them as well.”
Gracen Huffman
Gracen Huffman, Business Administration and Management
University of San Diego, CA, Class of 2026

Here’s how the scholarship works

When you fund a Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship, you are matched to a student. The student will receive your $1,500 Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship and a $3,500 Albert Baker Scholarship for a total award of $5,000. When your scholarship is awarded, we will notify you of the student whom you are supporting. In the fall, you will receive an email from the student sharing their plans for the upcoming academic year. In the spring, you will have an opportunity to meet your scholarship recipient at a virtual “meet and greet” via Zoom.

If you would like to fund a scholarship, you can give in one of two ways:

I hope you will consider this wonderful opportunity to pass your blessings forward to help young Christian Scientists fund their college education. If you have any questions, please contact Janee Shaw at or (916) 594-9513.

Students have already started applying for fall scholarships, so we hope to hear from you soon. We are expecting 200 students to apply. With deep appreciation,

Signed, Joseph Ritter

Dr. Joseph M. Ritter, CEO
The Albert Baker Fund

P.S. The students who received a donor-funded Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship last year are listed below.

Pass Your Blessings Forward Scholarship Recipients (2022-2023 Academic Year)

ABF’s Recent Trip to Africa (Special Zoom Presentation on May 2 Open to All) Fri, 14 Apr 2023 06:27:12 +0000 Joe Ritter visiting Africa

At this special presentation, Joe Ritter, ABF CEO, will update you on his 5-week trip to six countries in Africa. Please join us on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, 4:00-4:45 pm Pacific Time (5 pm MT, 6 pm CT, 7 pm ET). All are invited.

Register here:

The Albert Baker Fund Spring 2023 Newsletter Thu, 13 Apr 2023 16:46:23 +0000 Home   Download PDF   Make a Gift
ABF In Africa 2023, Part4 (FINAL)! Wed, 15 Mar 2023 17:36:31 +0000 Japhet Tekila

Japhet Tekila – lives in Kinshasa (Japhet is in the center in the black Albert Baker signature hat)

March 15, 2023

Hi, All!

The ABF six-country tour of Africa has come to an end.  As I stated in an earlier email, understanding and explaining ABF’s programs in Africa is complicated.  Naturally beautiful – and also complex.  Also, please feel free to share this email with others.

Without a doubt, ABF is supporting tremendous good throughout the regions of Africa where we have programs.  ABF provides life changing scholarships to Christian Scientists who use their education and knowledge to bless themselves, their families, their communities, their churches, and sometimes even their counties.  Their stories are inspiring and clearly illuminate why ABF has these programs.  I look forward to sharing more of these stories with you over the coming year through the ABF website, social media posts, and a special Zoom meeting we will host in late April or May.  More details about the special Zoom meeting will be shared as they become available.

One such example is Japhet Tekila.  Japhet grew up in Christian Science and was able to attend the local CSO at the University of Kinshasa as a high school student, because his high school academic program let him take courses at the university while enrolled in high school.  Japhet went on to study law at the same University of Kinshasa with ABF’s support.  He has worked in Parliament and now works with the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo along with the President’s team. He advises on subjects related to international law.  Japhet has shared copies of Science & Health with others in the President’s office, when there has been an interest.  That said, Japhet also shared that it is not always easy to talk to others about Christian Science in the office of the President.  Japhet was empathic that his success is a result of what he has learned through Christian Science.

Mary Darlin from Nairobi is another great example.  Because there was no Christian Science church near where she grew up, Mary Darlin’s early exposure to Christian Science was through reading Christian Science books she received from her father  When her family moved to Nairobi, she joined the Christian Science Church in Nairobi and started attending Sunday School.  ABF supported Mary Darlin with her bachelor’s degree in actuarial science.  After completing an internship, she learned of a job opportunity from her former Sunday School teacher.  Within a week, Mary Darlin submitted her resume, interviewed, was hired, and started work at a company that supports transfer pricing with a focus on corporate income tax for multinational clients.  Although her bachelor’s degree is not directly related to her position, Mary Darlin’s strong work ethic and character led her to be promoted to Assistant Manager ahead of others at the company who had been there much longer.  Mary Darlin says, and I quote:  “Thank God for Christian Science!” and “Mind is not limited, so I am not either.”  What a joy to meet these ABF beneficiaries!

