On May 1, a special celebration will be held to commemorate 50 years of God’s goodness and faithfulness to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
A special website has been set up at teds.edu/50 featuring stories from current and past members of the TEDS community, including a former Trinity president and one of the only surviving original faculty members. Alumni can go to teds.edu/50 and record short videos of themselves to tell their own story of God’s faithfulness during or after their time at TEDS, and these videos will be featured at different times over the course of the semester. Various other interviews and stories will be posted. Additionally, all semester various members of the TEDS community will be offering reflections in graduate chapel highlighting God’s faithfulness to them during their time at TEDS.
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School was officially named in the 1963-1964 academic year under the leadership of the Dean at the time, Dr. Kenneth Kantzer. His vision for the divinity school–reflected in everything from the official choice of “divinity school” (rather than “seminary”) to the sort of faculty he pursued–continues to shape the priorities and character of TEDS.
Dr. Kantzer envisioned a broadly evangelical seminary with faculty who were united on the essentials of the faith, such as Jesus’ resurrection and the authority & inerrancy of Scripture, but whose backgrounds represented a wide variety of contributions to evangelical theology and ecclesiology. Today’s faculty reflects this vision well. The excellence of the faculty’s teaching & writing, the global reach and influence of TEDS alumni, and TEDS’ continued contributions to the local & global church all represent the outworkings of God’s faithfulness set into motion by the course Dr. Kantzer charted.
Mark Your Calendars for May 1
This semester of celebration will culminate on Thursday, May 1, with a special thanksgiving chapel service at 11 a.m. and an evening celebration service at 6:00 p.m. That service will feature three keynote speakers: Dr. John Woodbridge (Research Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought at TEDS), Dr. William L. Kynes (Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, VA) and Dr. David S. Dockery (President, Union University, Jackson, TN). At 7:30 p.m. there will be an open anniversary reception with desserts and heavy hors d’oeuvres, providing an opportunity for alumni, current & past faculty, and students & staff to reconnect.
There are several ways to follow TEDS 50th news specifically. Sign up to receive updates when new content is posted at teds.edu/50, or follow TEDS on facebook or twitter for immediate updates whenever new content is posted.
Blogger & writer Michelle Van Loon, a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics, attended the Trinity Society of Women Women’s Theology Conference on Feb. 15. On her blog she offers an excellent summary of both the conference and the broader context in which it took place. An excerpt:
Though the event was called a Women’s Theology Conference, it might just as well have been called “A Gathering Of Thinking Women”. Women often have only had two basic corporate vehicle by which they could learn in community with other women: local church-based Bible study groups or big parachurch conference events where the focus is on motivational speech and testimonies. The team from Trinity’s Society of Women hoped to take a step in a third direction with an event that formed a footbridge between the seminary classroom and the lives of thinking women in local congregations who wished for a place to engage their mind and exercise their voice in conversation with others.
Read the full story at Michelle Van Loon’s blog.
This Saturday, February 15, the Trinity Society of Women is hosting a women’s theology conference featuring Dr. Scot McKnight, Dr. Arloa Sutter, and Dr. Lynn Cohick as featured speakers.
Additionally, TSW meets each Wednesday in the Lee Fireside Room from 11:00 – 12:15. The theme for the spring semester is “Voices”. Currently there are four speakers lined up to tell their story of how God led them to discover their voice and how he has used their voice in ministry/work/teaching:
- February 12 – Rev. Amanda Rosengren, Deacon and Curate (Associate Pastor) at Church of the Redeemer in Highland Park
- February 26 - Dr. Dana Harris, Associate Professor of New Testament at TEDS
- March 26 - Paige Cunningham, director of Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity
- April 9 - Dr. Ingrid Faro
Light refreshments will be served each of these times.
Finally, the first and third Wednesdays of each month are spent in prayer. Sometimes the group prays through a Psalm, spends time in reflection on a verse or theme, or focuses on intercession for various needs on campus and around the world. Prayer times are student-led and people are free to come and go as their schedule allows.
For additional information or questions, email Kim Karpeles at email@example.com.
