Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

From the Chairman of the Theological Education Committee

Written by Dr. L.W. Bilkes
The task of the synodical Theological Education Committee is to oversee the theological training program. As spelled out in the ÒHandbook for the Theological Training Program of the Free Reformed Churches of North America,Ó the aim of this program is threefold:

1. To nurture the student to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures and Reformed Theology.

2. To promote practical godliness including personal piety and Christian conduct in the life of the student.

3. To facilitate an understanding of spiritual experience and human relationships in order to equip the student to become a sound, sensitive and edifying servant of the Word in his preaching and pastoral ministry.

In overseeing this program, the focus is on the central place of biblical studies with an emphasis on Reformational theology, which is theocentric, trinitarian and practical. Special importance is placed on the existential relationship between Word and theology, church and theology, the confessions and theology, and faith and theology. In short, we emphasize that Scripture is to have the central place in theological training, and not merely in a formal way. Consequently, the central message of the Word of God as it was discovered anew by the 16th century Reformation and the Second Reformation is to be the core of our theological training.

While the ideal would be to train our students ourselves, our churches, since Synod 1998, have decided to do so in conjunction with Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. While we would prefer to merge with PRTS in a complete 50/50 joint venture, we understand that this is a sensitive issue that requires more time and consultation before it can be realized. In the meantime we are thankful for the progress that has been made so far and for the increasing input we may have on the theological training of the student body. May the Lord bless and enable those who teach our students sola scriptura, sola gratia, and sola fide.

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