ABF is also providing life changing scholarships to Africans who united with their local Christian Science churches, but now represent a broad range in their practice of Christian Science. This is perhaps no different than elsewhere in the world.  These ABF beneficiaries are blessing themselves, their families, and their communities, but may not be active in their branch churches.  In some cases, their job requires them to live in a location that is hours away from the closest Christian Science church or society.

Unfortunately, attempted fraud within Africa has existed in that past and continues to exist.  Applicants who clearly do not meet the ABF criteria continue to apply for grants from ABF.  On a very positive note, ABF has a strong team supporting our African programs and has put many practices and processes into place to ensure we are reviewing authentic applications from practicing Christian Scientists. I really should say we have strong African teams, since each country (or region) essentially operates individually with Dominique and Lamech.  The ABF program in each country depends on our In-Country Representative (ICR) to validate applications and applicants.  Where we have strong ICR’s, we have strong programs.  It is also interesting to note that in the majority of the countries where ABF operates, we really only operate in (or receive applications from) one or two cities/regions in the country where there is an active Christian Science church or society.

Divine Love met our needs throughout the entire trip.  One favorite example was when our initial plans to drive from Yaoundé to Douala fell through.  The car and driver that had been hired to drive us between these cities abruptly cancelled and gave no reason.  Mr. Oliver, Founder and Executive Director of the Olialima Ecole Internationale de Musique, learned of our need and reserved four direct flight plane tickets from Yaoundé to Douala for $440 USD.  The was a perfect solution.  The previous night, Lamech and I found airline tickets between the two cities on the internet that were priced at $4,400 USD – or ten times as much!  When Mr. Oliver learned of our need, he used his local expertise to assist us.  Mr. Oliver even took a taxi to meet us at our hotel that morning, walked with us to get cash from an ATM, then walked with us to purchase the tickets at the nearby airline office.  Although Mr. Oliver is not a Christian Scientist, it was easy to see Divine Love expressed through him.  It should not be surprising that he has a Christian Science hymnal on his desk, which he uses with our ABF students that attend his school.

By the numbers, we:

  • Visited six countries (Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo)
  • Visited eleven Christian Science Churches and Societies
  • Met with students from the Ndejje University CSO
  • Shared information on ABF and answered questions with twelve separate groups of Christian Scientists
  • Met, learned the stories of, and gathered feedback from 54 ABF beneficiaries (graduates and current students)
  • Met with and interviewed 19 current and former ABF ICR’s
  • Visited eleven universities and vocational schools
  • Visited six primary schools and two secondary schools
  • Shared Christian Science books and blue chalk with 13 Christian Science churches and societies & with two Christian Science schools
  • Met with officials from three African banks

Through the many discussions with these individuals and groups, I have gathered over 150 pages of notes, suggestions, and recommendations.  Robin has a similar amount of notes.  The following are a few of the initial themes:

  • Create an ABF African Alumni Association for our African Beneficiaries (AAAA).
  • Investigate a method for former ABF Beneficiaries to financially donate to ABF in support of current African students.  Almost all of our former students do not have credit cards or checkbooks, so the current ABF methods used to solicit donations are unusable for them.
  • Consider starting a pilot mentoring program for our African students, since employment after graduation is a significant issue.  This program would need to be led by a person in Africa.
  • Better communication with students and alums using the WhatsApp mobile application.

On several occasions, I saw young children joyfully pushing a tire down their street (dirt road).  What a different and beautiful world!

Much Love,


ABF In Africa 2023, Part3! Fri, 24 Feb 2023 18:12:30 +0000 First Church of Christ, Scientist, Yaoundé, Cameroon

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Yaoundé, Cameroon

February 22, 2023

(We are now in Francophone Africa, Cameroon. Having finished our visits to Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana.)

Welcome back to my attempt to share highlights from our ABF trip through Africa! As I mentioned before, these are just shadows of the true experience. Also, let me be clear that these are my observations and do not reflect any official opinion of The Albert Baker Fund, its Trustees, or Staff.