The final series of TEDS Lectures, featuring Dr. Dennis Magary (Professor of Old Testament & Semitic Languages), will begin posting on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
These five videos were recorded during one of Dr. Magary’s Advanced Hebrew Exegesis courses and include student contributions to class discussion. They also feature behind-the-scenes interviews in which Dr. Magary talks about his philosophy of teaching, including why he uses some of the specific resources he routinely uses for his Hebrew exegesis courses. He also offers thoughts on the importance of biblical languages and on being self-aware of presuppositions in the process of exegesis.
Each of the five videos will be released on a Tuesday. Follow TEDS on twitter or facebook to be made aware of these and other new media. Catch up on the previously-released lectures, including material by Dana Harris, D.A. Carson, and Kevin Vanhoozer.
As Christians, there are two extremes that we should avoid when considering the history of the church. On one hand, we must be careful not to glamorize the past, assuming that “older is better” and thus seek uncritically to transplant ancient ideas or practices into our modern church contexts. On the other hand, we must beware of an attitude that equates the “modern” with the “good,” and thus turns a blind eye to wisdom gleaned from the lives and lessons of people in the past (C. S. Lewis called this attitude ‘chronological snobbery’). Mature Christians are receptive to all that God wants to teach them from his Word and world, whether that be from the sermon of a minister, the advice of a neighbor, or the pen of a fourth-century monk.
In the conclusion of my recent book Calvin’s Company of Pastors (Oxford, 2013), I suggest a number of ways that pastoral theory and practice in sixteenth-century Geneva might inform and enrich our view of the pastoral office today. Here, I briefly mention three insights that I found particularly relevant.
(1) In Calvin’s Geneva, ministry was profoundly Word-centered. At the heart of Calvin’s sense of vocation was the conviction that Christians “needed to hear their God speaking and learn from his teaching.” Consequently, when Calvin returned to Geneva in 1541, he drafted a church constitution that placed Scripture at the forefront of religious life in the city. Each week, Calvin and his colleagues preached more than thirty sermons in the three parish churches. (This included three sermons on Sundays as well as weekday sermons that began at 4:30 a.m. for maids and household servants!) Children were required to learn the Catechism, which involved memorizing biblical doctrine and scriptural passages such as the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. Geneva’s liturgy was rich in the language and prayers of Scripture, and included regular congregational singing from the French Psalter. Finally, owing much to Calvin’s influence, Geneva in the sixteenth century became the printing center for French Bibles in Europe, with more than eighty editions produced from 1550-1600. (During this period, Genevan printers also produced Bibles in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish, and English.) Evidently, Calvin and his reformed colleagues believed that where God’s Word was faithfully proclaimed and gladly received, there the Holy Spirit was at work in power to effect moral transformation in the lives of men and women. The case of Calvin’s Geneva reminds us today that spiritual reformation and scriptural proclamation go hand in hand.
2.) For Calvin, pastoral ministry involved intensive personal care. Having grown up in the reformed tradition, I was sometimes exposed to a portrait of Calvin that focused on his theological genius at the expense of his pastoral concerns and commitments. When one studies the documents of the Genevan church, it becomes clear that this depiction misses the mark. Calvin once stated: “the office of a true and faithful minister is not only to teach the people in public, which he is appointed to do as pastor, but also, as much as he is able, to admonish, exhort, warn, and console each person individually.” In Calvin’s Geneva, all of the ministers were expected to preach multiple times each week. They were required to visit sick people at bedside. Along with the city’s lay elders, they conducted pastoral visitations of all the households in their parish each year before Easter. Furthermore, every Thursday at noon the pastors and elders met in Consistory to interview, reprove, and offer spiritual advice to men and women guilty of a whole variety of sins, from adultery to drunkenness to spousal abuse. Although consistorial discipline could be confrontational and was always intrusive, it constituted a form of spiritual counsel and pastoral care as the pastors and elders engaged people at their point of greatest brokenness and need, seeking to guide them to repentance and spiritual healing. On many occasions, the Consistory also intervened on behalf of the neglected and abused, seeking to protect the weak and poor as well as mediate conflicts between spouses and within households. I came away from my study of Geneva’s Consistory with a deep sense of admiration for the amount of time and effort that Geneva’s pastors and elders devoted to this painful, yet important, aspect of spiritual care. In our modern world where men and women so often struggle with spiritual dislocation, fractured relationships, and deep-seated loneliness, Calvin’s vision for pastoral oversight that includes gospel proclamation and intense relational ministry appears especially relevant and important.
