Saturday 13 September perfectly illustrated Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 16: 9, where he speaks of a ‘wide door for effective work’, alongside ‘many adversaries’.
The dedication service included interviews with the biggest intake of undergraduate and master’s students for several years. A further group of distance learning students are studying together for the Graduate Diploma in Liverpool.
That night, Satan’s backlash was crude, in the form of a burglary and damage to Bryntirion House.
Dr Mike Reeves spoke persuasively about the ‘Union’ initiative (www.uniontheology.org). This ‘learning community’ in the north west of England is hopefully the forerunner of a network of similar hubs in the UK, Europe and beyond, which would bring ‘the academy to the church’. Dr Reeves urged supporters to pray that this initiative would redound to God’s glory.
Principal Jonathan Stephen stressed Christian character formation and the development of practical skills alongside academic study. He then interviewed a dozen new students and prayed for them.
Nearly all the new degree students are from Britain, although Hannes from Austria and Heinrich from Denmark both testified in impeccable English. Calvin from South Korea and Lisa from Finland spoke on behalf of the new students on the International Foundation Course.
The preacher was Rev. Mark Johnston, late of Grove Chapel, London; then ministering in the US; and, since 11 October, pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church, Cardiff.
The Bible reading was 2 Timothy 3:1-17 and Mr Johnston’s text verse15: ‘And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’.
He urged the students to profit from their time in seminary and then stay the course in ministry. The latter would only be possible with God’s help through this God-breathed Word, focusing on the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.