To date, we have visited with and interviewed 27 ABF recent graduates and current students. There has been an overwhelming amount of gratitude shared by each student. Nearly all the ABF students and graduates we have met have found or been introduced to Christian Science during their lifetime. Thus, the vast majority of our ABF students and graduates are not “life-long” Christian Scientists and have their own story of how they came into Christian Science. These stories range from hearing the shortwave radio program sponsored by The Mother Church to an uncle of one of their friend’s sharing a copy of a Christian Science Journal with them to their parents learning of Christian Science and then sharing Christian Science with the family. The many stories I have heard of how each individual came to Christian Science have been truly inspiring. The practice of Christian Science by these individuals is inspiring.

The students in our ABF programs in Africa come from different backgrounds than the students in the United States and Canada. I am still processing what this means and how ABF can best meet the needs of both groups. That said, Monday evening, I finally met with an ABF student who told me she was born into Christian Science and another who was “still young” when her mother found Christian Science, so she was raised in the Sunday School and Christian Science. Hence, the current situation is changing and is also dynamic.

We brought over approximately 210 pounds of Christian Science books (and 30 sets of blue chalk – as requested) to share with local branch churches, societies, and Christian Science schools. So far, we have shared books with the Kampala Christian Science Society; Jinja Christian Science Society; First Church, Nairobi; Second Church, Accra; First Church, Accra; First Church, Yaoundé; Sunrise School (primary school in Kenya); and Three Rivers Academy (secondary school in Kenya). At each of these, we shared a presentation about ABF and answered questions. The presentations and Q&A typically last 1.5 hours. There are many questions! Tonight, we will attend the Wednesday Testimony Meeting at First Church, Douala.

We also brought 100 Albert Baker signature baseball caps to giveaway to our students and graduates. These have been quite well received. When coming through Customs into Uganda at the Kampala airport, the Customs Inspector asked to open my bag containing the hats and wanted to know more about the hats. Given the many and assorted things in our luggage, I was quite surprised that at 1am he would be interested in our hats! I explained they were gifts for our students and graduates, at which point he asked if he could have one. I said, “Of course.” So, should you travel into the Kampala airport, there is a chance you will see a Customs Inspector wearing an Albert Baker signature cap. Although I did not get a picture of him, I will include a few pictures of our graduates enjoying their new baseball caps.

The desire by ABF students, graduates, and ICR’s to meet with us is phenomenal. Two examples: a graduate who we supported in Togo now teaches in Accra. When he heard that ABF was visiting First Church, Accra, he requested permission to be excused from his teaching duties that day so he could meet us and offer his thanks. It gets better. One of our ICR’s, Williams Soulouck from Yaoundé, was married in a traditional marriage ceremony at his wife’s village on Saturday and still met with us on Sunday. Talk about dedication!

There are also numerous examples of Divine Love meeting ours and everyone’s needs. Challenges with VISA’s, Customs (beyond those with the hats), travel, missing luggage, and health have each been handled and overcome. Travel to and within Africa offers the opportunity to grow in one’s flexibility and resiliency and patience. I will be happy to share more examples when we offer a special Zoom meeting about the trip (probably in late April or May). If you doubt the veracity of this statement, please just ask anyone who has traveled in Africa!

Au revoir pour le moment!
(Goodbye for now!)

Avec amour,

ABF In Africa 2023, Part2! Fri, 24 Feb 2023 18:01:19 +0000 February 13, 2023

Hello! Habari! Chi!

Each evening, I think that this evening will be the evening when I will have time to write an update – and each evening seems to end 2-3 hours later than expected and the plans for tomorrow require my priority. So, I am taking advantage of the three-hour drive to Nanyuki to compose and send this update! We are passing Mount Kenya as I type this.

The Christian Science Organization at Ndejje University, Kampala, Uganda

The Christian Science Organization at Ndejje University, Kampala, Uganda

In brief summary, our ABF African adventure has been a mixture of learning, inspiration, sadness, and overwhelming Love.

When I was asked by one of our Ugandan ABF students, how did I find Uganda? My answer was “Complex.”

Words and descriptions cannot do justice to the actual experience. It would be similar to trying to describe the Rocky Mountains or Great Barrier Reef to someone who has not been there. Actually, it is much more complex than that. That said, I will do my best to share some experiences and what I am learning.