3.) Calvin was committed to accountability and collegiality in pastoral work. Geneva’s ministers had a deep aversion to forms of church government that were hierarchical and autocratic. They believed Scripture taught that, though pastors’ roles might vary from parish to parish, the pastoral office was a single office, and all pastors were equally servants of Christ and ministers of the Word of God. Calvin formalized this commitment by creating a number of institutions that constituted the DNA of pastoral ministry in Geneva. All of the city’s ministers belonged to the Company of Pastors, a church council that met every Friday morning to address concerns of the church. The Company examined students for ministry, filled local ministerial posts (with the approval of the city magistrates), discussed contested points of doctrine, corresponded with foreign churches, and recruited and deployed missionary pastors for France. A second institution was the weekly Congregation, a body created by Calvin (patterned after Zurich’s Prophetzei) where the city’s pastors met to study Scripture together and evaluate one another’s exposition of biblical texts. Calvin insisted that the formation of ministers and the preservation of right doctrine depended on the pastors studying Scripture in community. “The fewer discussions of doctrine we have together,” Calvin once observed, “the greater the danger of pernicious opinions… for solitude leads to great abuse.” One additional church institution that reflected Calvin’s commitment to accountability and collegiality was the Quarterly Censure. Four times a year, before the quarterly celebration of the Lord’s Supper, Geneva’s ministers met behind closed doors to air their differences, to address colleagues suspected of immorality or teaching wrong doctrine, and to promote mutual trust and common vision. After the meeting, Calvin and his colleagues shared a lunch of soup together. Though Calvin’s collegial model of ministry did not foster bold innovation, nor allow for strong dissent, it did create a pastoral culture in Geneva where ministers depended on one another, learned from one another, were accountable to one another, and sometimes forgave one another. One suspects that contemporary Protestantism, with its infatuation for robust individualism, celebrity preachers, and ministry empires, has much to learn from the example of Geneva’s church.
Dr. Scott Manetsch is Professor of Church History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Learn more about TEDS’ academic programs. Follow TEDS on twitter for news and resources.
Constantine Campbell, Associate Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, was awarded Christianity Today’s 2014 Book of the Year award in the Biblical Studies category for Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study. We asked him a few celebratory questions:
Your book won CT’s biblical studies book of the year – how does it feel to be joining a club already populated by the likes of Richard Hays, Raymond Brown, James D.G. Dunn, and D.A. Carson?
I was truly shocked. Winning any kind of award never entered my head. You just hope that it will be useful to the church and academy by offering a faithful reading of Scripture and by putting things together in a way that helps people to understand the truth. But it’s a great honor to have the book recognised in this way, especially when there is so much high calibre work being produced in biblical studies.
Suppose you had to tweet your understanding of “union with Christ” in Paul’s thought. (I’ll give you three tweets [420 characters] if you need them, but points if you can do it in 140 characters or less.) What would you tweet?
Union: spiritual, nuptial, mutual indwelling
Participation: sharing in the events of Christ’s narrative
Identification: belonging to the realm of Christ
Incorporation: built together into the body of Christ
(Easier than reading 480 pages, huh?)
Did you have a favorite biblical studies book from 2013? If so, what was it and why?
The God who became Human: A Biblical Theology of Incarnation, by former TEDS professor (and fellow Aussie) Graham Cole. It is a wonderful synthesis of exegetical and theological reading of Scripture.
Learn more about master’s programs at TEDS. Follow Con Campbell on twitter.
A number of TEDS faculty presented papers and participated in discussion panels at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society 2013, which took place in Baltimore, MD on Nov. 19-21. Two notable TEDS faculty contributions to ETS included Dr. D.A. Carson’s plenary address, in which he gave an extensive overview of recent books on Scripture, and Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer’s filmed contribution to a discussion on the forthcoming Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Zondervan, December 2013).
Dr. Vanhoozer has graciously allowed the video of his 15-minute paper, in which he outlines and explains his position (presented more fully in Five Views), to be made available; it can be watched, and the transcript downloaded, in the TEDS Media & Resources portal.