Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

From the Editor

Written by Rev. J. Schoeman
For many years our churches have struggled with the training of our ministers. Grateful, but always hesitant and guarded use was made of seminaries of other Reformed denominations. First, Calvin Seminary, connected with the Christian Reformed Church and then the Protestant Reformed Seminary, both located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, were used. Later, other of our ministers graduated from the Theological College of the Canadian Reformed Churches in Hamilton, Ontario. The education of our theological students was always carefully supplemented with training given by our own ministers under the direction of the Theological Education Committee. Another principle that guided our Theological Education Committee was that the training take place in an institution where future ministers could participate in the congregational life of one of our Free Reformed churches.

Always, there was the goal, the hope and the prayer that we could do more ourselves. We believe that the establishment of the Puritan Reformed Seminary in Grand Rapids and the availability of instructors from our own churches is a very positive development in training our students for the ministry. In this issue you will find an insert that will give you a flavour of the theological education at Puritan Reformed Seminary and will help you to become more involved with your prayerful support

Rev. Jack Schoeman, a member of the Publications Committee, was appointed to prepare the first insert of several other inserts that are planned to keep you updated on the theological education of our future ministers. He writes the following.

This is the first of what we hope will be a regular insert on the work of theological education. Many exciting developments have taken place in this area in the past few years. In June 1998 our synod decided to appoint its first full-time theological instructor, Dr. G.M. Bilkes. We also decided to enter into a cooperative relationship with the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary--the seminary of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, it was decided that our ministers should take a more active role in the education of our students than they have in the past. Since 1998 several of our ministers have taught courses at the seminary and more are planned. Five students are presently studying for the ministry--the highest number in the history of our small denomination. In light of these developments, it was felt that our churches should be kept informed via a periodic insert in The Messenger of what is happening.

We plan to publish two issues per year: one in February and one in October. It is our hope that the information contained in these inserts will encourage you to support this important work--both prayerfully and financially--and that the Lord would bless these efforts to the extension of His kingdom and the glory of His Name.

On behalf of the Publications Committee,
Rev. J. Schoeman,
Editor of the Theological Education Update.
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