The first lesson I have learned that in States, the scholarships ABF provides makes a difference in supporting our students. In Uganda, thescholarships that ABF provides makes a difference to not only the individual student, but also to the student’s family, friends, and community. The “Grandma” of the Jinja Christian Science society told me today that she (Anne Awori Osinde) was the greatest beneficiary of The Albert Baker Fund because of the blessings she has observed and received indirectly. Although Anne has not received any funding directly, ABF financially supported her daughter (Jackie) with her bachelors and masters degrees. Jackie’s education and abilities has resulted in progressively important career positions that subsequently has allowed Jackie to share her blessings with those around her. Beyond this, Jackie serves as the ABF In-Country Representative (ICR) for Uganda. Anne and Jackie came into Christian Science when Anne was healed of HIV/AIDS through Christian Science. Like I said above – this does not come close to speaking in-person with Jackie and Anne. And these are their stories to tell, not mine.

Let me try to share another example of another one of our graduates who was supported by ABF for both her bachelors and masters degrees. After being hired into a well-paying job, this graduate supported her four younger siblings’ education as well as supporting the education of her friend’s seven children. She has formed a savings group of fifteen women who collectively have saved 3,000,000 UGX (Uganda Schillings; $300,000 USD). After the successful execution of this group, she organized and joined a second group of eleven women who are saving following the same model. Aiding this ABF graduate has directly blessed another 35 people that I am aware of. There are very likely more who have been blessed because ABF funded this women’s education.

By the numbers, as of February 13 we have: Visited two countries (Uganda and Kenya) Visited three Christian Science Churches and Societies (Kampala, Jinja, Nairobi) Interviewed 17 ABF graduates and current students from Uganda (12) and Kenya (5) Met with and interviewed four ABF ICR’s (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya-Nairobi, Kenya-Migori) Visited three primary schools and two secondary schools

We leave Kenya on Wednesday with our next stop in Accra, Ghana!

Much Love,


ABF In Africa 2023, Part1! Fri, 24 Feb 2023 17:56:10 +0000 February 3, 2023

It’s happening!

The CEO of The Albert Baker Fund is returning to Africa this February!
In fact, we are enroute as I type this email.

Meeting at University of Ghana in Accra

Meeting at University of Ghana in Accra

Lamech Katamba, ABF African Regional Program Manager, and Dominique Beling, ABF African Applications Processing Agent, have organized a six-country visit for Robin Jones and me (Joe Ritter, CEO). We are all excited to share this amazing journey together.

As you may know, ABF provides scholarships to students who are Christian Scientists and are enrolled in university and vocational programs in thirteen African countries:
Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

As the trip was unfolding, I asked Lamech to choose the top three countries for our visit. He chose six. If you know Lamech, you will agree that we are fortunate that he did not chose eight – or all thirteen! The six countries we will be visiting are Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon, DRC, and the Republic of the Congo.

During this trip we expect to

  1. Assess impact of ABF programs in Africa by gathering Input from students, churches, In-Country Representatives (ICR’s), and others
  2. Assess effectiveness of ABF programs in Africa primarily through discussions with Lamech and Dominique, students, and ICR’s
  3. Support Lamech and Dominique in their roles with ABF
  4. Meet with and support ABF ICR’s
  5. Meet with ABF partner organizations and university officials
  6. Celebrate successes of the ABF Africa program and ABF African students
  7. Gather videos, pictures, and stories of successful ABF African students

My plan is to send updates every two weeks, although I reserve the right to send more frequently should I be able.

All the best,

Dr. Joseph M. Ritter
Chief Executive Officer
The Albert Baker Fund
“Educating Christian Scientists, Blessing the World”

Announcing Three New Initiatives to Support Student Success (Video) Thu, 02 Feb 2023 23:27:48 +0000 At a special Zoom presentation held on January 24th, ABF announced three new initiatives to help college students achieve success. These initiatives are one-on-one mentoring with an experienced mentor in their field of study, peer-to-peer student learning communities, and professional Career-Based ABF LinkedIn Groups. Watch the presentation replay below.